Hello, wonder woman! 😉
Let me guess – you want to become an even greater wonder woman and that’s why you are here?
Being a WAHM is both a wonderful gift and a curse at the same time.
I’m sure you’re nodding your head right now if you are in the same place.
Let’s freshen up the memories (if there’s even a need for it!).
It’s time to get to work.
You sat at your working spot at home, got into the zone, and started working but it doesn’t get long before you can hear the little feet coming your way.
And that would be perfectly fine, but those little feet have a little voice and little hands which start to pull you to come and solve yet another burning “problem” which can’t wait for even a second longer.
You fix it as fast as you can, go back to your working spot, refocus and continue where you left off.
But, the peace you have doesn’t last forever.
After a while, the story repeats.
In the end, you either accept it and (try to) work in those conditions, or you decide to wake up earlier or stay longer in the evening to get the work done while the kids are sleeping.
Familiar with this scenario?
It happened to me far more times than I would like.
And this is what I did at first.
For a while, I used to stay awake until very late in the evenings, typing the words just like I’m doing it right now, but after a while sleep deprivation kicked me really hard.
The next option was to wake up earlier than others, so I could have the morning peace and quiet by my side to do some work.
And even though I truly enjoyed those moments, somehow I never managed to become a morning person I would like to.
But have to admit, I’m still trying – it’s a work in progress. 🙂
The only other option left available to me was to do the work while my kids are awake, and at the same place as I am.
I would say, a scary, challenging, and brave option for all of us.
This is a summary of what I’ve learned so far out of this experiment.
It is possible to do some quality work with the kids around, no matter how unbelievable it may sound
I do manage to get about half an hour of pure uninterrupted work time with them by my side, but not right next to me.
Personally, it suits me fine.
With complete focus and a clear plan on what I want to accomplish in that half an hour, an amazing amount of work can be done.
After that half an hour my mind would anyhow start to wander (even a little bit – meaning 2-5 seconds in my dictionary), so it’s a good time for me to take a small break anyhow, check up on kids, be with them for a while and after it, get back to work again.
If in need for a larger chunk of time to devote to work (I’m talking about completely uninterrupted, focused 2 hours or more), the best option still remains to wait until the kids are asleep (either in the evening or morning)
There are times when I estimate I’ll need a long uninterrupted period of time to do the work, such as some larger project, foundational issues, and brainstorming ideas.
Those are really important issues to me, and I don’t want to lose the creative flow once I’m in the zone.
And as you may know, it sometimes takes more time for those steps than what it takes to create everything else after you set the right basics first.
Because there is no way on Earth I would get 2 hours (or more!) of uninterrupted time with the kids around (and strongly believe no one can – at least no WAHM 🙂 ), I schedule my day to do it either in the evening or in the morning.
However, for the vast majority of times, I leave those stuff for Friday or Saturday evenings, because I can never tell quite for sure how much time will it take me to reach the desired outcome.
Because of that, I like the evening option since it gives me the flexibility to stay awake as long as it takes.
Plus, the next morning is the day of the weekend, so it’s a bit more relaxing if I go overboard the night before. 😉
You would be amazed at how much the kids can actually understand and how willing they are to cooperate if you present your “problem” the right way
Because of their age (2/3 and 6/7 at the time), I used to think my kids wouldn’t understand certain things – my work and the need for an uninterrupted time among them.
So I never bothered to try to explain it to them.
I assumed the children’s nature is what it is, that there is no way I could be left alone even for 5-10 minutes, let alone longer.
It was really unimaginable to me.
I structured my days according to that belief, wiggling and trying to find peaceful alternatives wherever I could.
And then it happened.
I really wanted to listen to a live, no replay webinar.
It was a one-time possibility only – take it or leave it.
Not so good. (I believe you understand that by that I mean the kids are awake and with me)
And I really, really, really didn’t want to miss it.
What did I do?
I told them.
Simple as that.
Told them what I attend to do and why it is important to me.
Both of them actually respected my request, and I’ve managed to listen to the whole 2-hour webinar.
I was amazed! 😮
Yes, the truth is at least my younger one did “check up” on me about 2 or 3 times during those two hours, but they weren’t distracting me.
Plus, it’s even not as frequent.
They would come by to the door, simply wave a hand or hug me, and then leave again to play on their own.
Besides being proud of them for making those long 2 hours on their own, and without giving me a hard time in the process, this event made me realize that I shouldn’t assume things when it comes to kids.
Well, better say, I shouldn’t assume things when it comes to anything.
Always give it a try.
Try one way, or another if the first doesn’t work.
Or a third, fourth…
Find a solution that works for all of you.
And for any situation, you can find at least one way to make it run smoothly (as much as possible, at least! 🙂 ).
There will always be exceptions, but they shouldn’t bother you
Don’t expect things to work the same way (and smooth) every time.
Even if you created a perfect system, rest assured there will be occasional slip-ups.
That’s how it goes when you have kids around, and there’s no way you can beat it.
Just accept it.
You’re well aware there’s always a possibility for a sudden tantrum, an appearance of a (real) problem, a frequent need that you intervene in certain situation…
Obviously or not, those events are too much distracting and even if you want to get back to work, most likely you won’t get much stuff done (or at all).
A better option is to reschedule the day, or even forget about the work for today and rearrange it for tomorrow, or at least today’s evening.
Sometimes it’s better to know what battles are worth fighting, and what is best to be left aside (at least for the moment).
Stop and think.
Is it better to hopelessly “work” while being way too distracted for it (which translates to almost nothing done) and at the same time neither you (and your work) or your kids didn’t get the attention needed (equals to an almost unnecessary wasted day), OR step back from work, give your kids some quality time filled with TLC (and refuel yourself alongside), and then get back to work when some quiet time emerges?
To sum it up.
Working at home with the kids around is a challenging adventure, especially when the kids are still little or it’s summer vacation time, but it is possible and doable (with the very low stress involved in the process).
Be happy and rock your work from home! 🙂
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