Combining Working from Home with Kids and Family Responsibilities
Combining Working from Home with Kids and Family Responsibilities
April 27, 2020

Now that school is out through summer, parents have been forced to take a crash course in working from home with kids productively. Personally, I find it extremely challenging when my teenaged son suddenly wants to practice his drum solo while I’m trying to finish a blog on my laptop in the same room, but it helps to know that I’m not in this alone and to just admit it can be a struggle.  

I tried a routine but it didn’t work well. The biggest struggle is them being so young. They don’t understand I need to get work done, and they always want to sit in my lap. I end up doing a lot of work at night after bedtime. Andrea Merrit, DreaM Digital 

I don’t think anyone will ever question what stay-at-home moms do now. I am learning to be a teacher, but that is not my giftand I am so thankful for our educators. It is also hard when everyone needs to be on the internet at once. Even with a hotspot it can be challenging.  Laura Taylor, VP of Operations Lakeland Economic Development Council  

Getting work accomplished can be difficult because our baby is constantly on the go, but we can only do the best we can. Time has slowed down around our house, but then again; we were just talking about it this morning and it’s already been a month since we started the quarantine process and can’t believe it. The days are long and months are short it feels like. – Caleb Randall, Randall Productions 

Working from home with our kids can feel crazy and messy, but we need to hold onto the hope that this time could actually be sweet and filled in with some pretty amazing moments. We are all trying to figure out this way of living, so why not take some time to learn from what others are doing. 

MORNING

As a mom with school aged children, we used to rush out the door like crazed squirrels at 7:00 a.m. to get to school and work on time. With stay-at-home orders, we don’t rush through the morning; which is a relief to be frank. I’m not a morning person. I enjoy being able to wake up, catch up on reading, the news, and then enjoying a cup of coffee while the kids have breakfast. We get started with a morning walk or bike ride at 9:00 a.m. By 9:45 we are settling into morning work. So, the day might get started a bit later but it is so much more enjoyable. Everyone has a chance to get their bearings straight for extra productivity.  Stephanie HoskinsGood Intents  

With our family of five all being home together 24/7 we have come up with some low expectations.  
We are fortunate to have 3 teens who are independent. I have been listening to a podcast while getting dressed and ready to start my day. Typically, by 9 a.m. everyone is ready for the day and the house gets split up. Our teens are checking their emails for distance school assignments and/or making breakfast and Kevin and I are in the front of the house starting our rituals. –Teresa O’Brien, Help(HER) 

I do like how we have more moments together, but I still set my alarm to get up and hopefully get some work done while only one child is awake. Sometimes I get lucky and they’re both still sleeping. – Andrea Merrit, Dream Digital 

Our son usually goes to daycare so the best way my wife and I can structure our time currently is through taking turns working and watching our baby. I usually take the morning work shift and she takes the afternoon. She is a criminal prosecutor, so some days she has to be on a conference call all day, other days it’s more flexible. The days she has more flexibility is when I get a lot of work done. – Caleb Randall, Randall Productions 

MIDDAY 

Let the kids lead and choose how they want to do their lessons. They appreciate the autonomy and independence, which they’re used to anyway from being in school. And then you do your work while or when they’re done. No fights, no fuss, peace. –Dorcas Crumbley, Essential Catering Solutions 

I’m blessed mine is 17! My best tip is just to get their day started like they have school and let them choose to handle their course load. I raised my son with love and logic principles so I simply remind him that the consequences he will face are not mine and won’t reflect on me…… Those of you with young kids, I pray for you daily, because I know I couldn’t handle that. –Lisa Welsh, Vitality Farms 

We like to go on a lot of walks around the neighborhood while we steer clear of people LOL, we also try to do different types of things around the house from playing guitar to FaceTime calls with the family; gardening and enjoying our front porch when it’s cool enough. We rearranged our furniture the other day to make our house feel different; it can be refreshing. – Caleb Randall, Randall Productions 

My best tip is to put them outside on the pool deck!  Okay, I only have fur babies left at home—but sometimes they are as disruptive as littles! Thor keeps beating me up by shaking his ratty old bear to try and get me to stop what I’m working on and play! Darla Markley, No Guilt Baking Company 

ALL DAY

Oh man, I feel like we have been doing pretty well. Both parents working from home here. 
We stick to our routine! School is 9-3 at our house, but when I have too much of my own work,  

  • We break early for a movie around 1:30 this has been a good incentive for them to get their work done on time. 
  • We have snack time and a lunch. After daily circle time with their teachers at 10:30. They love to see their friends and often stay on after the teacher to visit with each other and have dance parties. 
  • We have music on almost all day. So they can break out in dances whenever they want. 
  • Yoga, PE, outside time every day. We also have Indoor swings, huge plus. 
  • Chores and Practical life like dishes and laundry, cooking crocheting, watering plants are a part of our curriculum. 
  • Lots of art, math, writing prompts. 
  • Keeping our house clean and picked up is contributing to the sanity. 
  • The iPad isn’t used until the weekend. Saturday’s and Sunday’s are spent mostly outdoors. 

 –Brittany Welchel, State of the Spark 

AFTERNOON BREAK, THE SWEET SPOT 

Typically, around 2 or 3 p.m. Kevin or I have rallied everyone together to play Mario Party. (This is something we just purchased and it has been a great fit for our family.)- Teresa O’BrienHelp(HER)

                      The O’Brien Family 

DINNER 

We are enjoying actual moments and dinner at the table together. I think before a lot of families including mine, were all so busy that we did not enjoy the simple things in life. Life was jammed packed and you didn’t notice some things that were most important. I think people will decide that family, friends and time together means more than material items moving forward. My daughter has a pen-pal in Kansas she has been connecting with, and I think the beauty of getting a personal letter is more important than a text. –Laura Taylor, VP of Operations Lakeland Economic Development Council  

We have dinner together and go over our highs and lows. Sometimes our kids feel there isn’t much to share and that is okay. We clean up together and take our goldendoodle, Rex, for a walk around our neighborhood. Kids typically listen to their music with their headphones and Kevin and I get to check in with each other on how our day was- how we are feeling emotionally. We return to shower and watch a movie or episode together with POPCORN. I think we have had popcorn every day! Teresa O’Brien, Help(HER) 

Whatever your family situation is right now; single parent, married with children, a house full of pets, if you are an entrepreneur who is feeling a little weak, disheveled, or disorganized from all the extras colliding in the work mix. We are all right there with you trying to find that bridge between getting our jobs done well and being truly present for all of the memorable moments this season has unexpectedly provided. This is once upon a time just became our real life, our real story, so give in a little, and don’t beat yourself up. Take the wins as they come, and we hope this helps you to find that much needed middle ground. 

Let us know what you liked in this article and what has worked for you as you work from home by commenting below. We’d love to hear from you! 

This blog was written by the team at Catapult Lakeland, an entrepreneur center in Lakeland Florida that exists to foster the growth of startups by providing education, resources, community and space.

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