Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler

Tips for Working At Home with a Toddler

When I started working from home full time, my kids were already in preschool and I had at least a solid 4 hours 3 days a week to get things done. As business picked up, so did the hours my kids were away at school and I was none the wiser of how lucky I truly was for this.

Then we got pregnant with my third and I was confident in my ability to continue working from home and rocking it even with a baby on the way. Once the baby got here, things seemed to work out. I was able to work while she napped, or put her on the floor next to me and let her play beside me as I worked. But then she became more mobile. And more demanding of my time while she was playing. She didn’t want to just play with a ball, she wanted me to play with her.

Today started as most mornings start. I got the big kids ready for their day, and we all got out the door for morning drop off. But when we came back home my youngest was ready to play instead of nap like she normally does. So we had to shift gears a bit and move our schedule around to accommodate her needs. She’s always throwing a wrench into my routine so I have to learn how to be flexible with my work hours to make things flow well throughout the day. Working at home with a toddler is hard. But it’s not impossible!

Here are some tips for working at home with a toddler so that you can stay focused but still spend time with your child.

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler - ways to make life easier when working with a toddler

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler

Create Work Hours

Over the past years the biggest change I’ve found between working outside of the home and working at home is office hours. In an office setting I would come in at a certain time, take lunch at a certain time, and leave at the end of my work day. But at home it’s hard to think along the same lines. So I’ve set out time throughout the day dedicated to working.

This doesn’t have to be fancy. My office hours are written down on a post it note and stuck on my computer screen. By scheduling my day, I not only am aware of when I should be working and when I’m playing with my little one, I also take the time to feed myself and give myself the breaks I need.

Be Flexible

I’m very aware of the fact that toddlers are finicky. They can be fine playing with their train table one moment and absolutely need you RIGHT NOW the next. So I’ve grown to learn how to adapt to the quickly shifting focus of working on a task I have and then spending time with my toddler.

If I’m in the middle of working on something, I take a moment to note that in Google Keep so that I can pick up where I left off without spending time remembering where I was at.

I’ve also been able to schedule important work that needs my complete focus in the evening hours when she’s either sleeping or with my husband. This gives me peace of mind during the day because I know that I can stop and start when needed to focus on her.

Find Other Work At Home Moms

Whether it’s a neighborhood mom who also works from home with her kids, or mamas around town who you meet on meetup.com, finding other moms who work from home can help you in a variety of ways. Whether it’s socializing with them on a weekly basis and letting your kids play together, or exchanging care can help when a last minute meeting pops up or if I need to have a chunk of time during the day that I focus on getting a project done.

Schedule Play Time

I know my daughter’s routine most days and have been able to schedule play time so that we’re doing fun, interactive things throughout the day. Before I had my third, I found that I was hardly ever getting outside the house during the day when I worked. So I’ve now scheduled outdoor play in the mornings and afternoons. Since it’s warmer out, I’ve been able to set up her water table and sand box and while she plays, I can work outside. Fresh air does wonders for morale!

We then take an afternoon walk before picking up the older kids so we can explore other areas around the neighborhood and get out and about. I’ve found that I’m more productive in the afternoons after our walks than I was when we stayed home all day.

Rock Nap Time

As soon as my daughter is down for nap time, I have a pre-made list of tasks in Google Keep to tackle that I’ve made the night before. This is anything I need done without interruption that has to be completed before the end of the work day. Since I’m working with people in different time zones, I need to make sure that I’m aware of the tasks that need to be done by end of day depending on the time zone.

Utilize Tools Available

As I mentioned before, I use Google Keep for a lot of my tracking and accountability. I keep notes of my daily tasks and check them off throughout the day. I also utilize my Google Calendar and put everything on there. Whether it’s a meeting, a deadline, or even volunteer time at my son’s school, I keep it on the calendar and set notifications to pop up.

I also use IFTTT and have created recipes to help me be more efficient with my time. I can automate a lot of the tasks I have to do by using schedulers and tools built for my needs. Spending a little money is worth it when my time is used efficiently.

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler - letting go of perfection

While working from home with a toddler is hard, it’s not impossible. By staying organized, being flexible, and knowing my limits, I’ve been able to find a groove and continue working from home with success.

What are your tips for working at home with a toddler?

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Comments

  1. These are great tips. I’ve never used Google Keep but I think I may need to. IFTTT is a lifesaver…and time saver. It’s amazing. I have it texting me the weather every morning. It seems silly and probably to most isn’t a big deal to look up manually, but when you’re trying to get two kids out of the house it’s HUGE. Thanks for sharing your list!

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