We’ve got Work from Home Tips for Parents from parents who actually WFH. If you are new to the remote working scene or want to hear how you can better you working at home life, this is for you.
WFH Life with Kids
Let’s face it. Working from home is amazing. It’s freeing to not have to dress up, fight traffic, spend extra money on laundry and food. You can change out the laundry, let the dog out and deal with stress from the comforts of home.
But let’s talk that WFH life with kids, y’all. It’s not the same as working remotely without kids. There’s noise, schedules, and all kinds of cray cray.
Work From Home Tips for Parents
Let’s look at some tips to help you survive and thrive. These work from home tips for parents are from parents who actually WFH. We get it. We have 4 kids and you guys, and with 8 years in range – it’s always crazy around our house. Yet, our house also is a home office for 2 employees for 2 companies.
Here are some words of wisdom that we can share in regards to learning how to balance the chaos of kids with the work of well, work.
Create Office Hours
Create your office hours and make sure everyone knows that THIS is when you are working.
For us, my husband does the second round of school drop-off in the morning and leaves by 7:50 am. From 7:50 am until 5:00 pm – those are my office hours. My kids get home in 2 shifts, after 3 and after 4. They know MOM IS WORKING UNTIL 5 pm.
The same goes with my husband. He typically works from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm. The kids know and I know – between those hours, don’t disturb the bear (or dad.)
Dedicated Work Space – Home Office
Next, let’s talk dedicated work space. As much as I love working from bed, there’s a TV in our bedroom. I work for myself so it’s not a big deal for me to watch TV mid-day – but actually it is a big deal. As an entrepreneur, I have to be responsible for my actions and in order for me to not watch TV or take a mid-day siesta, I have to set rules in regards to working in my home office.
My dedicated work space is my home office. Your home office may be your kitchen table and that’s fine but find somewhere that works best for you. Preferably, even if it’s a closet – somewhere with a door.
Remember, we are talking work from home tips for parents – not work from home tips for people without kids. That’s a whole different ball game!
Take Turns Being the Responsible Parent
Determine who is the responsible parent. This may sound silly, but guys – I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had a situation and it’s like “who is the responsible parent who can take care of the kid or kids while the other parent works?” Determine how parenting while working from home works in your house.
My husband goes into the office a few times a week – while the majority of my job is done at home. When he is in the office, I am the responsible parent. If a kid are a doctor appointment when he is at work, most of the time I am the one to take them. If a kid calls home sick – I am the responsible parent.
Now, when he is working from home – he gets to be the responsible parent. See where I am going with this? It takes communication, give and take – but believe me. With 4 kids, every week it feels like there is something new going on and the role of responsible parent has to filled by one of us!
Summer with Kids While Working From Home
Alright, here’s another work from home tip for parents, let’s talk SUMMER.
This is an actual photo of my kid that I took on a day I totally didn’t realize that they had off for school. Whoops. Gotta love those surprise school holidays!
It’s fall and the kids are in school. All is great with the work from home parenting life – at the MOMENT but yall… come summer, it’s chaos. Chaos actually maybe too nice of a word to describe the insanity that happened our first summer with all the kids home, including 2 parents trying to work.
I’ll never forget the first year I had corporate work from home job and we had all of our school year covered with child care. I didn’t even think about summer and childcare because we work from home. WHOOPS.
4 kids bouncing off the walls with little to no structure while you are trying to work from home is insanity. Make a game plan for summer. Find camps, a nanny, create schedules – whatever you do, plan ahead. Summer with kids while working from home seriously is chaos. You’ve been warned, now prepare yourself!
Find a Quiet Hiding Space
And my last working from home tip for parents has to do with a quiet hiding space. This may sound super silly, but someday you are going to thank me.
Where is your quiet hiding space? No seriously. If you have a conference call and the kids are at home – and while you have an office, they are kids. Where are you going to take that call? Know your go to.
My go to quiet hiding space is my car. I’ve been known to work out of my car. Heated seats, NPR and no kids is a WIN!
Enjoying the WFH Perks
In all seriousness – being able to work remotely and have that extra time with my kids is everything.
- I am not worrying about rushing out the door in the mornings.
- If someone is sick, I am not leaving the office – driving 30+ minutes to try to get to the school to pick them up.
- I can surprise them at their school lunch more so then if I was in an office.
- Laundry can be moved mid-day. (Let’s be honest, I am not doing laundry mid-day, I suck at laundry.)
- If things don’t get done during office hours, I can work after the kids go to bed.
- No commute! We live in the country and working from home lets me not have to drive 45 minutes downtown!
This is just the start of the WFH perks, and ask a parent – these things are important.
That said – working from home with kids is challenging. I wanna hear your advice for working from home with kids. Leave a comment and tell us what tips you have for other wfh parents.
Work From Home Tips For Parents From Parents Who WFH is apart of our Work Remotely series.