09 Sep 21 Tips to Work from Home with Kids
Raising kids can be very costly, which explains why parents with kids look for ways to work from home to make extra money.
Have you ever wondered how much it’ll cost you to put food in their bellies and a roof over their heads from birth to age 17?
It’s probably more than you guessed.
According to the USDA, “Middle-income, married-couple parents of a child born in 2015 may expect to spend $233,610 ($284,570 if projected inflation costs are factored in*) for food, shelter, and other necessities to raise a child through age 17. This does not include the cost of a college education.”
You can get a personal estimate on how much it will cost to raise your child using CNN Money’s calculator.
No wonder side hustles are becoming more popular for parents – specifically, moms.
A study by Urban Sitter found 54% of women who hustle are mothers.
Moreover, 54% of moms surveyed cited more time with their children as the reason they hustle.
Parents are looking for opportunities where they can work from home with kids in addition to their day jobs.
Unfortunately, some popular side hustles don’t work well for parents, such as driving for Uber or working for Shipt, because their kids often determine their schedules.
Hence, side hustles for parents tend to be jobs that allow them to work from home with kids.
But, working from home requires a certain amount of fortitude.
Kids expect their parents’ attention, which can make it challenging to start a home business with kids around.
Not to worry. We’ve got you covered. Check out our top 21 work-from-home tips just for parents starting their side hustles.
1. Set Clear Boundaries
Clear boundaries are nonnegotiable when you work from home with kids.
This means explaining to your kids that they need to respect your work time.
One of our favorite work-from-home tips for setting boundaries is to have a clear signifier that lets kids know you’re busy and not to be disturbed.
Examples of clear signifiers:
- If you work in a home office, close the door with a sign that says you’re working.
- If you don’t have a home office, always work in the same place (such as the kitchen bar) so kids can see you are in your “work zone.”
- If your laptop is opened and you’re typing, explain that you are working and should not be disturbed.
- Tell kids that, when you are on the phone, they should assume it is work and not interrupt you.
2. Create a Workable Workspace
Even if you don’t have a dedicated office, you need to create a clear workspace.
Ideally, you want to do all your work in this same spot.
It will establish your routine and be a great signifier to kids that you are working.
Whether this is the kitchen table or a crafting closet, this space should be yours only for your side hustle hours.
[Related Read: Get More Done: How to Set Up an Efficient Home Office]
3. Keep Kids Occupied with Chores
Another work-from-home tip is to establish a daily routine for the kids.
Brainstorm a daily to-do list for your kids, such as having them complete their chore charts before they play.
Plus, this is a great opportunity to help your kids feel as if they are contributing and helping the family.
While you’re working, plan for special activities for the kids, such as movie time or daily exercise.
In addition, have a bin of items that they can play with when they have finished their chores and daily activities, such as crafts and special toys that they can play with while you work.
4. Be Goal-Oriented
Obviously, you want to profit from your side hustle.
But, you need to define a clear goal.
If you set a goal to earn a certain amount of money from your side hustle, you can schedule your time accordingly.
For example, if your goal is to save enough money to take the kids on a nice vacation, then you don’t have to keep burning the midnight oil once you have enough in the bank.
At the same time, if you have a goal to earn enough money to get out debt and discover your side hustle isn’t bringing in enough to make this happen, you may need to make some adjustments.
5. Remember Your Why
Why are you trying to work from home with kids in the first place?
Being a parent is hard enough on its own. When you add in working and hustling, you can feel overwhelmed.
That’s why it is important to remember why you are side hustling and what your goal is.
6. Find a Mentor
We’d all like to believe we can make a bunch of money quickly and easily.
That’s not how it usually happens though. Instead, the most lucrative side hustles involve learning and growing.
For example, if you open an Etsy shop, you will need to learn a craft and how to work the platform.
That’s why it is a good idea to find a mentor, someone to teach you the ropes.
If you can’t find someone you know to guide you, then simply watch others who have found success.
7. Do What You Love
One of our favorite work-from-home tips is to do what you love.
A side hustle is something you do on the side; therefore, you should enjoy what you are doing.
The more you enjoy your side hustle, the better you will be at it.
For instance, if you love making artisanal goods, you will not dread the time you have blocked off to work on creating and selling the merchandise online.
8. Prioritize Your Tasks
When you start to organize your time, you must prioritize your tasks.
Look over all the things you want to accomplish for the day. Then, identify the top three things you must complete that day.
Block off the time for these must-dos first.
9. Use Time Blocks
Being a parent and having a side hustle requires time management skills.
Essentially, you will need to schedule all your time to account for your day job, parenting duties, and your side hustle.
A great way to schedule large amounts of time is the time-blocking method.
Todoist explains, “Time blocking is a time management method that asks you to divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task, or group of tasks, and only those specific tasks.”
For example, if your kids are in school, then you can block off their school hours for time to work.
Or, if you have little ones, block off naptime for your side hustle.
With the time block method, you try to manage every block of time in your day rather than just having a to-do list.
10. Invest in a Great Planner or Calendar App
Since time management is critical when you work from home with kids, invest in a great planner or calendar app.
Ultimately, this is a matter of preference.
Some parents still like using old-fashioned paper planners.
Modern planners, such as Day Designer, provide daily and weekly time-blocking options that are ideal for scheduling every block of your time.
Most modern apps allow you to sync across devices and add multiple users, which makes them a great choice for families.
11. Share the Load
In the perfect world, tasks in a home would be split 50/50 between spouses.
This isn’t always the case, and often, one parent ends up carrying an unhealthy load.
If you are beginning to work from home with kids, you will need to start delegating tasks.
You must share the load.
If your kids are older, pass some of the chores over to them (such as doing the dishes, walking the dog, etc.).
If you are married, share some of the tasks.
12. Outsource Tasks
Let’s be honest. Even with the best plans, working from home with kids can be challenging.
That’s why some parents choose to outsource tasks.
If you are bringing in enough money from your side hustle, consider paying for cleaning services or childcare.
For some parents, simply paying a babysitter to come for a few hours a week while they work from home makes it easier to get the job done.
Plus, as the saying goes, sometimes you have to spend money to make money (i.e., paying a babysitter so you can make money).
[Related Read: 17 Low-Cost Business Tools to Grow Your Side Hustle]
13. Consider Unique Times for Your Hustle
When parents begin a side hustle, they should consider other ways to schedule the extra work hours.
Parents do not necessarily have to work every evening after they put the kids to bed.
Instead, they may choose to have a side hustle focus one day a week, small increments of time throughout the day, or a weekend once a month.
[Related Read: 5 Lucrative Side Hustles That Don’t Take Much Time]
14. Enforce Quiet Times
Here’s something all parents know – kids need downtime even if they fight you.
And, you will greatly benefit from their downtime.
If you plan to work from home with kids, you need to enforce one period of quiet time each day.
For instance, after lunch, have the kids read a book quietly for 30 minutes.
Give these 30 minutes to the task that requires the most focus.
One of the easiest work-from-home tips is to use a timer for tasks like these.
If kids know a timer will let them know when they can make noise again, you can work in silence for that brief period.
15. Remember That a Little Quality Time Goes a Long Way
When you work from home with kids, they will demand your attention…
Unless you have already given them attention.
You can avoid having your kids constantly disrupting you while you work if you give them some quality time before you start working.
For example, when the school day is over, take 10 minutes to spend one-on-one time with them. Talk about their day, go for a walk together, or take a snack break.
You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes for your overall productivity.
[Related Read: 8 Ways to Increase Productivity in Your Home Office]
16. Provide Drinks and Snacks ahead of Work
One of the best work-from-home tips is to provide drinks and snacks ahead of time.
If not, your kids will ask you all day long for snacks and drinks.
The few minutes you take to put out snacks and drinks before your work block will be well worth it.
17. Wear Noise-Canceling Headphones
Kids are loud. And they are distracting.
That’s why it may be time for you to start wearing noise-canceling headphones.
Just make sure you teach your kids to tap you on your shoulder to get your attention because these headphones really do work.
18. Work in Bursts
Let’s be honest. When you work from home, the kids aren’t your only distractions.
Facebook, Instagram, the news, and more are all calling for your attention.
If you catch yourself wasting huge amounts of time you could be dedicating to your side hustle, then consider working in bursts where you reward yourself with these “distractions” only after you’ve worked.
For example, some working parents use the Pomodoro Technique.
With the Pomodoro Technique, you work in 25-minute bursts, followed by 5-minute breaks (or 5 minutes to scroll mindlessly).
Check out these Pomodoro Timers to help you stay on track.
19. Set Aside Dedicated Family Time
If you are side hustling so your family can have a better life, then make sure you set aside time for your family.
It’s easy to lose track of time.
That’s why it is important to prioritize family time.
For example, add a family activity to your calendar each month, such as movie night, a hike, or a board game tournament.
20. Loosen the Screen Time Rules
Screen time rules serve an excellent purpose, but there are times when it is okay to loosen them.
Like when you are trying to work from home with kids.
If you feel guilty about the amount of time your kids are staring at screens while you work, choose quality television programming or educational apps and games.
Plus, if you plan accordingly, you can schedule their daily screen time for your side hustle work hours.
21. Don’t Burn Out
It’s easy to say “don’t burn out,” but we know parenting is hard work.
It’s important to take time for yourself to stay healthy. Practice self-care, take breaks, and give yourself grace.
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