I’m a work-from-home mom of two little girls, ages two and one. If you’d have asked me two years ago what I’d be doing now, I never in my wildest dreams would have guessed I’d have the luxury of being able to bring in an income while staying at home with my kids. In the back of my mind, I’d always hoped to break into the world of freelance writing, but I didn’t really think it was a goal I would actually achieve. Lo and behold, I’ve managed to do just that. While I’m still learning and growing, I’ve continuously been increasing my income from home for nearly three years now – with a toddler and a baby in tow.
I started out slow, writing one to two articles per month for a women’s website. Gradually, as I got more accustomed to freelancing and started to grow in my role as a mom, I was able to add a little bit more work each month. During my all-time “high,” I was bringing in around $2,200 per month.
5 Tips to stay organized when working from home with kids
1. Start gradually. I didn’t take on five clients to start out with and neither should you! Like I said, I started out writing the bare minimum and slowly added more to my workload as time went on. By slowly adding more work to your schedule, you can adjust your schedule as needed and not feel overwhelmed. Another beauty of freelancing is if you do start to feel like you’ve taken on too much work, you can always cut back.
2. Get the kids on a schedule. If your kids aren’t on a schedule, you won’t be either and you won’t be able to successfully get any work done. While little ones can be unpredictable, it’s good to have a general idea of how your days will go (see A day in the life of a work-from-home mom). I make sure my girls both take a nap at the same time. We plan an activity each morning (even if it’s just running errands), come home and have lunch then I put the girls down for their naps. While there are days one of them doesn’t sleep, I know for the most part that they both will nap for around two hours and I can work.
3. Work ahead. So, what do I do on the days one (or both) of my kids don’t take a nap? Absolutely nothing! I always work ahead of schedule and complete all assignments at least two days in advance. This prepares me for the uncertainty that comes with having babies. Instead of stressing out or having to work late into the evening, I simply enjoy my time with them knowing I’m ahead on work.
4. Get yourself on a schedule. Whether you like to wake up early or are more of a night owl, it’s important to determine when you’re going to work that way you don’t feel like you’re working all day. My schedule slightly varies each day, but I always plan it out the night before. If I have more work than normal to do, I wake up one to two hours before my girls get up. I prefer to get most of my work done in the mornings and during nap times so I can relax and unplug in the evenings. Both a schedule and a to-do list are vital if you work from home with kids.
5. Eliminate distractions. To help stay on track, I recently deleted Facebook from my everyday life and it has made a world of a difference. I’m much more productive with my time and get all of my work done faster and more efficiently. Now, I’m not saying you need to delete social media from your life in order to work from home, but you do need to make sure you’re being as efficient with your time as possible. Perhaps you can designate certain hours of the day for social media time or just save it for the end of the day when all of your work is complete. Or maybe it’s not social media, but the television that’s a distraction. Whatever your distractions are in life, try to limit them or eliminate them if you work from home with kids.
About the author: Sarah Brooks is a work-from-home freelance writer and blogger at The Frugal Millionaire. She recently moved from Arizona to North Carolina and is loving life on the east coast. When she’s not working, she enjoys traveling, baking and spending time outdoors.