There is a misconception about working from home with kids. Many think it is the best situation to be in. I work from home with my kids. It is definitely doable but there are downsides. You risk burning yourself out and struggling between looking after your children and doing your work.
Working from home advice
If you are looking at being a WAHM (work at home mother), here are some tips that might help.
7Choose Realistic Hours
If you have your children around, you are likely going to be unable to both look after them and work. If you can only work 15 hours a week, do not over commit. It is ok to turn down work. I have an alliance with some of my competitors and refer work that I cannot do to them.
If you can hire help, go for it! With a nanny, you’ll be able to add more hours to your work schedule. I personally wouldn’t do this when starting out. If you have a good client base, it would alleviate a lot of pressure.
5Work whilst they sleep
If you are lucky enough to have children that are still napping, this is a fantastic time to get some work done. Don’t forget to allocate at least 15 minutes to have something to eat and unwind before getting into it. I normally have 2 hours during the day when the children are asleep and 3 hours at night after they sleep.
4Get the children excited about “working”
If I have a lot on, I prepare activities for my children. I work from the dining table and have them sit there too. Sometimes they “write” reports or do some colouring in. Other times they play with play dough. This usually lasts up to 30 minutes before the children get bored.
I am so lucky that my parents help out. If you are able to get help from family, do it. Make sure you offer to pay a small amount for their help. It may be hard to get them to accept.
There used to be an amazing co-working space in Five Dock known as Bubs and Boardrooms. Unfortunately it has closed down but I have hopes that others like it will open. They hire nannies to look after your children whilst you use their internet facilities to work. With the lack of these spaces, if you find other mums in similar situations, why not offer to work from each others houses and hire a nanny or two to look after your children.
Don’t forget to switch off from work when you are looking after your children outside. The hardest task is knowing when it is work time and when it is parenting time.