I am a working mom and I love my kids, but there is a reason why I’m not a stay at home mom. For all you ladies out there that do stay at home with your children, more power to you! I seriously don’t have the patience and I love that you do.
So if you are like me and you now have to work from home with your kids, I’ve created a few tools for survival that have greatly helped us and hopefully will help you too!
Let me start by saying, I already worked from home before the coronavirus broke out so making that transition was easy for me. The big change I made in my work environment was moving my office into the spare bedroom that is filled with sunshine. t might seem like a weird move, but since I have limited outdoor time now, I needed to maximize the light in my life. It’s been two days since the move and I already feel a new sense of inspiration.
Now let’s talk about the real changes we made. Before: my typical day started at 7:30a when my kids were off at school. I had quite time to read my bible, pray, journal and listen to God before I started my actual work. I had 4 hours of uninterrupted work time everyday before I picked Noah up from school at 12:30p. It was amazing.
Now, like you, I wake up to my kids and they are by my side the whole day. Day two of quarantine I knew I had to do a few things different to survive. As a creative, I have a hard time sticking to a schedule. I like the freedom of being able to do what I need to do, when I need to do it. But kids thrive with schedules. So I started to pray.
I needed to know what their schedule should look like and what we needed to do to be mentally and physically well to survive. Here’s what I came up with:
7:30a – Breakfast
8 – Yoga
8:30 – Get dressed
9 – Music time
10 – Snack
10:15 – Project time / free play / work
12 – 12:30- Lunch and 20 mins tv
12:30-1:30 – Home improvement project
1:30-2 – Outdoor time
2-3 – Indoor exercise
3-4 – Reading/art
4-4:30- Clean up time
4:30-5:30 – tv and work
5:30-6 – make dinner
6 – Dinner
Caleb helped me put this together and afterwards looked at it and said,” Mom, when are you going to get any work done?”. Well, I have about 2 hours while they work on a project to do my work. I also can work during their outdoor time, during reading time and during their tv time. This gives me pockets of time and breaks up the work for me. I still get about 4 hours of work time everyday and my kids don’t think I abandoned them throughout the day.
If you need to work full time from home, then you will need to double the amount of projects you give your kids and still break it up. They need constant direction. Your 8 hour work day may take all day to get through. If breaking up the day is not an option for you, then you will need to get day care or have someone come watch them. Please do not expect kids to stay away from you if you are home. They still need to care.
So let’s talk about why we made the schedule the way it is. My kids do Cosmic Yoga best when in pajamas so it seemed like a great idea to start the day with it. It also helps to calm their minds and sets the tone of focus for the day. When we have had to skip it because of webinars or other interruptions, the day has been tough. Today was one of those days 🙂
We go straight into getting dressed after yoga because it is important to start each day with getting dressed. I also want to make sure we minimize germs and changing clothing each day helps with that goal. We also all make our beds before breakfast to again, start each day on the right foot.
After everyone has gotten dressed and brushed their teeth we go into music time. Their minds are able to focus on the music now that they have done their yoga and officially started their day. It also helps to reinforce the calmness I’d like to see throughout the day. I teach them bits of how to play the piano and the Ukuele. I am learning right along with them so we do it together. We each have one assignment to accomplish each day.
Which brings me into my main chunk of work time. The kids are given a fun project that they can do after they work on a school assignment. This gives them a goal and a prize and keeps them busy for a chunk of time. -Oh and a snack to get their minds and bodies ready for the work. Typically they won’t complain about hunger again until it’s lunch time. All these things combined give me uninterrupted work time. I give them a special treat at lunch too. They get it taken away if they do interrupt me at all. My mind resets if they interrupt for any reason. I need total focus when I work so they lose out when they break the rule.
During lunch my kids get to watch one TV show. Honestly, this keeps the food at the table while I get another ounce of work done. I eat while I work 🙂
Then we tackle a home improvement project. This gives us a physical project to work on as a team, reminding them that we are in this together. It gives us something easy to do together that gives us a win for the day keeping spirits positive. It also helps get done all those weird little projects around the house. These projects range from putting together a desk for Josh, to painting the laundry room, to organizing their toys to cleaning baseboards. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you all do it together and can get the goal done in one day (make sure they know what the task is and what it looks like to be finished for the day).
After focusing for so long, the kids need to get outside. One reason why I do this later in the day is because I’m waiting for the temperature outside to go up. I’m typically forcing my kids outside. Sometimes they go on a walk with me or my mom and her dog, sometimes they play in the sandbox. I just want them in the sun and fresh air as much as possible. If was more than 50 degrees out on average then I would keep them out longer.
Indoor exercise is a rotation of each kid on the elliptical, then bouncing their legs on the ball while counting my PT exercises. They just have a little fun while I actually try to exercise.
They then go into reading time while I stay on the elliptical. Noah usually finishes his project from earlier since he can’t read.
We spend some time cleaning up toys and sweeping the house to make it look nice each day. This keeps me sane. Also, the faster they clean up, the more TV time they have next.
TV time and work wrap up time is after clean up. Then we move into dinner time. The boys switch off who helps with dinner. We make dinner together, eat and get them ready for bed.
Everyday can change, but the more we stick to this schedule, the more everyone knows what is happening, stays calm and the more work I get done.
I really hope this will help you as much as it’s helped us. We are accomplishing more goals than ever before (like learning instruments and doing home projects). Adjust it to fit your needs! And celebrate the little wins each day!