Are you starting a work-from-home business? As a busy mom, launching a business may sound overwhelming (and it is!), but it can also be a fantastic way of building a new source of income for your household. Becoming your own boss puts you in charge of your career, which is something that can get overlooked with motherhood.
If you have done your research, you understand that a home-based business enables you to maintain a healthy work/life balance. So, you’ve made the decision to become a successful entrepremom. You’ve created a productive and inspiring home office where you can focus every day. Armed with your business plan and marketing know-how, you are paving the way to business success. At least, that’s what you believe.
But you’re not just a small business owner. You’re a mom who runs a business from home. And that means that you need to juggle your time between work and kids. If you are struggling to divide your attention between motherhood and business, you are not on your own. But we’ve asked moms who have made it work for their secrets. Here is how they manage to keep kids off their backs when working from home?
#1. Set the rules
It can be confusing for kids to understand that you can’t be disturbed, even though you are at home with them. The easiest and simplest approach is to have a little chat with your family. You can’t expect children to adapt to the new situation without a little help. This is precisely why it’s crucial to set some rules regarding your working hours. Let the kids know when you are working and when you are available. You can create a schedule plan and keep it visible to the family. Place it on the fridge so it’s easy to check for kids.
As part of your rule, you also want to create an emergency plan. It will encourage children to disturb you for important reasons. The most important part of the schedule is to make room for your family. Therefore, a fair work schedule should be shared with friends and family, should include easy rules for respecting each other’s time, and needs to fit the household routine such as breakfast time with the kids. Many moms find that introducing a happy hour during the day or after work for bonding with the kids will encourage them to respect your working hours.
#2. Ask your parents to help
Little ones need constant attention and entertainment. So, it can help to ask a friend or a relative to watch over them when you want to work. You could arrange for the kids to spend time with your parents or your sister during the week. Sometimes, you only need a couple of hours of peace throughout the week to make it work. Everybody is different. Some mothers choose to arrange for someone to watch over little ones for a day in the week, while others need to schedule childminding support every day. We all have different needs, so there is no right or wrong when it comes to managing your day.
#3. Find playful teaching games
For older kids, you can find education tools that can not only keep the kids off your back but also support their learning abilities. Something as simple as online math games is a game-changer for busy parents. You can focus on your work while the kids are improving their math skills. Parents who already homeschool their children are familiar with educational games that can be used to support the curriculum. But if you are a newcomer to teaching material outside of school, it can be worth joining a homeschooling network, where other parents can help you find the right tool.
Fun and playful language apps such as Duolingo can also be a great way of keeping teens occupied. It is a win-win for the whole family. You can work in peace, and they can improve and learn skills.
#4. Prepare snacks for them
When kids are used to seeing you at home with them, it can be a learning curve to realize that you are not always available. But you can let them know that you are always thinking of them, even when you are busy with a client. You could prepare delicious and healthy snacks for them to enjoy throughout the day. Nothing says mommy loves handmade frozen banana bites to enjoy after school. If your kids do a lot of sports, you can pack some yummy fruit leather for them. It’s high in energy, and you can also season and sweeten to their tastes.
In the morning, you can make a bunch of smoothies to encourage them to consume more fruits and veggies. Green smoothies with kiwis, bananas, and mangoes are a delicious morning drink. You can add a handful of fresh spinach to pack a bunch. Healthy and handmade snacks are much more impactful than store-bought ones. They show your kids you care.
#5. Create a treasure map
If you are working during the summer break, it can be tricky to keep kids busy. Friends and neighbors can give you a hand with the kids. But, you can also create fun at-home activities for them to enjoy. If your kids are familiar with escape rooms, you can find plenty of inspiration to create similar games inside your living room. A lot of escape games in a box are fully suitable for kids, so it’s a good idea to get oner and test their reactions.
If they love it, why not take inspiration from some of the puzzles to create a unique adventure? Treasure quests are some of the easiest themes to set up at home. You can hide some treats for the kids. Use puzzles, riddles, and logic games to guide them through the adventure. It can be hours of fun, and you can be sure they will let you work.
#6. Set up chores for them
Why not repurpose their spare time to save you time with household management? You could create an accessible and simple to-do list for the kids. Introduce them to the idea of wages too. They can choose they pay based on the chores they decide to do. For example, suppose the to-do list includes tidying up their bedroom, cleaning the shoes, and watering the houseplants.
You can assign a reward per job, such as 30 minutes on the video console or a meal from their favorite fast-food restaurant. Older kids can also carry out more elaborated tasks, such as doing the dishes and looking after their younger siblings. The process can be highly positive as it teaches them responsibilities and the joys of a job well done.
#7. Schedule common breaks throughout the day
You can’t expect your kids to leave you alone all day. So, you want to make it clear that you are both a mom and a business owner. Therefore, it can be helpful to discuss what they want to do with you when you take a break from work. Younger kids will be happy to sit on y our lap and play. But older ones may prefer other activities, such as going shopping together or discussing topics that are meaningful to them. Intentionally assigning time in your schedule where they get a say on what you do can be beneficial. Kids want to feel that you are not choosing between work and them, especially if the work-from-home routine is new.
Running a business and being a mother is an everyday challenge. You can’t stop being a mom, but at the same time, you also need to focus on your venture. Therefore, we hope these little tricks will help bring your family peace and support your career.