Came a question earlier this morning:
“When working from home and creating your own schedule, how do you balance work and kids?”
It’s an important question.
And seeing as I’ve been working from home since 2017 while raising a family at the same time…
I may have some solid insights that can help.
Here was my answer:
#1 — Bake in quality time with family
Before you do anything else…
Always always ALWAYS bake quality time with your family into your schedule first. Then work backwards from there.
#2 — Create a consistent schedule
Yes, it’s great that to have freedom and autonomy over how you work. But a consistent schedule will give you AND your family the consistency you need.
Young kids thrive with routines, too.
Give it to them.
#3 — Commit to the BIG moments
All the firsts that people miss out on because they’re off at work? Not you!
You do what you do because it gives you the freedom to be there with your family whenever you want to be. Not because you want to lose yourself in your work.
Don’t forget that.
You’ll never regret putting off work to play outside with your kids, or build a fort inside because hey… YOU CAN!
Those are memories you get the create — and the more often you do, the better.
#4 — Create a consistent schedule… again
I’m coming back to a schedule because it’s so dang important.
Every day, I block out time to “work.” I’m still home, but I’m tucked away working. My family knows it. I know it, too.
And paradoxically, the more rigid I am with my time, the more flexibility I end up creating for myself.
If you scatter your work throughout the day, you’ll find you’re working forever. Instead, dedicate time for it and then crush it as fast as you can. Then use whatever time is left over to create more memories with your kids.
Also, if you can wake up a bit earlier than you do now, do it.
It’ll help you get more done before the kiddos are even awake. And then you can “win the day before the day begins” and show up to table as the best effing parent possible.
If you have trouble with that, I wrote a fun little guide on How to Wake Up Early that can help.
If you want to take a peek at it, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll share it with you.
And lastly, just have fun.
Working from home and choosing your own schedule is a blessing, not a curse.
In doing it, your kids will remember you either 1 of 2 ways
- As the parent who had fun with them no matter what, or…
- As the parent who was always stressed and slaving away at work.
Be the former.
Everyone in your family — including YOU — will be better off because of it.
Oh, and when you’re ready