How to Be a Productive Work at Home Parent
with Kathy Moore
Being a productive work at home parent can be challenging without a proper plan. Here are some tips on how to be a productive work at home parent so that you can make the most of your time.
Transcript: How to Be a Productive Work at Home ParentHi, I am Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Working from home while caring for young children is truly a challenge. I know firsthand, it is not always as easy as it appears. This program offers tips for parents on how to make the most out of working from home.
Creating a Good Environment to Be a Productive Work at Home ParentFirst, designate a space that is strictly for work. Creating an actual office with a door is the best, but even if you have a cabinet or work area in another room, be sure the whole family knows this is your work area and it is not a play area.
Plan your family time and work time separately. For me, this means setting aside several hours of the workday as time I will be in the office, not doing laundry, reading books or making snacks. Share this schedule or routine with your kids. This really takes discipline to create and stick to a routine, but it is vital to accomplishing anything.
Arrange for Childcare During Work TimeDuring this work time, arrange for in home childcare if you can or plan it during when your kids are napping or even after they are asleep at night. Be realistic about this time, too, especially if you do plan to work around naps. While babies definitely sleep more than toddlers, neither is reliable, and if you have a newborn, you will need your rest, too.
Older kids can be taught that mom is working and cannot be interrupted except for emergencies. My four year old understands this, and is eager to take a leadership role with her little brother. I plan projects for them to work on while I am in the office. Coloring, play doh or sticker crafts are ideal activities to get them going. Sometimes I also set up a toy they have not seen in a while and that sparks their own creativity for independent play.
Tips for Being a Productive Work at Home ParentInvolve your children when you can with your work. This could be as simple as letting them help stamp envelopes or going with you to buy office supplies or run other business related errands.
Lastly, just like with your work, make consistent time to play with your kids. If your children know you will be spending fun time with them at a specific time, they are much less likely to be irritable when you do need to work.
With a bit of planning and a few simple steps, working from home can be a win-win situation for you and your family. It takes a clear vision, discipline and drive, but the rewards really do outweigh the sacrifices.
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