Most moms I know who are working from home put time into their “non-child related work” while the kids are napping or after the little tykes have gone to bed. This seems like such a good idea in theory, but, I can tell you from experience, it’s quite difficult to achieve in practice.
The deadline looms and your little one gets an ear infection. Which means the nap doesn’t actually happen. Neither does a regular bedtime. Neither does a full night’s rest. The deadline gets tighter and poor mom and kid get more and more stressed and upset. Mom gets sick too and, well, it’s rather difficult.
I’d highly suggest that you recruit some sort of child care for the times that you need your attention and focus to be away from the kids and on your paid or volunteer work. Perhaps a student looking for some fun with young kids. Perhaps a nanny share with friends. Perhaps a part-time daycare program.
When you have the time to actually get your work done, the time you spend with your kids will be more enjoyable too. You’ll be able to focus on them instead of trying to type out that email while cooking lunch and wiping a bum. Your mood, energy and overall health will be better so you’ll even be more fun and more patient when you’re with them.
And for your kids, it’s great for them to play with other kids. It’s great for them to play with and learn to trust other grown-ups. It’s win win win all around.
If you have any tricks for working for home with young children, I’d love to hear about them. I think it’s important for moms and dads to share our stories.