Working From Home With Kids – 15 Mommy Bloggers Share Their Tips

Oh man, Working From Home With Kids during this never-ending pandemic has been so incredibly tough! As a parent myself, I know we somehow make the impossible possible, but this situation has pushed us to the brink.

With so many daycares and schools closed for safety, we’ve had to juggle our jobs and childcare by ourselves.

Although the research shows most kids don’t get very sick from COVID, they can easily spread it to the rest of the family. So keeping them home protects everyone’s health. But wow, it has turned our lives upside down!

So many companies now want employees to work remotely to prevent outbreaks. That’s great, but for parents it means non-stop balancing between conference calls and temper tantrums. Exhausting!

A frustrating Brookings study found 23 million working parents in America don’t have any family support system or caregivers. How do they cope!? Those of us with kindergarten age or older kids might have an easier time compared to parents with babies and toddlers who require constant hands-on care and attention.

I truly don’t know how they do it, my heart goes out to them.

This topic is so hugely important right now for millions of struggling parents. We desperately need ideas and support. So I reached out to 15 parent bloggers and asked….

What Tips for Working from Home with Kids, Parents That Are Working from Home with Babies and Kids Under 7 Years Old?

Oh my goodness, juggling work and childcare during this never-ending pandemic has pushed parents like me to the absolute limit! As if parenting isn’t hard enough already, now we’re trying to handle our jobs and temper tantrums simultaneously. It’s frustrating and exhausting!

I feel awful for the millions of working parents struggling without regular childcare or family support right now. My heart especially goes out to those with babies, toddlers or young kids who need constant hands-on care and attention. I honestly don’t know how they do it. We desperately need tips, ideas and camaraderie to get through this.

Expert Advice for Parents Working from Home

To dig deeper into this hugely important topic, I reached out to 15 parent bloggers and asked them:

Brenna Leslie: Patience Is Crucial When Balancing Work and Childcare

Brenna Leslie

As a mom myself, I know we somehow make the impossible possible when it comes to our kids. But wow, this pandemic has pushed parents to the breaking point!

With so many daycares closed and companies now remote, we’re frantically juggling work meetings and temper tantrums. It’s frustrating! Kids need play time, learning activities and exercise each day. For parents working from home, scheduling all that around conference calls is a mammoth challenge.

My #1 tip? Patience! With yourself, your spouse and especially the kids. This is hard on everyone. Communication is also key – coordinate schedules and meal prep where possible. We’ll get through this tough situation together.

Hayley Gallagher: Rely on Consistent Routines– The Centered Parent

Here are my tips for maintaining sanity while working from home with little ones:

  • Create visible routines. Use chalkboards, whiteboards or posters so young kids can “see” the schedule. Involve them in making it so they’ll follow along. Routines are crucial when you only have a few minutes between meetings to handle meltdowns!
  • Schedule learning time with parent-approved YouTube channels and educational apps. We love The Brain Scoop, Crash Course Kids and SciShow Kids at our house!
  • Institute “chill out time” even for kids who skip naps. Help them design a cozy spot for reading, music and art. This quiet time allows you to focus on work without constant interruption.
  • Call in reinforcements when you have important meetings or deadlines. Don’t feel bad asking family or friends to entertain the kiddos at the park if needed. Most people are happy to lend a hand!

Sandi Schwartz: Get Outside for Nature Breaks

Happy Science Mom,As a scientist mom passionate about child development and mental health, I cannot stress enough the importance of daily nature time. Especially now with everyone so stressed and isolated from normal routines.

Connecting with nature, even for short bursts, reduces anxiety and boosts moods. It’s also a special bonding opportunity if shared as a family. Seriously, just eating lunch under a nice tree can provide benefits!

Other great outdoor options include gardening together, family walks, backyard yoga, art projects, etc. Building this habit helps the days feel more relaxed and happy even in tough times. I truly believe nature is powerful medicine.

Kealy Hawk: Foster Independent Play– Little Bear Care

My top tip for maintaining sanity while working from home with little kids is to focus on independent play. I’ve babyproofed the living room and filled it with open-ended toys like blocks, puzzles, kinetic sand and art supplies.

I’ll play with them at the beginning of the day to model creativity and imagination. As they take the lead playing, I’m able to sneak away and tackle work projects. Self-directed play allows kids to problem solve while giving parents much needed breathing room! It does take effort establishing this habit but so worth it.

Tonya Mickelson: Stay Realistic, Hydrated and Honest!– The Writer Mom

As a writer mom of a 4 year old, almost 2 year old and a baby I watch some days, my best advice is:

  • Be realistic about what you can accomplish work-wise. Your productivity won’t match pre-pandemic days. Prioritize and make to-do lists to stay focused amidst constant interruptions.
  • Schedule outdoor time daily – even just a quick mailbox trip! It’s good for everyone’s mood and concentration.
  • Keep water handy so you don’t get dehydrated rushing around.
  • When on calls, tell people you’re working from home with kids. Most are understanding of background noise. If it’s too chaotic, offer to call back in a bit.
  • I learned to type one-handed while holding babies – not easy but survived those early months! Toddler days allow me to be slightly more productive. We’ll all get through this!

Crystal Garman: Set Realistic Goals and Use Naptime Wisely – Simply Full Of Delight

My tips for maintaining focus while working from home with littles:

  • The night before, make realistic daily goals based on your workload and childcare duties. You simply can’t get as much done with constant distractions.
  • When kids are happily playing or napping, avoid easier tasks like social media. Use that precious time for projects requiring deep concentration like writing.
  • With clear goals and timeframes, you’ll feel more satisfied in balancing childcare and work instead of just constantly overwhelmed.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus: Meet Young Kids Where They Are With Compassion– Impact Parents

I’ve noticed parents of kids ages 5ish to 8 struggling lately as school restarts – regression, antsy behavior, meltdowns, social isolation. It’s no wonder! Young kids see the world very concretely in “black and white”. A month or year feels like an eternity. And home plus school blending together is confusing.

My tips:

  • Don’t pretend nothing’s wrong. Kids feel uncertainty deeply. Help them process changes and build resilience by modeling it yourself. Show confidence handling unpredictability.
  • Give grace around skills backsliding. Focus on where they’re at now rather than where “they should be”. A lot was put on their little plates this past year! Celebrate small wins.
  • Practice radical compassion – for them and you! We all have big feelings right now. Allow each other space to feel heard and supported. Pick yourselves back up with self-kindness.
  • It’s okay to make mistakes! Model flexibly solving problems. Some of life’s greatest lessons happen when things don’t go as planned!

Barbara Nevers: Wake Early, Stimulate Independent Play and Swap Sitting– Neo Little

As a fellow mom doing the pandemic parenting hustle, my tips for balancing tiny humans with work-from-home projects:

  • Wake up before kids to tackle pressing tasks without distraction. Also prep/plan ahead as much as possible.
  • Encourage independent play with simple, engaging activities to occupy toddlers for a couple hours between meltdowns. Naptime means more focus time for you!
  • If options are limited, swap childcare with another parent for a set period of time. You gracefully handle work stuff while kids enjoy playdates. Everyone wins!

Sarah Miller: Engaging Toys Reserved for Work Times Only– Homeschooling 4 Him

I have special toys and activities just for when I’m working to make that time more interesting for my 5 year old and 2 year old. They look forward to “work toys” since we save them for when mommy’s busy!

A big help is sticking to consistent blocks of time for their activities vs my work. I can concentrate fully during my daughter’s daily quiet reading/rest period and son’s nap. Knowing evening is family time only also makes early work focus easier on everyone.

It can be hard fitting work between parenting tasks. But I’m learning to set firmer work boundaries to feel accomplished yet still present.

Gert Mikkal: Easy Indoor Activities Are Key!– Dad Progress

When my 2 year old’s daycare closed temporarily, I took care of him while working from home. Even without a pandemic, focusing is tough with a busy toddler around! Here’s my top tip:

Make a list each evening of 4-5 easy indoor activities for the next day – sensory bins, art projects, puzzles, etc. Rotate favorites to keep him engaged for a few hours at a time. I could actually get small blocks of deep work done without resorting to unlimited TV.

Preparing activities ahead takes the stress away and allows more productivity than trying to make up games spontaneously amidst chaos. Such a simple trick but made a big difference!

Allie Schmidt: Establish Boundaries and DIY Solutions– Disability Dame

My top tips for maintaining work/life balance while handling a young kiddo:

  • Define clear work hours or zones that are off-limits to them. Working near the kitchen table? Maybe between 1-3pm kids know not to interrupt unless urgent. These parameters help differentiate between parent/employee roles.
  • Create little rituals around the beginning and ending of the “work day” to further ingrain the transition. For example, we eat breakfast together then mom starts working. An evening walk signals work is done.
  • Make DIY solutions to cover kids’ needs when you’re swamped. Easy snack bins, activity baskets for independent play etc. Anticipating needs fosters their independence so everyone stays sane!

Jessica Speer: Movement, Focus and Together Time!

No wonder parents nationwide are struggling to find balance with school from home adding to already full plates! Some ideas:

  • Create a dedicated workspace and consistent daily schedule optimized for your child’s needs.
  • Praise effort, not just outcomes. “I appreciate how focused you were for 15 whole minutes!”
  • Studies show 15 minutes of exercise like trampolines or jogging boosts attention – win/win!
  • Help kids break big projects or loads into small, manageable chunks.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of healthy routines around meals, bedtime and family time. Makes everything else smoother!

Marissa LaBuz: Stick to Similar Pre-Pandemic Routines – Just Simply Mom

My top tips for staying focused while working from home with kids:

  • Detailed schedules outlining work blocks, teaching times, play time, etc are essential. Knowing what comes next increases everyone’s productivity.
  • Keep daily routines as close as possible to “normal” pre-pandemic life. Consistency and structure help kids emotionally.
  • Take turns on childcare duties with your spouse so you each get some distraction-free hours to focus intently.
  • Pick ideal workspaces for yourself and the kids – Make yours off-limits to promote concentration. Make theirs fun and engaging to occupy them.
  • Maximize nap time! Use those precious hours for computer work needing full attention to detail without constant disruption.

Amelia Zamora: Have Kids “Work” Next To You– Mama Bear

My 5 year old and 2 year old love “working” right alongside mommy! I give them paper, pens, an old tablet, etc and have them make drawings or work on projects as I tackle my own workload. They feel very grown up with this special play.

If they lose interest, no worries…I get out playdoh, kinetic sand or other engaging activities on the kitchen floor near me. This way they’re happily occupied within eyesight while I power through writing or computer projects. We’re in this together!

5 Productivity Tips for Working Parents

Aside from the wonderful advice shared above from fellow moms and dads in the trenches, here are 5 additional tips for balancing babies and business:

  • Maximize sleep time – Naptime and nighttime are prime opportunities for completing more complex work tasks without constant interruption.
  • Share duties – If both parents work from home, take turns being “on point” for childcare. Gives you each blocks of distraction-free time.
  • Schedule strategically – Plan your week anticipating what work projects need deep focus vs what can be done piecemeal around feedings or playtime.
  • Multitask when possible – Try wearing a hands-free pumping bra or nursing while tackling emails. Every minute counts when you’re ultra busy!
  • Prioritize self-care – Carve out small windows each day for your own health and sanity – take a quick walk, listen to uplifting music, etc. Happy parents raise happy kids!

I hope these tips from teachers, scientists, psychologists and decades of parenting wisdom help alleviate some stress for the millions of moms and dads working overtime right now on both the home and career fronts. You’ve got this! Much love.

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