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!

 

Blocking IP’s From Trying to Log into Your WP Blog

There has been an increase in people attempting to blast into your WordPress site and us bloggers have had to add just one more task to our daily list of things to do; block IP addresses. Previously, I used to block an IP if it were someone I didn’t want accessing my sites due to harassment or for privacy reasons, but now I find myself taking time out of each day to block IP addresses of those from various countries attempting to hack into my blog just for fun. Wishing these people would find a new hobby!

Today I am sharing with you how I utilize a plugin called Wordfence and my HostGator dashboard to ensure each user that attempts a hack is now blocked by IP. Sure this doesn’t stop them forever, as many may be aware, you can change your IP address, but it helps keep my sites a bit safer.

How to Block IP From all Your Sites Using Wordfence and Hostgator

Once you have installed and activated the Wordfence plugin, you will start to received notifications that a user with IP address has been locked out from signing into your account or attempting a password recovery for your site. There is an option to go into the Wordfence plugin to block these IP’s that will come, but I much prefer to place them into my Hostgator dashboard IP Deny Manager because this will block the IP’s from accessing ALL of my sites I have on this hosting account.

How to Block IP From all Your Sites Using Wordfence and Hostgator

Once you log into your Hostgator Cpanel, you will see an area that says IP Deny Manager, click on that and the above screen will show up. Once in this screen, go back to the tab where you have the email open citing the IP address of the user who was been locked from signing into your account. Copy the IP address shared in the email and then come back here to paste the IP Address in the field open for placement of IP. Then click the Add button. Voila! From this point forward, that particular IP address will be banned from seeing/accessing ANY of your websites on this hosting account.

How to Block IP From all Your Sites Using Wordfence and Hostgator

I personally prefer to use the IP Deny Manager in Hostgator Cpanel because it alleviates the IP from having any future access to all of your websites. I have seen success in using IP Deny Manager.

If you or anyone you know would like to have this task handled by a Blogger Assistant, please do contact me directly through my business website. I will happily provide you with a weekly or month quote for me to provide you with this service, thus opening your time up for more important networking/marketing tasks!

 

Giveaway Blogger Talk: To Advertise or Not to Advertise, that is the Question

A conversation came up on Facebook the other day about a fellow blogger not receiving thank yous like she used to with winners from giveaways. At first I felt sad because I usually get a thank you from giveaway winners on my blog. Just the other day I received a sweet email from a giveaway winner that warmed my heart and made me sad all at once …

While I won’t quote the person exactly without their permission; they informed me that they are one of the furloughed families so to have this prize arrive was a wonderful thing. She will set it aside knowing that her daughter will at least have this for Christmas if nothing else. The person went on to say thank you from the bottom of their heart.

This email made a tear cross my eye because never did I think of giveaways actually helping those families in need. I, of course, used to enter giveaways for this reason; not having ability to afford many gifts for holiday seasons so why would I not realize that my hosting of giveaways is helping people much like my own self?

I often get thank yous from people who have won a giveaway on my site and I host a lot of giveaways. So why is that some bloggers are not feeling that grateful response from their giveaway winners? What is different in one blogger giveaway winners versus the other blogger giveaway winners?

Ding. Ding. Ding. {a light flashed and my brain went aha}

Continue reading →

How to Export Shutterfly Group Calendar to Google Calendar

I found myself sitting at my daughter’s cheer practice as the other parents started to say how one game was cancelled and another practice was cancelled but I had no clue. When I asked how they knew, their reply was that it was on the Shutterfly Group page for our cheerleaders. This is a group that I don’t usually log into for I get email notifications, well apparently I do not get an email notification when the group calendar events have been cancelled or edited. This is where I realized there was going to be an issue. I wanted to know how I could import my Shutterfly Calendar into my Google Calendar as that is what I use from my iPhone.

Shutterfly Calendar

While I do not believe importing my Shutterfly Group Calendar into Google will automatically update edits, this is something I will only find out if the Coach edits any current September dates/events, I am still able to have the current dates in my iPhone while I am on the road at soccer and cheer practices or while I am on the road making appointments for the children. Having the schedule in my iPhone really helps me to stay on track. I am a scatter brain with all I have to be responsible for, so having any way to keep better organized, I am game!

If you are like and found yourself wondering how can I import my Shutterfly Group Calendar into my Google Calender, this is how to do it:

  1. Click the options drop down menu, located in the upper right side of your calendar in Shutterfly.
  2. Click the Export Calendar button.
  3. You will be prompted to save the file, for me the webpage gave an “error loading” but the file still popped up for me to click to save it to my laptop.
  4. This means you have now exported your current Shutterfly Group Calendar onto your laptop or PC.

Google Calendar

How do I import my Shutterfly Group Calender into Google Calender:

  1. Open your Google Calender and beside the “Other calendars” area you will see a little drop down arrow.
  2. Within the drop down menu you will see an “import calendar” option, click that.
  3. You can then find your Shutterfly Calendar file within your files on laptop/pc and click it.
  4. Google Calender will then ask if you want to add this as a new calender or sync with a current one. Choose which fits what you want. I wanted it to be added to my  name calendar as it’s a personal calendar I was importing, not a client’s calendar.
  5. That is all, now you have successfully transferred your current Shutterfly Group Calender into your Google Calendar.

I do not believe by importing a Shutterfly Group Calendar into your Google Calendar means it will sync up when there are changes, so remember to check your Shutterfly Group page often and when there are changes import the calendar again following the above steps.

Still No Working Personal Computer, Laptop Only

While I love my laptop and am grateful as well as thankful and appreciative that I have it – my personal computer that I use for main working days in the office has been down for a while now. My ex husband, thankfully, is taking the time to figure it out but I am not rushing him because he has other things going on that keep him from putting my PC his first priority. That I completely understand. To be honest with you all, he DID fix it, return it to me and somehow it died. Again. We are pretty sure it may be a power supply because the PC was running through all the tests at his house over a weekends time just fine. BUT he is going to investigate it just to be sure.

In the meantime, I am going crazy here without Microsoft Office on my laptop, I am right now trying to get the setup to work but it keeps timing out. Big surprise. It seems lately everything I try to do ends up working after a ridiculously long process, but I keep plugging away.

This week my time to work was here, I had little for appointments and lots of time but I just couldn’t be as productive without my personal computer. I really am hoping to have it back soon.

Luckily I do use Xmarks for bookmarks, therefore no bookmarks have been lost. I also use the Firefox add-on Password Exporter so all my Passwords are transferred from one PC to the others. The only issue I have at the moment is that lack in access to my server computer that stores all pictures, business files and client data. I cannot get my laptop to connect to it at all.

Right now I am just doing the best I can with what I have … which means work isn’t as productive but it can get done and it will.

This too shall pass. So they tell me.

 

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