WAHM – Summer is Coming, How to Work at Home with Kids on Break

I have spent the past 8 years working from home; I started off with 2 years in direct sales then moved to blogging and social media marketing in 2008. That is where I am at today, with a built up network of thousands of people, I spend my days connecting with a variety of people from all walks of life. The majority of my connections are work at home parents, mainly work at home moms {WAHM}. The biggest concern I hear from Moms who have chosen to work from home is that;

They fear that they are spending far too much time stressing out how to balance kids and work. They fear that their kids are not getting the attention they deserve nor is the Mom being the Mom she wants to be.

All too often the scenario of a work at home Mom goes like this;

Mom is juggling that active child or children in the home all the while trying to work from a laptop or smartphone and keeping the kids entertained long enough to get client work done.

This turns into screaming matches, kids going for more negative attention because they are lacking positive attention. A WAHM can really struggle with balance and this can affect all areas of their life; from relationships to parenthood. I have an answer for you, there are ways you can successfully work from home while having children in the household, this will take some hard work on your end, building of trust between parent and child as well as a foundation of love and respect going both ways. It can be done, without yelling matches, kids seeking negative attention and Moms ready to cry all night.

Tips for WAHM to Find Balance during Summer Break

“Image courtesy of bandrat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

 Having a child with autism has really assisted me in being more proactive than I already naturally was; this means that children thrive in knowing and trusting what is going to come next in their day. Autistic children tend to be more rigid about the need for a predictable day, however, all children really do thrive on a routine.  The first step to successfully balancing work from home and children during Summer break is;

Set up the day ahead of time, think about how you want your days to go before the first day of Summer vacation hits. This means, any deadlines you know you have to meet or articles that have to be written, marketing that has to be done, etc etc, must be set into a schedule that you create for your own self. During your scheduled work hours, find some crafts or activities your children will be able to enjoy with no or minimal parental interaction.

Setting up your own schedule makes you stick to your time of work versus parenting and it also allows your children to trust that their parent will be paying them some awesome attention after a certain time comes. Tip: Try to plan your work hours in 1-2 hour blocks of time, this creates a balance between work & play. If your kids do best with some electronic time in that period that you work, then allow it, do not feel you have to mold into some perfect parent, us WAHM’s do what we need to in order to be successful in both parenthood and work. You are not a bad parent if you use electronics for a minimal period of time so that you can work.

Once you have a schedule set in place, create a poster board that exhibits the times when Mommy is working and when the kids are doing an activity. Make note what activity they will be doing as well as the start and end time. If your kids are like mine, setup a digital clock in their set “play area” so that they know what time it is. Tip: Put an analog clock beside the digital one to help kids learn how to read an analog clock! If your child works better with a timer set, buy a kid friendly timer that will beep when time is up; that’s much like their school days go and the beeper will remind you to log off work time.

Sit down with your kids and explain how the Summer time is going to go. Stick to your schedule to build trust and respect from your children. There is nothing more that makes  a child happier than knowing their parent is doing what they say they will do. Kids are literal people and want to know that their parent puts them as an important part of their world. Giving your kids time alone to learn to entertain themselves only works best if you have a schedule and activities setup beforehand. Few kids will just go “find something to do” when you are barking at them to do so in the middle of your work shift.

It may be a difficult adjustment, having this routine in place, but I firmly believe the end result will be a happy family Summer break. You will feel pride in your children for sticking with the schedule as well as pride in yourself for successfully jugging children and work at home. The kids will learn more respect and trust as well as ways to entertain their own self, a skill they will need to master for the real world!

I firmly believe that these tips listed here will help you have a wonderful Summer, I utilized the poster board schedule last Summer with huge success! The boys really liked knowing what time things were happening and it helped them to maintain a routine much like they get during the day at school. I found that I could get more work done in peace, without feeling guilty for not playing with them 24/7 and that they were much happier when I did step away from my work time to do something with them. We spent a lot of time at the park and beach because I was more relaxed having this schedule in place and knowing my kids were respecting it. When a WAHM is more relaxed, the children are more relaxed!

I hope this helps you in working from home this Summer break! Cheers to your success in juggling parenthood and work at home!

 

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37 comments

  1. aimee fauci (13 comments) says:

    We are so not scheduled as far as summer goes. We have goals and such but no scheduled. If we schedule I try to plan it out the day before IF we have plans the next day.. Whoosh.. I hope we survive this one coming up.

  2. Debra (13 comments) says:

    I work from home one day a week and I say it’s my toughest day of work! It’s hard to stay focused when the kids are around and things need to get done around the house. It’s staying on schedule though that’s key to getting anything accomplished – well that and some quiet!

  3. Mickey (11 comments) says:

    Good tips! It is hard to work from home with children. I can only work during naptime and after everyone is in bed and whenever there is a sickness or injury, just hope that the PR reps are understanding. :)

  4. Karen (58 comments) says:

    These are such great tips. I love the idea of creating a schedule beforehand. I tend to be able to get things done when I let my daughter play on a tablet for a little while or watch a movie.

  5. Beth@FrugalFroggie (16 comments) says:

    I really hope to get a schedule this summer with my kids. Fun activities along with learning activities. i think most people have to do what works best for them in regards to work, life, balance.

  6. Kayla @ TheEclecticElement (2 comments) says:

    I most definitely admire woman, moms, and even dads who work from home while maintaining their household and taking care of their kids. That’s a LOT to do and they manage it like superwoman even if they don’t look at it that way.

    These are some great tips for newbies and veteran work at home moms (and dads)!

  7. Jenn (65 comments) says:

    This is my reality and exactly how I feel! Like a crappy mom. Any advice for those of us with preschoolers who are home year-round and can’t tell time or understand the poster?

  8. melinda (34 comments) says:

    having older children i have a little advantage where they can entertain themselves. i do cut back in the summer though so we have time together

  9. Amanda (44 comments) says:

    Balance is something that is hard for me. I work so hard at my business and especially now that my son is older and wanting to go off with his friends more and play more independently. I struggle with both of us stopping our independent stuff and need to make even more time for us just us.

  10. Barbara (10 comments) says:

    I have been a stay at home mom of two for two years. In October our finances decided I needed to go back to work. I still need to be home with the kids so I work nights. It is exhausting. I am now trying to find something better. I love the idea of working from home. I hate missing my daughters tball games and dance classes. I hate missing dinner and prayer time before bed. There is so much that I miss. My fear is fake companies offering my dreams. How do you get involved in blogging and get paid for it? How do you find a legit company?

  11. Liz Mays (20 comments) says:

    I imagine that setting up ground rules and making sure everyone understands how it’s going to work is super important. It would help the transition go smoother.

  12. Di (1 comments) says:

    Great post! I worked for myself when my children were young, but had to leave the home. As a single mom, I missed out on so much. So great to see how times have changed and it is possible to stay at home and work :)

  13. Theresa (28 comments) says:

    We thrive on a schedule too. Having to rearrange that schedule when summer comes can get a bit tricky, but you have provided some very helpful tips to make it more manageable!

  14. Chelsea (6 comments) says:

    These are great tips. I am not a mom, but I am self employed and do work from home. I definitely am finding it a challenge to balance wanting to be outdoors in the sun what with the weather getting nicer with doing actual work in my office. I’ll keep your tips in mind!

  15. Camesha (6 comments) says:

    Great points! Structure and routine are so important. It makes everything run so much smoother when everyone knows (in general) what to expect.

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