How to Work From Home With Small Children (& Not Go Crazy!)
A really incredible thread came up the other day in our Drop Ship Lifestyle Labs private Facebook Group. It started off when one of our members reached out looking for any others who struggle on how to work from home with small children in the house.
The thread ended up being a few dozen comments long and full of great tips and motivation from other young parents in the group. As a new parent myself, I know it can be a real challenge not just to work from home, but to build an online business that will provide you with the income to take care of your family.
Are you having a difficult time working from home with small children? If so, here’s a comprehensive list of tips I’d suggest to keep yourself sane and productive:
That’s why I took the best tips from that thread and compiled them altogether into one easy to bookmark list with tips on how to work from home with small children.Whether you’re just starting the course from home, or providing for your family full-time with profits from your drop shipping store, these tips are going to help you work better and more effective. Which, with a small kid or two in the house, can seem nearly impossible…
My Top Two Tips for How to Work From Home with Small Children in the House
I just had my first son at the end of 2017 and have been lucky enough to be flexible and work at home with both him and my wife. Having him has been awesome but I have to say, I now have A LOT more respect for anyone who builds their business AFTER starting a family!
You’ll have to accept the fact you’ll most likely not be able able to work for long, interrupted stretches of time. This makes it extremely important to be able to “get into the zone” quickly when you sit back down at your desk. To help, try listening to the same song and / or playlist on repeat while working.
Bonus Tip: Listen with Bose Noise Cancellation Headphones and ask your husband / wife / nanny to get you as needed!
Try to get your baby into a routine so that you can better plan your own. We didn’t try to enforce any set eating and sleeping routine for our baby for his first 3 months… this made it almost impossible to plan out my days and most of my time was spent reacting to the babies wants and needs.Now we know what time he eats, what time he naps, what time he gets his bath, and what time he goes to sleep for the night. This made both of us happier as the baby is now sleeping better, and I’m getting more focused work done!
Tiffany B. - DSL Member - Mother of One
“I wanted to create something that didn't take away all my husband and my time with our baby! It seems insane to start a fourth business at this stage of my life but it makes total sense to me and what I want for my family.”
Tip #1: Find Balance in Your Life
On a daily basis, I need to work from home on four businesses, raise my baby, get outside, exercise, rest and do the house chores. If I skip one or two of these for too long, I cannot sustain good mental health or something goes downhill.
So I have learned to give into the two or three hours a day I get to work and not try to act as if I have seven hours and then get frustrated I didn't get my huge job list done. This means I then can utilize the rest of my day to its full extent and actually be a happy person.
Tip #2: Hire a Cleaner and Don’t Feel Guilty About it
Hiring someone to clean my place was the best thing I did for myself. When you work at home with a messy baby, you can go a little crazy looking at the mess all day.
Michael C. - DSL Coach - Father of Four
“For the past five years I have been supporting my family of six as the sole income provider in the house with 100% of the income being from money made online. Having four kids under the age of five (with my first one just being born when I started DSL) forces you to find solutions to effectively work from home.”
Tip #3: Make Important Calls During Nap Times
I used to call suppliers during their nap times so it was quiet and I was able to sound more professional without a baby crying in the background. I personally did a lot of work from 10 PM to 2 AM on my store. This allowed me to have peace & quiet while my kids slept. If I had a newborn it allowed my fiancé to get some rest as I would grab the baby when they would wake at that early AM time.
Tip #4: Switch to a Bigger Gym That Offers Childcare
I never did this, but actually saw how effective it was for other parents to sign up for a bigger gym that offer childcare. Most gyms with childcare will allow up to two hours a day for an extra $30-$50 a month. I love this package and have this as well.
With my four kids, being able to drop them off and go workout while giving my significant other a break (or she could work out too same time) helped me personally get out of the house, away from the computer and break the sometimes monotonous routine we get stuck in by sitting in a chair all day.
What I thought was clever is as I would go to the gym somewhat regularly, I would see parents who would go on a run for 30 minutes or take a 45 minutes Crossfit class; but then whip out their computers when they were done and doing work for close to an hour RIGHT OUTSIDE THE CHILDCARE!!!
We are lucky enough to have some outside help come over in the morning and a few nights a week, but I thought that was absolutely genius. Those parents got in an extra 60-90 minutes of work every single day if they wanted, while their child is running wild playing with other kids in the play area being watched by a few workers (depending how big your gym is) for an extra $30-$50 a month. Well worth the cost!!!
Brent P. - DSL Member - Father of One (With Another on the Way!)
Tip #5: Meditate
Your time to work on your side hustle is when everyone is sleeping, so I found that meditation really helps when you are getting less sleep.
Tip #6: Be Present
Be present when you are with your child and spouse. This means no phones, work thoughts, daydreaming as every moment of your child's life as a baby is too precious to pass up on for what could be on social media or mindless browsing.
Zach S. - DSL Member - Father of One
“For my wife and I, we absolutely needed to set rock-solid boundaries if we were going to have any sort of success with our store."
Tip #7: Set Up a Schedule
When I first started the course, my son was 3 months old. It is just too much to try and juggle a full-time job, maintain a healthy marriage, take care of a newborn, and start/learn a new business all at once without some agreed-upon system in place with your significant other. For my wife and I, we absolutely needed to set rock-solid boundaries if we were going to have any sort of success with our drop shipping store.
After purchasing the coaching program, we worked out a clear schedule. It has since evolved, but these days I've got every Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6p-1130p and every Sunday from sunup to sundown to chip away on our website.
There are only so many hours in the week, and the current system my wife and I have allows me to allocate time with my new family (my favorite), time with my job, and time to work from home on our online business while minimizing the crazy relationship miscommunication stress.
Brian A. - DSL Coach - Father of Two
“If you work from home, with your kids nearby, you're the luckiest person on the planet... so don't miss it.”
Tip #8: Set Boundaries
Set boundaries because you will need a quiet space to work from home. Also, set aside time when you know you won't be disturbed.
Tip #9: Talk About Being a Parent
Talk about being a parent with your customers and suppliers. There's no better way to connect with someone.
Tip #10: Enjoy Working From Home!
Enjoy it! If you work from home with your kids nearby, you're the luckiest person on the planet... so don't miss it.
Shannon C. - DSL Member - Mother of Four
“It has been great to set my own schedule, work at my own pace as well as be able to have my three-year-old asleep on my lap when she was sick. And still be able to get work done at my home computer. Nowhere else I'd rather be!"
Tip #11: Make Some Progress Every Day
I'm a homeschooling mom of four girls under 10 years old and my husband works full time, plus has two small businesses that keep him very busy. So I've turned 'bedtime' over to my husband as late evening seems the best time of day for me to get the biggest chunk of focus time.
I try to get at least some progress made every day. I keep a notebook with notes of what I've learned, new terms, coaching call notes, competitors’ information, supplier notes and such.I end every day with making a to-do list for the next day or next step - which is helpful when I sit down I can jump right into where I left off. It has been great to set my own schedule, work at my own pace as well as be able to have my three year old asleep on my lap when she was sick.
Jeana F. - DSL Member - Mother of One
“My main thing is trying to find time to work in everything I want to do without stressing myself out…"
Tip #12: Wake Up First
I need to find time to exercise regularly and eat healthy on top of consistently carving time out every day to build this drop shipping business. One way I deal with this is making sure I'm up at 6 AM every day and try to fit at least two hours in on building the business before my child wakes up. If I'm lucky, I can also work from home on the business during his naps, but sometimes that time is needed for exercise, cooking, or critically needed chores or errands.
Tip #13: Don’t Become ‘Chained’ to Your Routine
But you can't let yourself get chained to the routine either because unexpected things always happen. If your whole plan ends up getting thrown off one day, the key is to not get stressed out about it and go with the flow when needed.
Also don't be afraid to just take some time to yourself, or just play with your kids for a while with no worries. Sometimes I need to remind myself not to get caught up in the business and chores all day while my kid's stuck in the play area entertaining himself with no real interaction from me. Those moments with your children are precious and you will never get them back again, so make sure you enjoy them every day and don't get too caught up in adulting.All in all, the challenges of working from home as a parent of a newborn baby are worth it to me when I consider how lucky I am. Click To Tweet
All in all, the challenges of working from home as a parent are worth it to me (and it seems many others in our community) when I consider how lucky I am to be able to stay at home and work on my business. It can be a balancing act for sure, but it can be done with systems and discipline!
What about you? What’s your favorite tip for working from home with small children that keeps you sane? Maybe one of the tips above has helped you out the most? Either way, let’s keep up the conversation in the comments!