During the past two weeks, we have purposely not been working on The Intentional Summer Experiment. We took a road trip and then this past week has been crazy as Mom was first on the agenda with a work deadline. I really want to again emphasize we are not shooting for perfection. We just want to engage in an intentional process when time allows.
Often I interact with many moms who work from home and a question on many minds at this point in the summer is what do you do when you work from home and you have younger children? Most of us still have demands that need to be met even though we so long to at the pool or scheduling an outing or playdate. Below are some ways you can decrease the interruptions without making your kids feel like they are a both.
5 Tips for Moms Working from Home with Young Children in the Summer:
1) Train your kids to honor your work space. This can be an office or even your own bedroom. If I need to make a work call while at home, I tell my children in advance and remind them the three reasons they can interrupt me:
a) someone’s hurt – like bleeding and needs a doctor
b) someone’s at the door
c) the house is on fire
I also enlist their help and let them know when I will be taking a break. “Mom really needs to get this done. Can you help me by letting me work? Look at the time. In one hour I’m going to take a break and we can eat a snack together, play a quick game, go for a walk or swim, etc.
One mom shared she went to a local craft store and created a foam door hanger with two sides. One where she accepted disturbances and one where she didn’t.
2) Be realistic about your children’s ages and how long they can sustain themselves without supervision. Mine can go a lot longer at 6 and 9 than they did at 3 and 6. Also, be realistic about what you expect of them while you are working. My kids often need supervision when completing chores or they get “sidetracked.” Make sure you help them find an independent activity that will sustain their attention if they are younger.
3) If you have a major deadline, need total focus, or are finding yourself losing yourself completely overwhelmed and struggling with impatience, you may need to at the very minimum hire help inside the home. I sometimes hire at younger girl who is almost ready to babysit at a reduced cost. This opportunity gives her experience and a reference and me a chance to have someone else available in the home to protect me from interruptions and entertain them. You may also need to be prepared to allow them more time consuming media. They will not perish from a week’s binge. I promise. If this was not the case, mine would have disappeared completely this week as I worked on a publishing deadline.
4) Take advantage of camps and churches who offer low cost summer activities. I’m always grateful when there is a coffeehouse near their three hour activity. It gives me time to produce and then I’m ready for a lunch break and to give them my total attention.
5) If all fails…hiring a babysitter and either having them removed from the premises or go somewhere to work yourself. Sometime extended silence is priceless and your sanity is something to be valued.
Next week we will be back on track although we did cover from In This House We Will Giggle, the character trait of service this week.