When you work at home and you are a mom, you are bound to get stressed. But the stress does not have to impair your ability to be productive and get your job done. Trust me… I have been there and done that! Using my experiences and the lessons I learned, I have created this series to help you manage WAHM life and the stress that comes with it.
To recap, in part 1 of this series, we discussed the importance of organizing your schedule / time (click here to read the post). In part 2, we discussed defining your work space (click here to read the post). Part 3 was about investing in yourself and in your business (click here to read the post). Part 4 discussed the importance of finding your tribe / support system (click here to read the post). This post will discuss getting your kids involved when you work from home.
In The Past…
In the past, I became filled with anxiety at the thought of trying to get work done with my daughters at home. Honestly, I didn’t get much done. After lots of trial and error, I decided that the best thing to do was to get them involved. That’s right…make them “work” too!
Getting your kids involved is a simple, 3-step process. First, make a list of the tasks that need to get done. Second, write down the approximate time it will take to get each task done. Finally, look at your list and come up with an age appropriate activity for your child to do during each task.
First, I write down the tasks that I need to do… send follow up emails, put some Beautycounter goody bags together, write a blog post and create my social media posts for the next week. Then I write down the approximate time it will take to complete each task. For these tasks, it is 30 minutes, 30-45 minutes, 2 hours and 1 hour, respectively. Lastly, I think of activities my daughters can do while I complete my tasks. For any of the given tasks, I engage the girls in a game of office where they can color, draw or work on worksheets to practice writing and academic skills. I make sure the activities are fun, something they want to do and something that will make them sit for a long period of time (which may only be 5 minutes on some days).
As my girls have gotten older, the activities have changed. Being in school, I use the time to have them do homework. I also allow them to use learning / reading apps on the iPad. Using an iPad is a treat for them(I don’t let them use it often) so they get excited and focused so that they sit for a longer period of time.
Important Things To Remember…
Be realistic and prepared. All children have limits. A one year old is most likely not going to sit still for 45 minutes. The same goes for a five year old that is having a bad day. But… if you are prepared with a variety of activities, you wont be left feeling anxious and scrambling for things to keep them entertained.
Make your child/ren feel involved. Tell them you are working together and have them do something that “helps” you. Take a look around your home office space to see what hands-on activity needs to be done. Do you need return address labels put on your envelopes? What about organizing paper clips? Pencils? Pens? Let the kids do it? It might not be neat and perfect, but it’ll get done. Additionally, the look on their face when they accomplish these little activities to help you are priceless!
Don’t feel guilty. Mom guilt is a real thing. In the beginning before I got a grasp on how to work from home, I felt so much guilt. I felt guilty that I was always looking to find time to work. I felt guilty because I thought that by doing work, I was “ignoring” my girls. But the work has to get done and as long as they feel involved / are kept busy, they will not notice you are working.
By getting the kids involved…
While it may not be easy, it is possible to work from and get your children involved. Once you identify what your kids can do to keep themselves occupied and how they can help you, you will see so many benefits. Priceless memories will be made as you spend quality time together. You will be a role model as you teach and show your children the importance of work ethic and what you do. They will also learn to appreciate the little things because the little things will really make them happy. In turn, this will decrease your stress levels which is the ultimate goal.
I challenge you to look at your business and think of one way that your child/ren can get involved when you work from home. Once you have have an idea, share it in the comments below so that we can all learn from each other to be successful.
My name is Michelle and I am the wife of the hardest working man I know, the Mami of 3 beautiful and AMAZING girls and a Pathologists’ Assistant turned Stay at Home Mami turned Mompreneur of not one… or two… but three businesses! I am super excited to share my experiences and learn from you. As women/moms/entrepreneurs, we must stick together and support each other!