Working from home with four kids

I am a 36 year old mother of four kids, currently working from home as a Virtual Assistant and running my own Crochet Design business.

 

This isn’t a post with a magic formula to make your days predictable and easy to manage with a walking toddler whose mission it is to explore and play and learn.

This is a post to help other new working from home Mums see that working from home with kids at home is incredibly difficult. (2020 and 2021 taught us that)

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Working with a baby is manageable, working with a walking toddler, or anything older is incredibly difficult. Short of putting them in a cage so they don’t get into the cupboards of breakables and well, everything, I haven’t worked out the magic formula aside from waiting until they nap. Which
doesn’t help those of us whose babies only sleep once a day or **shudder** not at all. My one-year-old is now on one nap a day and I miss the days when he had two predictable two hour naps every day!

 

Waking early is the goal for me, that is when my mind is fresh and more creative than any other time of the day, before my mind is filled with kids routines and requests. At the moment I am attempting a 30 day Miracle Morning challenge, where I get up at 5am and have time to read a book, do some meditation, some journalling and exercise before the rest of the world wakes and starts demanding things of me. It’s been about a week and it has been going well, until this morning when Lewis woke up at 5am and refused to go back to bed!

 

He has also been teething and has me up multiple times a night lately, which makes a 4 or 5am wakeup call difficult unless I want to be a Mum-monster all day. 

Staying up late works for a lot of people and I can certainly see the benefits of late-night work. The kids are in bed and you have at least 10 hours before they wake up. This at least gives you more of a chance
of uninterrupted work hours, for those tasks you can’t just pick up and put down.

 

But for me, by that point in the day, I am exhausted, my brain is mush, and I don’t do my best work. I make silly mistakes, get annoyed, and make more mistakes. And that is not desirable when you are charging by the
hour for your VA services. 

 

It is even less desirable for crochet designing, because the creative part of my brain is fried at that point. If I am brave enough to crochet past 9pm, I am sure to make many mistakes, and will no doubt be very confused when I pick up my work the next morning, and wonder what the actual hell was I doing!

 

The problem with morning work is that it isn’t as guaranteed to be uninterrupted like night work. My kids can wake up anytime from 5am til 7am. So if I choose to wake at 5am, I might only get a few minutes to myself before one of my kids wakes. And if they find me out of bed there is no convincing them that it isn’t daytime yet. If I am in bed they will at least snuggle in and most of the time fall back to sleep. 

 

That is a major difficulty in working in the morning for me, which is frustrating because that is when I work best. 

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

One way to battle this could be to go to bed the second my kids do and wake up at 4am to try and beat the early bird. But I like my alone time after the kids go to bed.  I like to have a real conversation with my husband. And I like to feel like a human in my own right, not just Mummy. There are some nights when I do hit the hay early, but I find when I do it too regularly, my husband and I really notice the loss of connection between us.

 

I have found through experience that working anytime around dinner or bed just does not work for my family. We have four kids, 8, 6, 3 and 1, and that is just not fun for the solo parent to deal with if the other is not there. Absolute chaos. 

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Headphones are a must have for working in a noisy home, but I don’t often totally drown out the rest of the house. This is because hectic times happen. Like recently, when our 3-year-old noticed our baby had done a poo, and decided she would try and be helpful and take it off him while he was crawling around the house. *poo… everywhere*. So while hubby grabbed the baby and cleaned him up, I jumped up and helped him by taking care of the mess on the floor before the dogs had an extra breakfast. 

 

For me, working from home around the kids is a hot mess situation. There is no routine, there is no one perfect day. There are chunks of time here and there if and when the kids are occupied, or if an afternoon frees up, or if the planets all align and all of the kids are out of the house at the same time. 

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

And if you saw my last blog post, you will know that we have decided to home educate our kids for this year (2022). That means, we have our kids home all the time. Apart from the 3 year old going to kinder for 3, 5 hour days a week, we have kids around all the time.

 

I’m lucky if I get to work for longer than 10 minutes without one of them tackle hugging my mouse arm and causing my Canva design to end up all wonky. And I am even luckier if I can log into a Zoom meeting without all 4 of them showing their faces and wanting to hear and talk along with me. And it is the holy grail if, when they do run into my Zoom meetings, that they are actually dressed and not suddenly naked. (Who elses kids regularly end up suddenly naked? Oh that’s right, that’s all kids!)

Things that help me

 

Take time to feed them and set them up with something that doesn’t need constant supervision (this is obviously dependant on ages), so you can then sit and focus while they eat/watch a movie/colour in.

 

Do whatever you need to do when the baby is awake, put the washing on, hang it, make your food etc, to be ready to sit and work the second the baby is asleep.

 

Word up other adults in the house to ask for a set amount of time uninterrupted. This can be difficult as the kids are so in the habit of coming to you, they take some reminding to not keep asking you for everything no matter if they were just sitting next to Daddy.

 

If you have a friend in the same position (working from home) do child share days. You each get a day where you are free to work, and you each get a day when you look after all the kids. You can always do this in the same house so that in case of an emergency or multiple nappy blow-out, the worker can always step in and help out.

 

Depending on the ages of the kids, head to a play centre, let them play while you utilise free wifi, or hot spot your phone to your laptop.

It is hard. I have to fight for my time to work uninterrupted, and that can be exhausting.

 

It is a constant battle of choices. Choosing between having everyone home and deciding to do something fun as a family or choosing work time and asking my husband or in-laws to take the kids.

 

It’s a battle between the guilt I feel that I am not choosing the family time or special time with my husband, and that feeling deep in my gut that needs to feel like I have accomplished something.

 

As hard as it is, day in and day out, I would still rather do this, than have to work outside of the house. I will do anything I need to do to avoid conventional employment at this stage. 

 

This lifestyle of being able to work around my kids is the hard that I choose to deal with.

Kate Made It

I am the coffee-loving, crocheting Mum of Kate Made It. I am a stay at home Mum to 4 mini-humans, and I crochet every day to save my sanity and give me purpose outside of being a Mum. If I can spend all my days fondling yarn, then I will be happy! I hope you find something here to treat yourself with, either yarn, an accessory, or a pattern. Happy Hooking and Yarn Fondling!

Leave a Reply

You Might Also Like

  • All Post
  • Craft Cabinet
  • Crochet Patterns
  • For the Kids
  • The Mum Files
  • Uncategorized

About Me

A passionate crocheter who also happens to be a Mum of four littles.

Follow Me

Crochet Patterns

For the kids

The Mum Files

Craft Cabinet

Popular Posts

  • All Post
  • Craft Cabinet
  • Crochet Patterns
  • For the Kids
  • The Mum Files
  • Uncategorized

Newsletter

hang with me!

Stay in touch to get my latest patterns and blog posts.

You have been successfully Subscribed! Ops! Something went wrong, please try again.

Categories

Tags

Search

Edit Template

About Me

Kate Made It – I’m a passionate crocheting Mum making my way through life. Sharing the things I make to keep myself sane, sharing the messy bits, hard days and precarious mental health. 

Email: katemadeit@hotmail.com

Useful Links

About Me

Contact

Stay in Touch Friend

You have been successfully Subscribed! Ops! Something went wrong, please try again.

Categories

The Mum Files

For the Kids

Craft Cabinet

Crochet Pattern Vault

© 2022 KMI Created with Royal Elementor Addons

%d bloggers like this: