As a work-at-home mom, you’ve likely chosen this particular career choice because you want to “have it all”—you want to spend quality time with your kids while you still pursuing a rewarding line of work. Of course, by working at home, you may struggle to maintain some semblance of separation between your personal and professional life. If you have very young children, who aren’t going to school yet, working at home may drive you crazy. Here are a few tips for balancing your work-from-home life such that you can get a lot done during the day without completely ignoring your children or leaving them to their own devices.

1.      Make sure you and your kids set up a structured schedule during your working hours.
The best way to keep your kids from distracting you is to be sure that you establish a schedule with them so that they understand you won’t be available for a certain part of the day. Especially if your children are young, it’s best for each of their activities to be scheduled in a specific order, so that they become accustomed to being on their own.
2.      Encourage a mix of educational and physical activities.
Of course, the hardest part is selecting enough activities that will keep your children engaged for several hours. It may be tempting to plop them in front of the television as you go about your day, but many hours of television daily can harm young children in terms of their physical health and mental development. If you have a fairly kid-friendly backyard, encourage your children to spend an hour two outside before you let them engage with technology like computers or television. Personally, I start by playing a few minutes outside with my kids, games like tag and hide-and-seek, which usually encourages them to continue doing it by themselves for a while. Once the hour or two is up, have snack time, followed by time for reading or playing word games. Keep their daily activities list a mix of education and physical.
3.      Take breaks to spend time with the kids.
Even if you do have many hours of work ahead of you every day, it’s important to remember that your children do need your attention throughout the day, not just when you are finished with work. If you make it a point to take breaks every once in a while to spend time with your kids, they will automatically become less dependent on you for your attention.
4.      Demarcate a “no kids” zone as your office.
It’s just as important for you to have a private home office as it is to spend time with your young children during the work day. Once your children associate break times with other areas of the house, they’ll learn to respect the fact that you have a work area that exists for you to work, and work only.

Working at home when you have young kids to entertain at the same time is definitely no easy task. But if you learn to structure your day together, and stick to a schedule, you’ll find that your dream of “having it all” can come true. Good luck!

Lauren Bailey researches and writes information on the best online colleges and degrees for modern students. She is also a freelance blogger and loves writing about education, parenting, new technology, lifestyle, and health. She welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren 99 @gmail.com.

Image source: maltratozero.com

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