New to social distancing, working at home, and living that quarantine life? Me too. But still, I’ve got you!! Here are some tips for mom’s while under quarantine with young kids! Here’s the deal, I’ve been a work at home mom for 9 years now, but never under these unique circumstances. This social distancing situations because of covid-19 has definitely altered the way I work while having small kids staying at home and no childcare. With that said, I have spent many days writing articles, attending Zoom or Facetime meetings, and filming videos with my children somewhere in house. I’m not an expert by any means, but I am a normal mother with three littles under 9, and I’ve had to figure this whole thing out far before the Coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what I have done and what I am doing now, mamas.
7 Tips For Work At Home Mom’s During Quarantine
I know, the idea of spending 24/7 hours a day at home with kids might be making your head spin. Welcome to the club. I’m not going to lie— this isn’t an easy situation, especially if you are to going to an office. But you’ve got this! You can do this!
Before I dive into this, though, you need to know the truth about me; am not your type “A” mom. I’m like free-range over here. So, if you want that kind of advice, it won’t be here. We’re going back to the basics. Maybe even before Pinterest. Maybe even before playdates. Meh…definitely before playdates.
1. Be realistic. Set the bar low. I’m talking low. Like real low. Now lower it again. Thanks. I don’t have a full-time nanny…or any nanny. And during a pandemic, I’m sure that’s not even a thing. (If you know of one though…)
You don’t have to be a Pinterest mom. You don’t have to be an expert on homeschooling. You don’t need to teach your kids to cook. You don’t need to put all of the pressure on yourself to be a work at home mom, without a nanny, and a superhero at the same time. This is called survival. And you will survive this. You might lose your patience here and there. But give yourself grace. Also, relax. Now that we’ve got that out of the way. Let’s talk about the rest of the tips you need to know about working from home with kids while under quarantine.
2. Set a Schedule: Wait what? Didn’t I just say to relax? Yes, I did, …but let’s be real…you do need a schedule. And that schedule looks like doing whatever YOU need to do to get your work done. I don’t know about you, but an 8 hour day working at home with children is nearly impossible to do with no nanny, no school, and no place open that allows the kids to play while you work. (I will never take you for granted Chic-Fil-A, The YMCA Childcare, and other mom and kid-friendly places again. I miss you already.)
Time blocking is essential to being a working mom during social distancing. Here is my daily schedule during quarantine and social-distancing.
Schedule For Working At Home With Kids
5 am: I wake up and work.
8 am: Kids wake up and watch tv for 1 hour. They eat good old cereal.
9-11 am: Ferrel children time. They run around and destroy my home.
11-12 am: Take a break from work. We go on a walk. Play outside. Eat lunch.
12-1: Kids read a book. Do an educational program. Something that I don’t have to monitor. Because mama has to weeeerk.
1-3: Kid clean up time. They do their chores. I am still working. YAY!
3-8: WE PLAY! (I mean…ish)
NOTED: That gives me 8 hours of work. If I need to, I split up my day and do 5 hours in the morning, and 3 hours after the kids go to bed. It’s really just what’s best for you.
3. Split Schedule: If you have another parent living with you, I strongly suggest splitting your schedules if you are both working from home. Right now, due to this circumstance, and because my husband is working from home currently too, we can do this. I know that this is not everyone’s situation—there are a lot of single moms out there who are working from home with kids and also without any help.
If there are two parents in the home, though, split up the kid care. Right now, if I am in a meeting, he is the go-to parent and vice versa. One of the best places to do a meeting right now is in the car. It’s the only tranquil space right now.
4. Get Ready: I mean, get ready part of the way. If you have a meeting that requires your face via Zoom, wear something nice up top, and do loungewear below—yoga pants for the win.
On that note, do your hair, do your makeup, do the usual things. It will help you feel more productive and sane.
5. Headphones: As mothers, we have adapted to being queens of multi-tasking. But let me tell you, when your children are screaming throughout the house, and you are trying to work so that you can pay your bills, you brain feels as if it might explode. Saying that from personal experience. When your brain feels like it’s going to explode, you tend to explode verbally….on them, which is good for no one. So, instead…pop on some headphones with noise-blocking capabilities. Trust me, it’s amazing.
If you are worried that something will happen to them and you won’t hear it—the reality is…that might happen. Just being honest. But I’ve learned over the years that my kids are REALLY good at interrupting me during my work time. They tell me ev-er-y-thing. I’ve never not known if they were hurt.
6. Accept The Noise: Listen, every working parent is in the same exact circumstance as you! Accept the noise. Your kids will interupt you while you are on a phone call. They will come barging in when you’re in a Zoom meeting. Your dogs will bark. The chaos WILL happen.
If your employer is awesome, they will understand that kids will be kids. These are crazy times! Everyone needs to give everyone some serious grace.
If you are in a Zoom meeting, turn off the noise and the video so no one else can see your crazy. Just a suggestion.
If you need to be in a meeting, find a peaceful spot in your home, close the door and work. The best time to do this is while they are watching tv or doing their educational time. I only shut my door when I’m doing meetings and need to have a quiet space.
Note: Shutting your door will not work if you have kids under 6. They need to be supervised.
7. Breathe: You are going to get through this. This will be hard. It is hard to work at home with kids as mom…or as any parent. I know. But you can do it. You just need to give yourself some extra grace and be extremely flexible.
Tips For Working From Home With A Baby
When I first started this blog, my daughter was only 1 month old. I went full-fledge and was working around 25 hours a week. Here’s how I worked from him with a baby.
- While They Sleep: I never did the “sleep while they sleep” thing— I worked! If you have a baby, the best time to work from home is when they are sleeping. If you know their schedule, work around that. If you have an employer that requires you to keep a certain schedule, you might have to ask them to be flexible during this season of social-distancing. If they don’t understand…send them my email, and I will write them a fun letter.
- Split Time: If you have another parent in your home, split your working schedules. It’s absolutely essential.
- Do Yoga: This work from home stuff is hard. I feel you. Eat a piece of chocolate too. If you can find any at the grocery store that is.
Tips For Working At Home With A Toddler
Frankly, this age is not very fun to be a ‘working at home mom,’ especially during quarantine and no childcare help. I’m just being honest. With that said, I did it! Back when my kids were toddlers, I didn’t have the funds to pay a babysitter to come to my house while I worked from home. And my husband worked in an office environment.
So, it was just me, my small kids, and my toddler. I’ve had the joy of doing this toddler thing and working from home three times. yay!
Here are my tips.
1. Forget about having a clean home. It’s not going to happen. You can’t do it all.
2. Play Stations: Not that kind of PlayStation. I am talking about setting up 5 or 6 different areas that have certain activities that DON’T require your help. You’re still going to have to get up and down 5 million times to help them…but doing something that is easy will bring it down to at least 4 million.
Here are few to consider:
- Stickers on notepads
- I-Pad game time
- Online toddler dance class
- Online storytime
- Book staton
- Building blocks
There are many things you can do with toddlers to keep them occupied. But what you CAN’T do is leave them alone. Ever.
3. Nap Time: This is going to be your most productive time to get anything done. So, use it wisely.
This is all I’ve got for you! These are all of the tips that I use when I am working and have kids in the house.
YOU’VE GOT THIS! WE’VE GOT THIS!