Is it possible to work from home with a baby or toddler?
While I’m sure your first reaction is probably, “Yes! It’s totally possible!”, sometimes the reality of having a small child and working from home doesn’t match up to the fantasy of what you thought it would be like.
I am sure you have a lot of people around you who would like to know your secret for working from home with a baby and toddler?
What are the extra steps that you take to be able to work from home successfully and not just be one of those people who complain about not having the time & money together?
How do I work from home with a baby and toddler?
Create a separate workspace for you
If you’re lucky enough to have a room where you can set up an office, then set it up!
Be serious with yourself and have a good workspace setup that is just like what you’d have in an office.
If there’s no room for those things, then at least upgrade your headphones. Work-from-home parents are always one step away from getting interrupted by children who need something, so it’s important to always keep things feeling as professional as possible.
Even if they aren’t actually all that professional most of the time
Set a Schedule And Stick To It
If you’re working from home with a toddler, you need to set up a schedule and stick to it.
This is when your time management skills will come in handy. If you don’t have any time management skills, now is the time to start learning them.
But even the most dedicated workers will have trouble sticking to a schedule if it isn’t realistic. You are going to have to make some concessions in your work life and personal life in order to make this situation as successful as possible.
Parents who can get a handle on their own schedules are the ones who are most likely to succeed at this. If you don’t already have a routine in place, it will help you stay sane.
And if your routine is already established, try sticking to it more strictly than usual until you’ve hit your stride.
Involving your children and explaining the situation
If your children are old enough to understand what’s going on, involve them in the process.
Explain to them that when you’re working, they need to be quiet and not interrupt unless there’s an emergency.
Post a schedule so they know exactly when “work time” ends and “free time” begins.
You might even want to give them each an alarm clock so they can start learning how to read time and check the signs themselves instead of asking for frequent updates from Mommy or Daddy.
Set up a playroom
How do you keep my toddler occupied while I work from home?
Then make sure you have plenty of toys for them to play with during work hours! If these items aren’t already part of their normal routine, consider getting some new toys or books specifically designed with busy parents in mind.
You will want to set up a playroom for your kids so that you can keep an eye on them while they are playing, and so that you can close the door between your workspace and the rest of your home.
Here are some things to think about when setting up a playroom for your child:
- Get their input: If you ask your child what he or she wants in their playroom, they will be excited to get involved. Having fun putting it together makes it more likely that the room will be used regularly.
- Make it comfortable: You don’t need to buy all new furniture; secondhand toys and furniture are fine if they are safe. Just make sure everything is clean and sturdy, with no sharp edges or jutting pieces that could harm small hands or heads. The area doesn’t have to be carpeted but should have rugs and mats on the floor so kids have a soft place to sit.
Get help: get a sitter or nanny
Flexibility is super important for working parents. So, you should definitely consider hiring someone to help out if you can swing it.
The person minding your kids could be:
- A babysitter (someone who helps you out regularly, but not full-time).
- A nanny (someone who takes care of your child full-time in your home).
- A daycare worker (somebody who works at a center taking care of kids while parents are at work). This option is usually best for kids over the age of 9 months.
- Any relative or family friend that’s able to help watch the baby!
Work during nap times
There is a window of time when your baby is sleeping and you are awake, that can be used for working. If you can make it the only time when you work, you will have a much easier time with this.
If your baby naps at noon, then set aside all other obligations for the day until after 2pm so that you will be available to work from 12pm-2pm every day.
Your spouse or partner should also work something out in their schedule so they are there during that nap time to look after your toddler (or older child).
This way your child will not disturb you while they are sleeping or while you are working. The key to making this work is uninterrupted sleep and uninterrupted work.
Don’t try to accomplish too much in one day
You’re going to have some bad days. You’ll get tired and frustrated, and you might even have a few tears. But that is OK! It happens.
And when it does, just remember: don’t try to do too much in one day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help (and actually follow through with getting said help).
Don’t try to do everything by yourself. And don’t be afraid to take a break from your work—even if it means not getting something done that day.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or how important the project is: there will always be another chance for you to do it later, but there are only so many chances for you to watch your children grow up and be there for them every single day.
Set aside some time each day to spend with your kids without the distractions of work
Segment your time by setting aside specific chunks of minutes or hours for kids and work.
Make a list of activities you want to do with your baby and toddler, such as reading books, playing outside, or doing baby yoga.
Estimate how long each activity will take. If it’s not a daily activity, write it down on the day of the week when you want to do it. Add these activities to your calendar like you would any other meeting or appointment. Schedule them when you are most energetic (for example in the mornings).
You can also make exceptions as needed if an opportunity comes up unexpectedly (for example if your toddler decides he wants to have a picnic).
Remember that this is just one tool to help you manage to be a working parent with small children.
It’s not perfect so don’t feel bad about making adjustments along the way!
It’s hard but it is possible to work from home with little ones.
Working from home with little ones isn’t easy at first, but it can be done. You will need to be flexible and creative, but you’ll get used to it. Don’t try to be perfect (because you will never achieve perfection). Just Start 🚀