Kids on summer vacation from school and you still have a job to do? A job that requires you to work while they are at home in your midst? It may seem scary and impossible. As a veteran homeschool teacher and work at home mom, I have learned a trick or two. You can maintain a work at home job when the kids are on summer vacation.
Keep busy items on hand. Working at home in the presence of the kids requires creativity on the parent's part. Of course you will need to play with the kids and give them attention. But there is no reason they shouldn't also have some playtime independent of you. In fact, it’s probably good for them. During those times, they can play with what I call busy items. This would be any item that the kids are very interested in and can play with for long periods of time. Craft supplies, puzzles, building blocks, crossword (and other pencil) books, and favorite stories are just some ideas. Whatever keeps your child busy will be ideal for this time. When it is your child's busy time, it's also your busy time with work.
Take family field trips and schedule activities. This may seem like a distraction to your work from home job. But if you don't take care of yourself and your family, you are not going to perform as well at work. Take time out for fun so that the kids know you care and so you can get in a break. When you can have fun days mixed in with the work days, it helps create balance, leaving you and the kids less frustrated during work time. You can also schedule activities for the kids, such as team sports, dance, and other things they may be into. Be sure to schedule both activities you can participate in with them, as well as those they do independently. Work harder at home when the kids are away and enjoy them when you can have fun together.
Schedule what you can around the noisiest times. You know what times the kids are most likely to be full energy. Try to schedule family fun into that slot and your work in another. Chances are that if you try to work through the noise, you'll get less done. You might as well save the work for later if you can. As I always say, 10 minutes of focused time is more valuable than an hour of chaos. Fit your work in where it makes sense, if your work at home job is at all flexible. Because I am a writer, I can write at any time. Sometimes I find myself writing during graveyard hours because it just didn't happen that day. If you have to, try changing your hours so that you are not working at all when the kids are home or awake.
Call in a mommy's helper. If all else fails, hire someone to help you out. My oldest child is a teenager, so she can do this when necessary. Just have someone around (perhaps an older child or a good friend) who can supervise the kids while you work. You can still be the main supervisor, as I am in my house. But the mommy's helper can help with things like keeping the kids busy, preparing lunch, cleaning up small messes, answering the phone, and more. Even though you are paying this person, when it's an older child, be careful not to work them too hard. You should still be the main supervisor. But having a mommy's helper can really take away a good amount of the stress and frustration so you can get your work done.
Just let it flow. This is probably my life saver tip. Sometimes it helps to just relax and let things go however they go. My work at home career is pretty flexible, as far as time. There are deadlines at times. However, I find that I get things done best when I don't over plan or over schedule. I just do the work when I can and let things flow. Sometimes I want to work when the kids want to have fun. If I don’t have a deadline, I don't worry about it. I just have fun with the kids, such as when we take our nature walks. I complete the work when we get back. There are times when work has to come first. But the kids should also know they matter. For me the key to keeping it all together is letting go of all the worry. My mind is freer, I get more work done, and my family is much happier.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
If you’re a parent, you may feel that you never have the time to write. But no matter how busy you are, it can work – and work well. As an experienced parent who writes for a living while holding down another F/T career, I have a wealth of experience getting things done with lots of kids in the picture.
Keep the kids busy.
If you want to have time for writing, you first need to make sure the kids are occupied. If you have bored, cranky, and unhappy kids, you’ll never get any work done. Some of my favorite stay busy activities for kids include crafts, learning games on the computer, family games I can play with them while I write, building blocks or Legos, and park playgrounds where I can safely watch them while writing.
Write when you can.
This is easier than it may seem. There are always moments where you can fit in some work, even if they are small. Sometimes I only have five minutes at a time to get things written. But that’s okay. If you grab those minutes every time, you’ll have finished work sooner than you think. They add up pretty quickly. Some of my favorite times are while I’m making dinner, when I can’t sleep at night, while the kids are getting ready for school, when we’re watching movies, and when the kids are playing at the park.
Stay ready to work.
Bring your laptop, tablet, or paper and pen everywhere you go. I’ve even written articles in my cell phone when a moment strikes me. No matter what you’re doing, always have at least one way to work. You never know when you might have a free moment. Parents stay busy, but there are always little opportunities if you stay prepared.
Trade babysitting duties with other parents.
This can be a real lifesaver for all parties involved. Take a friend’s kids for a few hours or a day while they get some work done. Then, let them return the favor for you another day. This gives everyone a good amount of free time to get things done. If you don’t want to be away from your kids, an alternative is to have a friend come over and occupy the kids while you write.
Stay happy and energized.
If you aren’t happy and healthy, your writing will suffer. Be sure to eat plenty of brain food and stay hydrated. Also, make sure you’re doing things that keep you and the kids happy. Doing things other than just writing and going through a monotonous routine can help keep you inspired. While this may seem to take away more time you could be using to write, it actually should help keep your mind more focused and productive when you do get a chance to work. I’ve found that I produce more in less time if I’m feeling happy and healthy.
Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this here on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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