Working From Home During School Holidays

February 17, 2016

Ahhh, half term... little ones off school and demanding to be entertained at all times! I actually love half term as it's nice to have the time with my munchkins and also nice not to have the school morning rush. This feeling does start to wane by the end of the holidays however and Monday morning I'm literally throwing them through the school gate!
One thing that can be tricky is working from home when the kids are around. Deadlines still need to be met but bored children are noisy children. Lots of people will have likely worked out what works for them, but for those that haven't, these are some ideas...

Try and map out what is happening and when, this way you can stay on top of things and spot potential time slots where you can get a little work done. For this half term, I made sure my diary was filled in by Sunday night so I had a good idea of how each day was going to be. This is of course subject to change but can still reduce much uncertainty.

This is probably the teacher in me, but I like to set my kids mini projects to do. Small tasks that might last half an hour to an hour (depending on their mood!) and which they can get engrossed in while I work. Provide a topic, give them a book and allow them to find out some new information. I give mine paper and pens and they read together while one writes and the other draws. Afterwards they love sharing what they have found out and I can give them my undivided attention while listening, as I would have just got some work done. They are of course 4 and 6, an age where something like this is exciting and not a chore... but every child will have a topic they can be excited by. Choose the ones that suit yours. Superheroes? Sharks? Countries? Luxury watches?? You don't only have to use books... an article in a magazine could be just as informative.

Great for giving you a couple of hours to get some jobs done. They have fun at a friend's house while you can be productive... win win!
Of course, return the favour and help out another parent who perhaps needs a couple of hours to themselves. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Chances are that the kids are going to bed a little later than usual... if so, perhaps they are waking up a little later than usual too? That extra hour or so early in the morning is a perfect opportunity to check and reply to emails, write out to-do lists, write a blog post, whatever it is you need to do! I find that I'm much more productive in the morning anyway so those early hours when the house is quiet is a perfect time to work.

One day, as I was shushing my children, I realised that if someone was telling me to be quiet, firstly I would be quite annoyed, and secondly I would want to know why! Communication is so important and I have found that actually explaining to my boys that mummy needs to call a lady about a meeting she is planning is much more effective than just saying "shhhhh!". It also prevents the look on their faces which translates to "don't shhhh me!".
Mutually understood signals are also very handy. If they walk in the room and I am on the phone, a simple point to the phone and then finger to my lips is enough for whispers of "she's on the phone" to echo as they leave the room. Unless of course it's something really urgent, like one of them ruining the other ones lego model. Which is clearly life threatening....

One of the many perks of working from home is the extra time you can have with your children. Just enjoy the fact that you can do that and if your work schedule goes a bit off, I'm sure it was worth it :)


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