This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn commissions when you make a purchase through these links (at no extra cost to you). See our disclosure policy for more details.
Your Ultimate Guide to Working from Home With Kids
Looking for guidance in becoming a work from home parent, or simply need some help “keeping it together” while you work from home with kids? This is the ultimate guide for stay at home moms, dads, and work at home parents alike.
I’m Tonya, otherwise known as Writer Mom to two darling daughters and Writer Wife to a wonderful, supportive husband.
I am currently a “stay at home mom entrepreneur” with a passion for helping my fellow parents learn how they can start working from home while raising a family, as well as figuring out how to manage it all.
Working from home with kids underfoot is no easy endeavor! You might be wondering if it’s even worth it.
Remember, being a work from home parent looks a little different for everyone.
You might have one child, or a handful of them. Maybe you’re a new parent who wants to work from home with a baby, or perhaps your children are school age.
You might have kids in all different age groups.
You might even work outside the home full- or part-time and simply supplement your income with a side gig. But one thing we all have in common is a need to feel supported.
No matter where you are at in your work from home journey, my ultimate goal is to help you feel supported along the way.
Remember, being a work from home parent looks a little different for everyone. But one thing we all have in common is a need to feel supported.Click To Tweet
This guide to working from home with kids covers:
- work vs. stay at home mom (or dad)
- benefits and drawbacks of working from home with kids
- how to get started working from home
- work from home mom schedule
- tips for productivity when working from home
- support while you work from home with kids
Work vs. Stay at Home Mom or Dad
To work or not to work..?
Society has a lot of different ideas about whether a mom or dad should stay at home with the kids or go to work. For the first two years of our eldest daughter’s life, both my husband and I worked outside the home while she attended daycare.
After our second daughter was born, I worked remotely for my former employer for a little over a month. After making some big life changes, I ended up staying at home with our girls while my husband started working for a new employer. This gave me the chance to focus on my writing business (second to caring for our children, of course).
My point is that I’ve been a working mom, a work at home mom, and a stay at home mom (or, rather, a stay at home mom entrepreneur). I’ve done it all, and while I prefer my current arrangement, I know that not one is ultimately better than the others.
The work vs. stay at home mom (or dad) debate is ages old, but each family must do what is best for their own family, rather than conforming to others’ standards.
So, what if you are a working parent who wants to stay at home and still make money? Or a stay at home parent who wants to start earning an income while continuing to raise your family? Let’s move on to the benefits and drawbacks of working from home with kids.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Working From Home
When making the decision to work at home, it can help to weigh the pros and cons. What are the pros of working from home?
Benefits of Working at Home
The benefits of working at home for moms and dads include:
- Spending more time with your children
- Saving money on childcare
- There is no commute + saving money on gas
- (Potentially) flexible hours
Drawbacks of working at home
There are also a few drawbacks when it comes to working from home:
- Difficulty balancing work and family
- Lots and lots of distractions!
- Difficulty spending quality time with your children
- It can be isolating
These are just the highlights of the benefits and drawbacks of working at home with kids. Follow the link below to get a little more in-depth information on each of these points.
How to Get Started Working From Home
“So, how can I get started working from home?”
The answer to this question is a little complex, but here’s the breakdown:
First, decide whether you want to work remotely for an employer or start a home-based business.
Do you want to be an employee or an entrepreneur? There are benefits and drawbacks to both. As an employee, you are more likely to have a stable salary, but the potential for growing your income is more limited. You will probably have to work during designated hours. As an entrepreneur, you will likely have to invest into your business, but you can grow your business as much or as little as you want (or have time for).
Next, start searching for remote jobs or business ideas.
This is where it gets a little more complicated, since there are numerous routes you can take. Of course, if you’re currently employed, and your work can be done from home, you can always try to convince your employer to let you work remotely.
If that’s not an option, don’t worry — there are lots of companies that will hire remote workers. You can use traditional job boards, such as Monster.com and Indeed.com, when looking for work at home jobs. Outsourcely.com is another job search site, but it’s dedicated to work from home positions.
Finally, we come to starting a home-based business. The sky’s the limit, but the below article will give you ten business ideas for stay at home moms.
Read more: Ten business ideas for stay at home moms
Work From Home Mom Schedule
Again, the work from home mom/dad schedule looks a little different for everyone. When you work at home with kids, it’s important to remember that, while routine is important, you need to be flexible. Personally, I like Google Calendar for scheduling everything, from appointments to events — plus, I add all my work-related tasks, including recurring items, so I don’t forget anything.
Let’s get started creating a work from home schedule.
1. Make a list of all recurring tasks and non-negotiables.
Write everything down, including daily or weekly outings, appointments, and anything that needs to be done on a regular basis. Then schedule everything into your calendar or planner, making sure to schedule in time for planning out each week. For me, this happens every Sunday. You can get as in-depth as you want, including household chores and personal tasks, family time, and “me time” — anything that happens on a regular basis.
2. Set aside blocks of time for working.
If you work for an employer, you might have set work hours. If that’s the case, you should schedule this time into your calendar before adding anything else.
Those of us with home-based businesses might have more flexible hours, though. You might only have an hour or two each day, or you might be able to work a full eight hours. When I’m planning out my week every Sunday, I fill in the open time blocks with the various tasks that I want to complete, or I’ll simply add them to that day’s calendar and work on them as I have time. Because I only plan out one or two tasks per day, my days are pretty flexible.
I might spend an hour in the morning working on a task, then prepare lunch and spend time with my kids or do a little housework. Then, I’ll finish that task in the afternoon or, if I already finished it, I’ll work on something else. When planning, it helps if you have an idea of how much time each task requires.
3. Rearrange your schedule as needed.
Things are always changing. That’s why I like Google Calendar — I can easily rearrange tasks as I see fit. I add new events as they come up, or delete things as needed. And as I complete each item, I like to mark it with an X as a visual reminder that it’s done.
Tips for Productivity When Working From Home
Some people find that they are more productive in a home office, while others — especially those working from home with kids — find it a little more difficult to get things done.
My top nine tips for productivity while working from home:
- Plan out your meals
- Start your day with a ‘cue’
- Check emails during scheduled times
- List your three most important things each day
- ‘Batch’ similar tasks
- Eat a balanced diet
- Write down every task and commitment
- Take regular breaks
- Boost energy with exercise
Want to learn more? I go into each of these tips with more detail in the below post.
Read more: Working from home tips to boost productivity
Keeping Kids Occupied When You’re Busy Working
When you’re working from home with toddlers or even older kids, you can expect regular interruptions. It helps a LOT if you give them plenty of attention during your breaks, and have lots of activities prepared for those times when you need to get stuff done.
Here are some fun activity ideas for kids:
Visit the post below for more indoor activities that will keep your kids occupied while you’re working.
Working From Home With Baby?
My top tips for working from home with a new baby:
- Work when baby is napping
- Wear your baby in a wrap or carrier
- Use My Brest Friend pillow to nurse baby while working
- Give yourself some grace! You just had a baby.
Need more ideas? Some of my work from home tips were featured in this expert roundup (check it out!), along with 14 other parent bloggers.