There are certain advantages to working at the office and working from home. Working at the office allows you to have your own workspace where you can dedicate all the time and focus on the major tasks. Whilst working from home may give you certain flexibility and comfort. You may avoid paying for a ridiculously expensive lunch outside and save some time and money on transport too. Working from home with toddlers may be a good solution when you can’t afford or simply do not have the option of hiring a babysitter.
However, as with everything in this world, there are advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, it is up to each of us to decide what suits us best.
But what happens when we are forced to stay at home intending to maintain the same workload and take care of our children at the same time? This is when the challenge comes. But no worries, we have got you covered. We have put together these fantastic tips along with a guide on how to work from home with kids that may help you stay safe, and healthy, and enjoy your moments together while at home.
Frankly speaking, nothing is impossible, working from home as mom and dad is just a matter of a quick adjustment to a new reality which our body is capable to perform in the first seven days.
What is the most important for working from home parents?
You and your comfort are two incredibly important factors that you must not avoid by any means. Your children’s health and happiness come directly from your positive mood and sanity. So, today we are going to discuss how to manage family and work and what to consider when working from home with toddlers.
1. Create your workspace
When working from home with a toddler, we usually face one major problem called boundaries. Naturally, the boundaries between professional and personal lives tend to fade. There are too many distractions that you have to eliminate from your work schedule regardless of the fact of how it may be hard at the initial stage.
It is also hard for your children to absorb the new changes and adjust to the fact that during certain hours you cannot be interrupted unless it is an emergency.
One of the first things you should consider as a work from home mom and dad is creating your new workspace. You may already have one. But if you don’t, turn on your imagination and find one place where you can feel safe and focused.
Some of the creative ideas for your new workspace may be:
- Another room
- A storage room or space
- Wardrobe closet
- Garden shed where you can put a special layer of insulation and new wood panels in just under two days for a very reasonable price.
- Your bedroom
After you found your space, now it is time to set up your new office. There are so many creative ideas of how to do it but simply think of working from home with toddlers as it is something you have to do on a permanent basis. Do not save money on a proper desk, chair, and basic necessities that will help you to be more productive at work and allow you to finish your job faster to play with your kids.
Read more: Design your home office
2. Create the schedule and your child’s routine
As a dad and mom working from home, structure, and organization is an essential aspects of your life. You must set the schedule and stick to it so that your children and other members of the family adjust to a certain lifestyle too.
It is very important to separate a business role from a parent role, otherwise, it may become messy if you don’t have a clear picture. Discuss with your partner possible case scenarios and come to an agreement.
As an idea, if you have split your day into sections, then when you have got a block for work, that is when you are in your business role. But when you have a block for kids, that is when it is time to play mom or dad.
Read More: Advantages of Being a Working Mother
3. Carve out some slot time
Every family situation is different. If you have to maintain your work as usual but there is no chance to get support outside to take care of your children, you will then need to be creative finding some extra time for work and yourself. This is a magic trick of how to work with children and stay organized.
Here are some ideas to help you figure out what else can be used to be more productive:
- Wake up before everyone else and work a couple of hours in peace with a cup of hot coffee or tea. It may be difficult in the beginning but then you will notice how much you actually can accomplish in the first hours of the day, and how happy you will be to take some time for breakfast with your family.
- If your child takes some time for naps, this is an excellent opportunity to get some things done.
- What about the playtime? Introduce an hour of independent activities where you can work, and your child can make some interesting crafts or solve an important task in the meantime.
- You can also sign your child up for an interesting online class, such as making arts & crafts, dancing, exercising, singing, etc.
- Work when your child does his school assignment.
- Your child can help you with work too. What if you set up his own desk right next to yours, and let him sort out office supplies? You can think of creative games and exercises that may help you to focus on your work while your child feels proud of working with his parent.
Read More: Activity desks for toddlers
- If your child is up to one year old, one of the most useful accessories can be
- A sling
- A carrier
- A bouncer and rocker
- A walker
- A jumperoo
IMPORTANT: We created the Family Store, especially for you. By clicking on the image below you can find anything from Newborn’s First Kit, Baby & Family Essentials, Kids Travel to Travel Gear. We hope you will find something valuable for your own adventures!
Our shop contains products from other companies that we love and use! Everything is based on our values of quality over quantity.
4. Create time for special bonding
As a working mom from home, creating some special bonding time is a necessity. It mainly helps you and your baby to get together and relax. You and your child should be clear on what time the activity starts and how long it lasts.
Now the activity is entirely up to you. It can be a game proposed by your child or you. You can also do chores together such as loading the washing machine, cooking a dessert for dinner, cleaning a garden and splashing the water all over yourselves, then taking a bath. It is important to let your child help you because this is the way he feels important.
Another fantastic thing to do is to walk outside, visit the playground, or ride a bike, scooter, or skateboard. You can discover some plants, insects, and animals around you too. Daily physical activity and fresh air charge you and your child with lots of energy and joy.
There can be several times a day split into 15 minutes each, or an hour of activity, especially if you dedicate some time to eating together. It is entirely up to you. And this is also a beauty of working from home with toddlers when you can provide more quality time to yourself and your child.
5. Prepare for sudden interruptions and force-majeure allowance
When you work from home and your child knows it, it is extremely difficult to avoid tiny unnecessary interruptions. Depending on your child’s age, you may go through various stages when he or she will crave some attention. And that’s a downside of working from home with a toddler. Sometimes it involves doing some silly things from their side that can be hardly explained.
But just make sure there is enough patience, care, and love to deal with all this. Persistence is one of the keys too.
Our kids are little people who get stressed, tired, overwhelmed, and moody just like we do. Sometimes, they just want to stop by and see us, give us a hug, or ask us to play with them for a little while.
Note: If your child is trying to drive your attention, there is a chance he won’t stop until he gets it. Sometimes, it is worth putting down the work for 10 minutes and giving your little one the attention he deserves rather than getting annoyed with constant interruptions.
6. Maintain some flexibility at work
As mentioned previously, schedules, boundaries, and the whole structure you have built may not work as planned. Maintaining some flexibility and being transparent with your employer at the time is extremely important.
7. Communicate with your child
Your child is one of the most precious things in this world. Trust me when I say it, they hear you, they listen to you and they can understand your struggles.
It may be difficult for dads and moms working from home, but finding a way to communicate with your child will do the magic. Do not push your child away when you have got some urgent matter to solve at work but take one or two minutes to explain why you should do this work now and what you will be doing together as soon as you are off it.
Your child always waits for you to finish the work. Sometimes he can claim attention, sometimes tantrums are inevitable too. Just make sure there is enough patience, care, and love to deal with all this. Persistence is one of the keys.
Note: Have a “work from home” job that fits your toddlers. At the end of the day, nobody wants to feel upset, angry, or overtired. Every situation can be talked through and solutions can be found.
8. Outsource help
You are already amazing parents but sometimes we can’t do everything at once. You can always outsource some help by searching for a cleaning company, a person who can help you with various chores and cooking.
Another great idea is to engage with some Facebook Groups and other local mom communities where you can take turns and support each other by taking care of your children.
9. Secure childcare and seek government support schemes
Childcare helps a lot to stay focused on your work while your child is out making new friends and learning new things. There are quite a few government support schemes in the UK that you can find on the HMRC website.
If your child is under three years old, you may get the support of around £500 per quarter. But if your child turned three, he is eligible for 30 hours of free childcare, which gives you free time from 9 am to 3 pm every working day, or 8 am to 6 pm three days a week.
There are also different options such as a childminder and a babysitter that can pick up your child from the nursery and take care until you come to pick your baby up.
10. Arrange extra classes and activities
Search in your area for an opportunity to let your child visit some playgroups or activity classes he enjoys the most, such as
- Swimming classes
- Children’s centers offer playtime, baby yoga, fitness classes
- Art and craft classes
- Variety of sports activities
- Language groups and schools
- Online classes for kids
11. Deal with urgent matters productively
In case if you are in and out of your office but need to respond to a call or an e-mail urgently so that your child doesn’t interrupt you, there is one good trick to try.
Before accepting any calls or starting your email, let your child know that something super urgent came out and with his help, you can resolve this matter faster so that you can get back to play.
When he gets excited about helping you, help him to sit on his desk right to yours and let him sort a task. Here are a few ideas:
- Organizing your office supplies
- Filing your papers
- Taking ‘inventory’ of your pens and pencils
- Sorting things by color
12. Make the place safe
Working from home with toddlers may be challenging. Not always you will have a 100% focus on everything that is happening in your house.
This is why it is crucial to make sure your house is safe and child-friendly. You may secure access to the following items in order to prevent your baby from climbing, turning items upside down, pushing wrong buttons, or breaking things:
- Oven and stove
- Washing machine and dishwasher
13. Plan activities for your kids and yourself
Well, if you are happy, everyone is happy. So, planning the activities for your kids and you are actually a very good idea.
Here are a few ideas to stay social:
- Virtual playdates
Send some invites to your child’s friends and plan simple activities during the virtual interaction. Depending on the age of your child, you can have one parent leading the group and offering a variety of activities, such as drawing, coloring, reading books, or making some crafts.
- Sport activities
Sport and physical activities can be done virtually too. There are so many free online options that your kids would love, such as Cosmic Yoga, Kids dance classes, Art Hub for Kids, fitness, et cetera.
- Parent social club
This can be anything according to your interest. You can create a book club, movie club, sports viewing nights, coffee club for moms. There are tons of engagement groups on Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp.
- Parent pods
You can also create a shared pool of resources with other parents whose kids are close to your child. It will be a great support to think of meal plans, activity schedules, or lesson plans together.
14. Separate Mom and Business Roles
If you don’t learn to keep your roles as mom and businesswoman separate, giving each your full concentration for a set amount of time, you’ll never feel like you’re doing either well.
It is important that you structure your life the way that you have time for your work, time for your children, your partner, your friends, and yourself.
Creating your own home office space is one of the keys to separating mentally from the rest of the house.
If you live with a partner, it is important you form a schedule for supporting each other with work while taking care of your kids. This will mean that you will have time for work while the kids are also getting some much-needed attention from your partner and vice versa.
A few more tricks
- Embrace the change. Then patience will come, and challenges will be accomplished faster.
- Have your “ME Time” – it can be reading, meditating, dancing, exercising, running, cycling, getting out of the house walking.
- Plan on getting outside with your child and breathing fresh air.
- Set expectations and rewards.
Enjoy your experience of working from home with toddlers
IMPORTANT: We created the Family Store especially for you. By clicking on the image below you can find anything from Newborn’s First Kit, Baby & Family Essentials, Kids Travel to Travel Gear. We hope you will find something valuable for your own adventures!
Our shop contains products from other companies that we love and use! Everything is based on our values of quality over quantity.
To get more support from parents and family travellers, join our Parenting Support Group.
And follow us on Instagram to know our crazy expat life!
Also, check out:
- The best chairs for posture at home and complete office desk
- Activity Desks For Toddlers
- Advantages of Being a Working Mother
- Signs of Terrible Twos and How to Deal with Them
- Terrible Threes or How To Handle Terrible 3-Year-Old Tantrums
Welcome to check out our best product selection for parents and babies, including travelling gear and resources here.
This post may contain affiliate links that we may or may not receive a small commission for, at no extra cost to you. This helps to fund our blog but we never advertise for anything we don’t personally love or recommend. There is never any pressure to buy anything, we just like sharing things that make our life easier and help you find them if it is something you are looking for. Please, see our full disclosure here.