There are so many people in all kinds of industries working from home these days. For many parents, this may also mean having to juggle schedules and child care needs on top of their at-home presence. Or for some, coming up with new systems to keep everything running smoothly.
Working From Home Can Have Its Frustrations
In my case, my husband and I made the decision years ago, that I would care for my daughter at home while I work. I know that I am extremely blessed to be able to this. But that blessing also comes with certain frustrations, like trying to balance being a stay-at-home mom and a work-from-home business owner.
Being a stay-at-home mom is already a full-time job with our 2 kids. To add to the responsibilities of running a business from home, can be pretty tricky and exhausting…to say the least.
Right now, we don’t have the means to put our daughter in full or part-time daycare while I work. So I have to get super creative with how I manage the work week and stay sane while I do it.
After I get my son off to school in the mornings is when our day really begins.
My Work Day With A Kid Around
It would be impossible for me to block out huge chunks of time to dedicate to either side of my at-home life. So, what I do is dedicate a couple of hours at a time, either working or tending to my house & kids. I do this in a continuous cycle throughout the day and night until my kids finally go to bed. Then I’m free to either relax or get ahead for the next day.
Some work days I may get a solid few hours at a time or the hours may overlap between work and home life. Things can also change depending on what’s going on for the day. Like on Fridays, the mornings are dedicated to home (grocery shopping, cleaning etc.) and my daughter’s speech therapy sessions. Allowing myself flexibility is really the only way that I can get things done.
Otherwise, it would turn into work days full of this…
By choosing to work in blocks, the house gets cleaned & managed. My kids get mommy time, fed, washed and cared for. Plus, I get to tackle tasks for my business. It’s not ideal, but it does work most of the time.
Last week I shared some of the educational & structured play things I do with my daughter in between working. But here are a few things I do to keep my preschooler busy and happy while I’m working throughout my day.
4 Ways I Keep My Kid Busy While Working
Even if I’m working and not actively available to read to her at the moment, books are a great way to keep a small child busy. Picture books are especially great because the pictures tell the story until you’re free to read it to them later.
I spoke about ways to get free books for toddlers & preschoolers here. I thank God for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Libary. My daughter’s bookshelf stays stocked with a nice variety of books to keep her occupied. Plus I take advantage of regular trips to the library and periodically load her device with E-books.
Hands-On Creative Time
I like to use my daughter’s high chair as an activity table. it has a removable tray, with a cup holder for meals, and then a flat washable surface that can be used for things like drawing and crafts. That way she’s strapped in (not running around getting into who knows what) and secure while she colors or plays with things like play-doh, blocks, and action figures. It’s easy to clean and adjustable, so I set it at the lowest available height for safety, and let her have fun so I can get some tasks done.
Kids Streaming Services & Movies
During the day I like to reserve any TV time for something with an educational focus, like PBS Kids, Nick Jr. or Sprout. In the evenings, I’ll let her watch movies or her favorite Netflix cartoons.
I work hard not to allow people to guilt me into believing that letting my child watch TV while I work, is a bad thing. I do rely on TV to help out when I’m unable to. For me, it’s about the quality of what they watch, the time they spend watching and how what they watch affects them.
My daughter’s favorite device is her Nabi. It’s a tablet designed for kids that comes full of educational puzzles and games. She likes to record videos of playing with her brother and snap pics of her family and toys. Her Nabi can really keep her busy when I’m doing things like shooting photos or recording videos.
I also make sure to grab Playaway devices from the library so she can use them when I’m busy. The library has all types of devices available like tablets, laptops and audio players (book kits) that you can borrow. In the pic below, is her Nabi (top) and a Playaway preschool tablet (below).
I hope these gave you some ideas on a variety of things you can keep your kids busy with, while you work. If you have any questions about anything you saw in this post or just want to leave a comment, please do so! If you view the site on mobile, click over to desktop view every once in a while! You’ll see lots of videos, sidebar and evergreen content to catch up on.
Do you work from home with kids around?
If so, how do you manage?