At some point in life we all have to make a decision that will mark our future from that moment on. The decision I’m talking about is to create, to give birth, to have kids with your beloved partner. This decision leads to another, more critical one: Do you give up your career (and a good source of money) to become a full-time parent, or do you continue with your career and become a working parent?
There is a lot of social pressure involved in this decision. It’s all about what kind of parent you want to be and what kind of parent society allows you to be. Sometimes neither option seems better because in each case you have to sacrifice something important. When nothing seems like the best idea, you have to create one and struggle until you find it. That was what I did when I found myself in this position.
I was already a mother of two (an almost 1.5-year-old boy and a 6-month baby girl). I didn’t want to have my kids grow in my absence but I couldn’t afford to be a full-time parent. There seemed to be no good option until I found a way to work from home for a great company who understood my needs.
This solution seemed perfect, but the easiest thing about it was making that decision. It was what I wanted and needed; but to make it really work was the hardest thing I ever did or probably will ever do.
Today I’ll talk about my struggles and tell you all my secrets about how I managed to work from home with small children and didn’t go crazy!
You Need to Know what You’re Venturing Into
If you are accustomed to staying home and taking care of your kids and still struggling to find moments of peace without having to work, imagine how impossible it would seem to succeed with work in that environment.
As happy as I was to find a solution to take care of both my kids and my career, I was worried because I started to understand what a journey I had just ventured into. I have to admit that I felt extremely scared and anxious, but I knew that giving in to these feelings wouldn’t do me any good.
I realized that the only way to succeed and at both was to transform into an incredibly organized and disciplined person. I also had to make a very strict schedule for my kids. too, so they wouldn’t interfere with my work. You can’t work when you’re kids are roaming around and need your attention.
At that moment it truly felt impossible. I was barely making it through the day and I never found time for myself – not to mention time to relax and definitely not to work.
How My Journey Started
It all started the weekend before my first day of working at home as my husband and I were talking about making things work. We were in this together because I can’t do it all without his help and support – I’m not a SuperWoman.
From then on my husband would be in charge of all the groceries, cooking on the weekends and always helping me with cleaning up.
While he was playing in the yard with the kids, I could plan my life in peace. Custom coursework writing isn’t a really hard job for me, so if I focus and concentrate I can manage to work for as much as 3 to 4 hours a day.
From that moment on, things started to look more possible. Now I had to figure out the perfect routine to make it all work. Making the perfect routine is easy; managing to follow it is the real struggle.
First, I decided how many hours of sleep I need to rest properly so I could set fixed hours for bedtime and for the morning alarm. From there on I had to write my schedule minute by minute, like real dissertation writers. Of course, you can’t predict the exact time for changing diapers so I had to keep a flexible note.
The perfect solution for me was to work two hours in the morning when the baby sleeps and my son plays and watches his favorite movies, and two hours in the afternoon when both the kids are sleeping.
Making a schedule wasn’t easy as many responsibilities kept popping into my head every time I thought I was on the verge of finishing it. I finally created one that seemed like a routine that could really work for me.
Of course, it didn’t work as I had planned and I made a lot of mistakes. Here’s what I learned from this crazy experience and how I finally managed to not go crazy.
Top Secrets to Work from Home with Small Children:
1. Don’t Have Expectations
I was pretty excited for everything to go as per my expectations – and I was pretty disappointed as obviously things barely went as planned. I realized that my expectations were actually impossible and they didn’t do me any good. They were only breaking me down.
2. Recharge – Take a Nap
I always started my mornings at 5:30 A.M. so you can imagine how exhausted I already was by 11:00. When the night’s sleep didn’t really help me anymore, I started to take a long recharging nap between 11 and 1 (some days longer and some shorter). It was all my body needed to make it through the day.
3. Help Your Body Keep Up with This Crazy Lifeless
When your body isn’t used to this type of crazy, it also isn’t used to producing enough nutrients and vitamins to keep you going. You have to provide extra vitamins to stay strong and not damage your health.
4. Never Let Your Guard Down
One of the toughest things was to not give up and to not let my guard down. There were moments when I simply wanted to run away from all of this because it seemed too much, too hard. I now look at them as strength tests that I managed to pass and I feel like nothing can ever bring me down.
5. Be Patient and Don’t Stress Out
Patience is the key to make it all work – great things don’t happen overnight. Give yourself time to get accustomed to this new life style. Remember stressing out won’t do you any good.
6. Don’t Work on Short Deadlines
Always make longer deadlines to be sure you won’t miss them. Unexpected things can happen daily when you have small kids. The last thing you want to do is lose your job.
7. Make Sure Your Kids are Preoccupied and Safe while You Work
Never let your kids completely unsupervised. Invest in some cameras or baby audio monitors for each kid. I made that mistake and my baby was on the verge of choking on a toy – not a nice experience.
8. Don’t Forget What You’re Fighting For
Motivation is the only thing that can help you succeed in this crazy, beautiful journey. Always keep in mind the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing; and remember that it gets easier and it won’t last forever.
In theory, it seems pretty simple or at least easier than I say it was; but having a well-organized life with 2 small children to raise, while having to find quiet time to work, is something that not many people are able or even willing to do.
The trick is to genuinely desire to make things work and feeling that this is what you truly want to do with your life until your kids are old enough to go to kindergarten.
Things will get easier once your body gets accustomed to the new lifestyle. As your kids grow older, they will begin to understand that they have to help you by being good. To instill this behavior, always reward them for their efforts.