How to Manage {and Survive} Working from Home with Kids

In the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered all K-12 schools in Michigan to close for three weeks leaving parents scrambling. As a result, it is likely many parents will find themselves working from home soon, among other changes.

If you’re used to kissing your kiddos goodbye every morning before heading to work, you might be panicking at the thought of trying to accomplish your work… at home… all day… with your kids there.  While it’s not always easy {especially depending the ages of your children}, as a full-time work-from-home mom I assure you that it CAN be done.

Here are my top 5 survival tips to get you through the upcoming weeks should you find yourself telecommuting:

  1. Make a schedule. As soon as you can, sit down and time block a typical day for your work needs and a day of activities for your kids. If your children are younger, this needs to be rather flexible, but it is still very important to have a plan before you dive in.  Prioritize work tasks that HAVE to be done or that require more attention and make sure you do those tasks when your children will be most independent to minimize interruptions. Also, check with your employer to see if you can flex your normal working hours. Perhaps you can work a little earlier or a littler later in the day, depending on your kids’ routines and any available help you might have from a spouse, significant other, or family member.selective focus photography of sitting toddler in red sweater holding book
  2. Establish an office space. You don’t have to have an actual home office to have an office space, but you should establish a place that can be used just for your work {and that can ideally be left in the same location}. Having a set space will help with your time management and organization. It will also get your kids used to understanding when and where you are working, which minimizes interruptions.    phone beside turn on laptop
  3. Get dressed! It sounds like common sense, but Monday through Friday, no matter how tempting it is to let everyone stay in their pajamas, you and your kids should get dressed for the day. Getting dressed tells your mind that you WILL be getting things done, whereas staying in your comfies keeps your brain in relaxation mode.
  4. Let the house go. This has been the hardest challenge for me. I enjoy cleaning and I thrive in a clean atmosphere, especially when working. However, if you’re not used to working from home, it can be a time-suck {and a distraction} to jump from working to doing the dishes to folding the laundry and so on. The fewer work interruptions you have, the more productive you will be. Try scheduling a set time each day for chores and tidying and just LET IT GO until that time.   
  5. Last, but NOT least: Don’t panic! Kids can sense your stress and anxiety and will feed off of that. Take a deep breath and remember we are all in this together.  Our norms are being disrupted, but we can and will work through this. We have a wonderful community of support and resources with Mid-Michigan Moms to help you navigate all of the changes. As you’re adjusting to your new {perhaps temporary} norm, give yourself some grace and your children will too.


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Katie is a work-at-home wife and mother who owns her own social media strategy and management company. She grew up in the mitten, but just recently moved back after spending the last 12 years in Florida where she went to college, graduate school, met and married her husband, and then welcomed their two children to the family. Katie enjoys spending time with her family and learning about and applying natural living to their daily lives. She is excited to be back in Michigan, reunited with family and friends, and where she and her loved ones can explore the state while experiencing the beauty of all four seasons.