Juggling children and work can be a challenge, whether you work outside the home or you are a work from home mom, but, in some ways, work from home moms face more challenges than moms who work outside the home. After all, when you’re in a traditional office, you don’t need to worry that a coworker will burst into the room and scream “Mommy, he took my doll,” just as you are beginning an important conference call.
So how does a work from home mom manage to keep her children happy and busy while she is trying to get her job done?
First, you need to let your children know when you are not to be disturbed. Set up a schedule that includes playtime and work time and remind them that if they don’t disturb you while you are working, you will be able to give them your complete attention during playtime. As a reminder, use a do not disturb sign on your office door when you absolutely cannot be interrupted.
Of course, it is easy for your children to behave while you are working if they have something to do. Fill a box with games and toys that can only be used while mom is working. Make sure you add a new puzzle, coloring book, or small toy on a frequent basis, to keep your children interested.
If you don’t work on the phone, it is a bit easier to keep your children content when you are working. Set up an office space just for them, complete with a small table and chairs. Fill a lunch box with some of their favorite snacks and a few juice boxes each morning, so you aren’t inundated with requests for food and drinks. Add a children’s magazine, simple puzzles, coloring books, and art supplies. When your children are able to work along side you, the number of interruptions should decrease drastically.
For moms who really need peace and quiet, but have small children, a mother’s helper can be a great solution. Since you will still be in the house, you do not need a fully trained baby sitter to help out. Instead, look for a teen who has little babysitting experience, but likes kids. She will probably be happy to watch your children while you work for the cost of a few good after school snacks and a few dollars.
Finally, sometimes it’s just not possible to keep your children quiet and content while you are working. If your child is ill, you may just need to decide to take the day off. After all, the reason you are working from home is to have the flexibility to be there for your children when they need you!