Some days working from home are super efficient. The others…well…not so much. This week, I’ve been incredibly busy on both the “home” and “work” side of things.
My biggest client is in the middle of launching his new book and my niece’s mother is staying with us for an undetermined amount of time, which means my nieces are here a lot more too. That brings the total of kids up to 4. (But it feels more like 6…especially since they talk so loudly you’d think they were on opposites sides of a noisy freeway trying to communicate.)
Did I mention my husband took a whole week off of work? You might be thinking “that’s awesome he did that to help with the kids during your busiest work time.” And that would have been nice. But nope, he took the entire week off to celebrate his birthday. (Yep a week…I’ve been told that’s normal “Leo” behavior. BTW – why is it that only the Leos I know, use being a Leo as some sort of hall pass to explain their weird behaviors and choices…I have no clue but I digress…)
Back to the husband. He seems to think that when he takes a day off it means that I, too, take a day off. And for some weird reason he actually likes talking to me. 😂 It doesn’t work that way (even though I run my own business and work from home.) And actually I’m not sure that I’d want it to even if it were possible. My kids will always opt to ask mommy…even when dad is sitting right the f*ck in front of them doing absolutely nothing. So when we are “off” at the same time, I’m not really getting a break. So the little bit of reprieve I do get is when the hubby is at work, my number one girl is at school, and my littlest one is sleeping or otherwise occupied (aka watching YouTube- don’t judge…lol.)
Earlier this week, sh!t hit the fan, so if I was to get anything done it was going to have to be outside of my home. It’s totally cliche but I really love working from Starbucks in times like this. Anywhere that I can get coffee, water, snacks, and free wifi is all good with me.
With just over 45 minutes of no kid or husband interruptions (with some delicious drinks and snacks) I had actually accomplished a lot. I had answered all the emails, texts, and calls that I needed to, updated some reports that I had been meaning to get to, and even got a chance to work on a super secret project that I can’t quite talk about yet…but it’s a goodie!
The best part is that I didn’t need to be away from home for hours and hours to get shit done. For me, just carving out an hour at a coffeeshop, library, or other place can be really impactful. Spending 10 minutes or so identifying my top 3 priorities help me make the most of my time “away.” This shit works.
I really need to make a plan to do this more regularly and not just when things are so crazy that I’m at my breaking point. Do you have a favorite place to work when working from home just doesn’t work out? I’d love to hear about them.
Lots of love,
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Los Angeles with my Key Business leaders Mastermind peeps.
I’m not a great traveler (have I mentioned how much I love working from my couch in my pajamas?) But I was really excited to go because of how crazy awesome this training has been. I do work with my clients virtually so its been really great to be in person with like-minded peeps to talk high-level business stuff.
I’m actually going to be heading up for these meetings regularly through 2018 so I thought it would be awesome to vlog these trips. Here’s the very first one…
I’d love to hear what you think!
Lots of love,
In college, I never dreamed of starting my own business, working from home, or having kids for that matter. I knew I was going to become an attorney and spend most of my day in a suit making the world a better place one case at a time. Boy oh boy, was I waaaayyyy off!
Fast forward 10 years and I have two daughters, a husband, a business, and I only have to travel from bedroom to the living room to work every day.
Becoming a mom is the reason I decided to explore working from home. I have really strong feelings about daycare and just wasn’t comfortable having someone else care for my kids when I could do it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging any moms who love daycare or need it because of school or jobs. I’m just simply saying that it isn’t right for my family.
I’ve been working at home with at least one small child for almost 8 years now and it has been amazing but still very challenging. Working from home is like doing 2 jobs at once. Maybe 3 jobs if you have kids and pets!
Over the years I’ve tried a gazillion different things to make working from home easier with kids. I’ve had some successes and some major failures (like when I was on a skype call with a potential client and my daughter threw my ipad into the fan and broken glass from the screen went flying everywhere and I started yelling the f-word…yep that happened.)
Here are my best tips and strategies for working at home with little ones…
#1 Be water. You are going to have days that don’t work out the way you had hoped. Your kid(s) will need you and you may not be able to respond to every email, return every phone call, or be able to show yourself on zoom or skype video. Sometimes the best thing to do in the moment in surrender, walk away from work and just focus on loving and being present with your little one(s). You can make a plan to catch up on work after you put them to bed or on another day.
#2. Have multiple work stations. If you are able to comfortably work from multiple rooms (especially the ones your children frequent) it helps a ton. I have a laptop desk that makes it so easy for me to work from the couch when my kids insist on me watching them “play playdoh,” or when I am asked to watch a movie with them (which basically means sit here with me while I watch the movie but don’t you dare sing along because I’m the star here.) I have a desk in their bedroom so when they beg me to stay until they fall asleep I can do so and still get stuff done. And then of course, I have my office aka third bedroom where I go to work and the kids know it means I’m wokring on something that requires quiet or being on video.
#3. Be fully present when you are mom-ing. This means that when you are not working you really are NOT working. You are not answering emails or texts, you are not thinking about your meetings and what you need to do to prepare. It can be incredibly difficult to separate the two when you work from home but it’s very important. Your kids will appreciate it and it will help you take it easy on yourself when you need to switch gears and be fully present in your work.
#4. Put them to work. There are actually quite a few chores kids can safely help you with while you are working. This is a great way to keep the littles occupied for 20 to 30 minutes. For example, my youngest just loves drawing on the walls and I just love having her clean the walls. With some non-toxic cleaner in a spray bottle (meyer’s is my fave brand) and a towel, I point her in the direction of a wall within sight of where I am working and she has a blast spraying the walls and scrubbing off her crayon and marker marks.
#5. Designate special toys. Children love new toys or toys that seem new because they don’t get to play with them all of the time. I have a stash of toys that the girls can only play with while I am on a meeting or needing some extra quiet time to work on a project. Electronics and even certain television programs work well as a part of the special toy stash too.
#6. Let them be kids. This one took me a while to accept. Creative and messy play, even though it’s a pain to clean up, provides me the most relief when I need to keep my littles occupied for chunks of time. Drawing on windows, playing with playdoh, finger-painting, and even playing in the dirt provide tons of entertainment for kids. It’s definitely work the clean up if it helps you get more stuff done.
Do you have any ninja tips or techiniques for working at home with little ones? I’d love to hear them. Also, if any of these tips I’ve shared worked for you, please share that too.
Lots of love,