Working from home with four kids has been . . . an experience! I never thought I’d be “that” mom who wanted to work from home and have a bunch of kids for that matter. But I love my family and I’m loving how I help other women to stay home and make money doing what they love, with the freedom they crave. Here’s a peek into how we are doing the day to day things while working around four kids eight and under!
When covid hit last year, our routines and schedules were completely shattered. As I’m sure many of yours were as well. With the eight year old still doing school virtually, we’ve had a shift in how we do just about everything. These kids go to bed later than before, and they tend to eat and go outside based on the eighth year olds school breaks throughout the day. It’s much easier to have them all doing the same thing at the same time instead of doing everything twice.
The five year old (who couldn’t do Kindergarten because of when he turned five) is doing virtual Pre-K three times a week for a half hour. So while two are in school, we are flowing through the day with the three youngest and keeping them occupied/on schedules with naps! It’s hard some days, comparable to a comedy show on others, and a complete shit show somewhat often. I typically get wracked with decision fatigue from all the questions and requests from the kids. But Dad is no nonsense when it comes to the kids, and I’m grateful to have that balance of both of us home during the day.
My work schedule has changed, been tweaked, was all over the place, and is now in a good place . . . for now. As the kids grow, do new activities, their schedules change because of school, my work schedule will likely always have some ebb and flow to it. But what I’m doing now is waking up at 5am to do contract work, then I’ll check in on my business throughout the day.
I like to do all my content creation and larger client projects on the weekends where there is less going on and I don’t have to be super involved in the day-to-day things with the kids.
This allows me to be more present when I’m with them which has been a struggle since working nights at the lab. Before, I was trying to spend time with them while exhausted, then I was trying to work from home around them and would get angry at all the distractions. Now, I do the bulk of work when they are still sleeping/napping/occupied.
Being organized and having systems is crucial here! If you are not on top of your shit grocery wise . . . with four kids in the house . . . it’s stressful! If you don’t have the resources to run to the grocery store at a moments notice, or the expedited grocery delivery isn’t an option and you don’t have the extra funds to pay damn near $80 for take out (cause these kids EAT) it’s a true scramble to get something on a plate. So having strong grocery systems in place so that you aren’t forgetting key staples, or running out of the famous apple cinnamon oatmeal that your little one must have for breakfast is only going to make your life easier and get food on the table quicker.
Now you may think, what does this have to do with working from home? Well, if you are at home somebody has to feed the kids right? They don’t feed themselves at this age (while the eight year old could probably make some things happen in the kitchen, I have real concerns about the five year old lol). Also, when these systems aren’t in place, you are taking time out of your day that you hadn’t planned to. So this could be having to make a quick meal in between client calls, diverting your focus and energy. Or you could have to make a run to the store in the middle of the day instead of working on your business. Either way, surprises aren’t always fun when you are coordinating life with four kids.
Flexibility and What we are working on
When they said “you have flexibility when you work from home”, what they should have said was, “you’ll need to be flexible when you work from home”! Even without covid being a thing, so much can happen throughout the day/week to interrupt the regularly scheduled program. So the ability to be flexible and work around the new changes in the kids schedules, house guests, new babies, or anything else that may switch up the usual vibe of the home has been key to surviving and now thriving while working from home with four kids.
But there are still some challenges that we have yet to solve. Like what to do with the two and almost one-year-old. They are just free little birds, doing whatever pleases them at the moment and getting into every single thing! And I know that’s how life is when they are this young. They do take naps, so that’s amazing. But having something a bit more structured in their routine would benefit them for sure.
Also, we just moved about a month ago. So we have more space than before, but getting it organized has been a slow process. One of the main reasons why is this house is lacking in storage. Like the closets are pretty small, and if you have any kids (which I’m sure you do cause you are reading this, or maybe you just wanna see what I got going on) you know that managing clothing that will be passed down to a sibling is a whole job all by itself.
So that’s how I’m doing it. I’ve read so many other bloggers “day in the life posts and read countless blogs on how to schedule your day from Pinterest. But the bottom line is that when you are in your home, living it out with all of your loved ones, this is going to look different for everyone. Definitely do research and find new ways to improve on your systems and routines. And also do your own case study. See what is and what isn’t working in your home. Try something else, and track it. Really get to the root of why something is or isn’t working via trial and error. We are all just figuring life out. In a year, this blog post will look so different, maybe even in six months.