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You work from home so that you can spend quality time with your kids. At least, that’s what is the case for many moms.
Either they don’t like the idea of putting their kids into childcare, childcare is too expensive, or working from home is just the nature of their business.
Whatever your reason is for working from home, it is nice to be able to be there for your children.
At least, in theory that is what is supposed to happen.
The truth is, working from home is hard. It is a constant balancing act.
There are no natural boundaries such as seperate work stations because you’re all just in the same building.
And I think you’ll agree that there’s a difference between spending time with your kids and actually being present with them.
Y’know, like when they’re there and talking to you and you nod your head in agreement with them but actually have NO IDEA what they said?
You know what I mean because we’ve all been there.
So, let’s talk about how to improve things. How do you work from home (or work at all?!) and also spending meaningful time with your children?
How to Make Sure You Spend Quality Time With Your Kids
Being a working mom means that you have to be intentional about making time for things in your day.
Honestly, our kids should be coming first, always. However, the nature of life is that things change and there are different jobs that need to be done.
It can be super easy to push aside time with our kids in favor of getting the house picked up, finishing off a work job, or making a phone call.
And I know, I know that there are just some things that can’t wait, but really, spending meaningful and present time with our children has to be a conscious decision.
It won’t just happen.
You have to make it happen.
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Can You Work from Home and Look After a Child?
Is it even possible to work from home and look after a child?
I mean, the thought of it may seem ideal. You get to be there for your children but also get to generate an income.
I’m not going to lie, it takes work.
I have three children at home with me 24/7. They are all under the age of five, so life is super busy.
The stage that they’re in means that they still depend on me for an awful lot of things.
This means that my work time is limited to certain times of the day, however, to answer the question…yes, you can work from home and look after a child. More than one in fact.
Working from Home Without Childcare
I mentioned above that I have my children at home with me 24/7. I also don’t have anyone else looking after them during that time.
It is all on me.
Because of that, it can sometimes be quite the balancing act to fit in work, run the home and make sure to be spending time with each child.
Not having childcare is something that I chose. However, for many it just isn’t even an option due to cost.
This is why I wanted to share these tips with you.
Tips for Spending Intentional Quality Time with Your Children:
We all know that spending time with our children is important, but sometimes it is more helpful to be give actionable tips.
Abstract ideas are hard to bring to life if you’ve got to do all the leg work. Let me give you a hand by sharing these great tips for establishing quality time with your children.
#1 Have a Work from Home Mom Schedule
Time is very precious.
If you’re a mom then you likely feel as though there is never enough of it.
The truth is that we all have the exact same amount of hours in our days. It is just how we choose to use them that makes all the difference.
What you need is a schedule that you can use as a work from home mom.
Don’t just take note of it mentally, but actually take the time to write it down.
If you have designated times for work then it will make it much easier to figure out the best times of the day to dedicate to your children.
I’m almost always at home with my kids, but I’m not always present with them.
My mind is often occupied with projects and work ideas. It takes an intentional effort on my part to set that aside and just completely focus on them.
Having a work from home mom schedule really helps me to achieve that.
For example, I have 30 minutes set aside for work in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and then some additional time after 7 PM when the children are in bed.
Outside of those times I do work as well, but if my children need me then work has to wait.
#2 Take Note of Their Favorite Things
Remember that when you spend time with your child it will likely mean a whole lot more to them if you’re doing something that they love.
How do you find that out?
Watch them at play and see what they are naturally drawn to.
If they’re old enough to tell you, ask them what they’d like to do.
My children both love being read to. I also love this activity because it is a bit of a mental rest for me.
I can play the piano and lately my older two have been begging me daily to play some songs to them.
Usually they both plonk along on the keys so it sounds spectacular!
The activities that you do with your child don’t have to be complicated. I am a very big fan of keeping life simple.
Find what brings your child joy and do it with them.
#3 Stop Multi-tasking
We as moms are so bad at this (or are we just too good at it?).
There are certain things that require multitasking like cooking dinner and entertaining a fussy baby.
Or, folding the washing while answering deep theological questions from your 4-year old.
However, there are certain times when multitasking is the enemy of productivity.
You can work while your children are awake. In fact, this post talks a lot about why you actually should.
When it comes to being present with your children though, there needs to be boundaries.
Quality time means work is not in the picture at all. Your focus is 100% on your child/ren.
Don’t try to multitask while spending time with them because it will not be nearly as impactful.
Plus, you probably won’t be able to get to know them the same way you would if you were giving them your full attention.
Quality time isn’t just for your children. It benefits you as well.
Step away from the computer, turn off your phone and soak in the time with your kids.
10 meaningful minutes of time spent with them is going to stick with you more than 2 hours of multitasking between work and them.
#4 Remember the Most Important Times
I once read somewhere that the two most impactful times in a child’s day are at the beginning and then end.
This makes it really easy to plan quality time.
I know that mornings can be a rush in some households. We are very lucky to be able to just take things easy and go at our own pace.
Regardless, I highly recommend that you always greet your children with a smile in the morning.
They should be able to wake up in the morning knowing that they are loved and wanted. It sets the tone for the day.
And then of course there is bedtime.
Now, I won’t lie, sometimes bedtime is rough. Everyone is just tired and ready for a break so patience levels aren’t usually very high.
However, as with greeting your children in the morning, I suggest you do your best to let them know how much they are loved when you tuck them in for the night.
Reading a book together, singing them a song. It all makes a difference.
If your days are hectic then the easiest way to make sure you’re getting in meaningful time with your kids is to just focus on the morning and night.
It is a great starting off point.
#5 Go on Dates!
There are times when despite our best efforts, life just gets hectic and you might start to notice that one of your children is in need of some extra time with you.
This can be difficult to achieve when they have siblings or you have a work schedule you must adhere to.
My suggestion would be to take them on a date.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be a trip to the park or perhaps a cafe for a special treat.
I don’t have to do this often, but I will at times ask my husband to mind the other children for me on a Saturday while I take one of the children out for some one-on-one time.
You can do that as often as you feel necessary, but trust me that it will do both you and your child some good.
- Be intentional and wise with your time. Make the effort of creating a structured day.
- Understand what true quality time looks like and stop multitasking!
- Figure out what activities really appeal to your child and try to do them together.
- Remember the most important parts of the day – morning and night. Take the time to make them special.
- When necessary, plan one-on-one dates with your kids as a treat.
- Children know when we are truly present and listening. Be sure to put aside what you’re working on and really give them your full attention. It will make a world of difference.
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Hey there! I’m Christine and I’ve been blogging since February 2017. My parenting blog, Christine Keys is both my passion, income and creative outlet.
I’m a qualified nurse but now I’ve been able to create a lifestyle where I can make money while also staying at home and raising my three young children.
My new passion is to teach other moms how they can do the same!
I love to create beautiful things and to constantly be learning. When I’m not blogging or wrangling my three crazy kiddos, you’ll find me binging out on Netflix.