Tips For A Work At Home Mom With Toddler

How do you be productive as a work at home mom with a toddler? Or a baby? It seems like it’s impossible but I’m telling you it is- IF you can change your perception of what equals being productive.

You will be interrupted. You will wonder if it’s worth it to even try- 

It is!

But you need to be willing to put in the time to figure out what works for you and your kids. It may be a lot different than what works for us!

My NUMBER ONE TIP for working at home with kids is to HAVE A SCHEDULE.

This is the work at home mom schedule I try to follow on a day to day basis. Sometimes it works great, other times we have to adjust accordingly.

Let’s walk through the schedule so you can get a feel for what might work better for your work at home mom schedule:

7-9 Breakfast/Freeplay/Work

Usually we wake up, I get the kids breakfast and then we all do a quick clean up of dishes, sweeping, toys, whatever needs to be tidied up.

After this it’s about 8am and I let the kids freeplay while I work for an hour. Sometimes this works out nicely and they play without fighting too much.

Other times, they are grumpy and fighting so I let them play games on the iPad or watch an educational show.

RELATED: 7 Reasons To Be A Stay At Home Mom (plus 7 reasons not to)

9-10:30 Exercise/Learning/Outside

Getting the kids moving first thing in the morning is KEY. We discovered Cosmic Kids on Youtube and the kids love it! It’s adventure style yoga and absolutely free 🙂

Sometimes we go outside or go for a walk instead of yoga. After that’s over we try to do some sort of basic math, reading or online educational video.

If it works out, I will work from 10-11.

10:30 Snack Time!

The only way I’m able to work from 10-11 if if I have a snack ready to go that they can grab or I let them grab something themselves.

11-12 Learning/Craft

We do SIMPLE crafts and SIMPLE learning stuff- sometimes it’s glueing pom poms on a paper plate for craft and adding up all the windows and door knobs for math.

Sometimes it’s worksheets- I discovered a bunch of free printable worksheets from Planes and Balloons– my kids LOVE these!

RELATED: 21 Toddler Activities (to keep mom from going nuts)

12-1 Lunchtime/Clean Up

Integrating clean up into the schedule is so awesome- for you and your kids. If it’s on the schedule, my kids don’t balk (usually…) about clean up! They bring their dishes to the sink and know they have to tidy their rooms or toys while I tidy the kitchen.

That said- there are days where we don’t clean up. Someone is grumpy, the sun is beckoning or we just plain don’t feel like it. The schedule isn’t mean to be a confinement- it’s meant to free you and your time!

1-3 Freeplay/Nap Times/ Quiet Time

This is when we do naps for my youngest- my older two don’t sleep anymore (soooo sad.) So by this point, I’m fine with them watching a show, coloring, playing, whatever- as long as it’s quiet. And it’s a great time to sneak some work in!

RELATED: Sensory Activities For Toddlers

3 Snack Time!

3:30-5:30 Free Play Till Supper!

This really could mean anything depending on the weather- outside play, inside play, getting out the play doh- whatever works!

7-10 Kid Free Work Time!

This is kind of a joke… you have kids right? How’s your bedtime routine?

Ours can be smooth or a total shit show. It’s really a coin toss as to which way it will go. I still feed my youngest to sleep… I wish I didn’t but I do. Sometimes I am ‘putting her to sleep’ from 7-8. Then I sneak out. Then she wakes up again around 8 or 9. My husband and I take turns putting her back to sleep.

I’m just saying- working around kids can be tough. But that’s why you need to try to keep positive and work when you can! Even if she does wake up I still usually get an hour or 2 for working.

However-

I usually save mindless work for this time. I don’t know about you but I’m usually brain dead after a full day with 3 kids- go figure.

RELATED: How To Work At Home With Kids (without going insane)

Tips For Working At Home From Real Work At Home Moms:

Work With The Rhythm Of Your Kids

 Work with the rhythm of your kids. Young kids aren’t exactly known for being the most flexible creatures! You know your own kids best, what time of the day they (usually!) listen best, what time of the day they are more out of control and might need some supervised time in the backyard, etc.

You’re going to be distracted by your little ones, but if you work around their energy levels, it will go much smoother! 

The Curious Frugal

Find Your Hours

Find your hours. Utilize your “golden hours” with kids. Make sure to connect fully with them when you are with them in their awake hours so they won’t feel the need to constantly interrupt when you’re trying to get them to independently play.

This Anxious Mum

Don’t Be Afraid Of Educational TV

Don’t be afraid to put on some educational TV for an hour or two per day when you really need to focus on work or have an important call. An educational will keep the kids sitting quietly and will teach them something in the meantime, so you don’t have to feel guilty about a little screen time.

Here are 12 educational shows that teach toddlers everything from math and language to nature, science, and feelings.

High Chair Chronicles

Break Down Your Tasks

Break your tasks and assignments down to smaller tasks, aiming for 10-20 minutes. Complete short tasks through the day, while caring for the kids. Save anything else for naptime/bedtime.

Living For The Sunshine

Have A Detailed Plan

Having a detailed plan of what I need to get done every day. Some days I find the time easily and sometimes it means I have to stay up after bedtime to get stuff done, but if I don’t have a plan and a checklist I don’t get enough done.

If I have to I’ll give my daughter projects, tv shows, or educational apps that she is able to do on her own so I can get what I need done.

I also find meal time to be gold – if I give her something to watch while she eats, she won’t need anything from me for a full hour sometimes.

Yum Vegan Lunch Ideas

Make Separate Checklists For Different Tasks

Make a separate checklist for different tasks that have multiple steps. That way if you walk away from your computer to take care of the kids, you know exactly where you left off when you return. 

The Pay At Home Parent

Utilize Time Blocking, Naps and Early Mornings

Learning to be productive while my toddlers have a nap and by getting up earlier has made a huge difference.

I use time blocking by staying focused solely on one task instead of multitasking all day and feeling like I get nothing done has made a massive difference in my work at home life as a homestead blogger and mom of 2 little boys.

Wandering Hoof Ranch

Use A Bullet Journal To Time Block Your Day

Using a bullet journal helps me remember things without keeping them in my head. It makes it easier to plan out my day, and focus on one thing at a time while I work.

Time blocking is great for moms working from home with their small children. You can block each hour of your day with tasks that must get done to increase your productivity and maximize your precious time.

For it to work best, be sure to schedule in one on one time with your kids, making lunches and independent activities so you can get work done uninterrupted.

Well Ella

Change Your Priorities

One of the biggest things I have had to do with this new way of working from home is to change my priorities.

Before homeschooling, I was able to work at my leisure and also spend a lot of good quality time with my children. With that mindset, it’s easy to tell your children to wait “just one minute” while you finish a thought.

However, now that my primary role is as a teacher, not a worker or a playmate, I need to adjust the way that I think about my time.

Saving Talents

Make A List And Stay Accountable To It

My number one way to stay productive when working from home is having a list and using time blocking to stay accountable to that list.

Farm Girl Reformed

Stop Caring About When You Work

Not caring when I have to work – I’ve tried scheduling my time but the selfish little humans I live with have zero respect for my blocks – so I escape to work whenever I can get them settled into a task.

Often, I’ll sit at the table where I can see them faffing with kinetic sand or puzzles or just playing together and work while keeping an eye. Or when they’re asleep in the evening – or before they wake up in the morning.

But I don’t worry any more if I’m not getting anything done because I know I’ll find a pocket of time somewhere.

Laptops And Nap Times

Lower Your Expectations

Lower your expectations and work on tasks in SMALL chunks. You’re not going to get more than probably 20 minutes of uninterrupted time, so chunk your work that way, and you won’t feel like you’re getting nowhere, and get frustrated.

Make Attainable Goals (and don’t worry if they don’t work out)

Working when they’re sleeping. I get up early and also work during my toddler’s nap time. My 4 year old does a good job keeping himself occupied, so I can usually do some work while he plays and the toddler naps.

Oh, and after they go to bed since my husband usually has schoolwork to do then anyway.

I’m also ok with going slow because my family is my biggest priority right now. So I make attainable goals for myself and work diligently with the time I have, but I try not to get worked up if it goes slower than I’d like.

Mommy Knows Tech

Being A Work At Home Mom Is Never Going To Be Easy

Whether your kids are babies, toddlers or school age- being a work at home mom comes with challenges. It’s never going to be a breeze but I truly believe if you keep trying to figure out what works best for you and your kids you will be rewarded!

Let go of worrying about things that just add extra stress- like following a ruthlessly rigid schedule or trying to cram a million things in to your day.

Pare your to-do list down to the bare minimum so that you actually have a hope of accomplishing it. Work smarter, not harder.

Being ‘busy’ doesn’t equal being productive.

Honor how you are feeling- parenting in itself is such a hard and draining job. If you’re tired as hell and you know you’re just going to sit down and stare blankly at your computer screen- step away, even if it’s ‘work time.’

Learn to allow your days to flow intuitively (you can do this with a schedule!)

WORK AT HOME MOM ADVICE