Managing children, work, and home means you’re no stranger to stress, especially when your regular schedule or routine is thrown off unexpectedly. I recently found myself battling a sinus infection, going back and forth with my editor on article revisions while other projects waited on my desk, and my husband away on business. Stress took on a new meaning as I battled through fatigue, feeling like my head was going to explode, and seeing to my toddler’s needs [which seemed to coincide with each time I sat at my desk]. I wanted to scream to let out my frustrations, sleep away my cold, and to clear my schedule of all assignments; none of these were an option. Working from home with children is a blessing…if you are able to manage it!
As my workload increases, I find myself caught in a constant juggling act, trying to carve out more time to work while I stay at home with my son — it’s difficult! Scheduling seems to be the key to organizing the many jobs that I do, and here’s how you can manage working from home with children:
1. Be An Early Bird
I’ve always been a morning person, though my early morning chipperness was lost during the first, wakeful nine months of my son’s life. Once he settled into a sleep routine, and was sleeping through the night, I began waking earlier than him to have a little time to myself each morning. These days, I’m an early riser out of necessity, often waking at 4:30am (as I did this morning to write this) to put two hours of work in before my son wakes. This works best for me, in terms of my writing, as my mind is freshest in the early hours of the morning. In fact, I almost never write anything after 11am.
2. Schedule Your Time
Scheduling and managing my time [efficiently] is still something I work at, as I often have multiple assignments due within the same time frame, knocking me off of my usual routine. For the most part, I work four to five hours each morning, monitor social media and emails throughout the day, and will put in another hour of work in the evenings after my son has gone to bed. My work schedule was born out of necessity: I write best early in the morning, and I can usually wrap things up during the first two hours my son is awake. With my current schedule, I’m able to spend the majority of the day with my son, attending music class, running errands, taking a walk or a quick trip to the zoo, while still having a significant portion of my day allocated for work.
3. Hire Help
We don’t live near family, so I’m unable to enlist the help of a village to care for my son. Until last week, I was juggling things on my own and feeling overwhelmed on an almost daily basis. If I wasn’t passionate about what I do, I would have surely cracked long ago. When I accepted a new freelance position a few weeks ago, I made it my mission to find a mother’s helper to come in and occupy my son while I worked. I had originally planned on one day a week for three hours, but at the end of her first visit, I arranged for her to come in twice a week. D loved having a new playmate, and I was incredibly productive with several hours of uninterrupted work time. The nice thing about mother’s helpers is that you can often find a neighborhood teen to come in and lend a hand at a reasonable rate (I was a mother’s helper when I was 11 years old for a WAHM mom). Because I need morning hours, a neighborhood teen isn’t an option, but I did find a young, energetic and hardworking college student with two free mornings a week to help us out. A mother’s helper is a wonderful budget-friendly option to help manage your kiddos while you take care of necessary household/work tasks.
4. Make Time for Yourself
I work seven days a week, and often find myself overwhelmed and in need of a break. Again, I’m passionate about my projects, so I never really feel as though I’m working, but everyone needs a break once in a while! Last month I treated myself to a spa day and enjoyed the lasting effects of a great massage, reflexology work, and a facial. I even got my nails done, which was a nice treat since I work with my hands!
5. Manage Your Stress Naturally
When the weather is nice, I find that a short hike outdoors works wonders for calming my mind and body — there’s something about fresh air and nature that serves to calm my mind and relax me (and my little guy loves it, too!). I’m also a tea drinker. I often make myself a hot cup of tea, herbal or otherwise, and find that the warm beverage, combined with the aromatics, helps to calm even the most frayed of nerves (maybe I have a little English in me!). Another natural stress-relief option I’ve discovered are RESCUE Pastilles.
RESCUE Pastilles remind me of the little tins of hard candy I enjoyed as a child in England…right down to the black currant flavor! RESCUE products are a natural, homeopathic way to get temporary stress relief and enjoy a good night’s sleep. Developed by a doctor, RESCUE products provide gentle relief and are not habit-forming. I enjoy the flavor of the hard-tack black currant Pastilles, as well as the calming effect they provide with a single dose of RESCUE Remedy. While I picked-up a tin of Pastilles at Whole Foods, you can also find RESCUE products at CVS, Walgreens, and other natural product stores. If you’re interested in trying RESCUE’s natural stress relief and sleep products, be sure to check out the coupon on their website!
How do you manage working at home with your children?
This is a sponsored post on behalf of RESCUE products. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.