Mom working from home with daughter underneath her desk

How to Work From Home With Kids: From One Working Mom to Another

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Ever since I started working from home, life has been a non-stop juggle of feeding schedules, Zoom meetings, and trying to find some semblance of work-life balance. As I tried to figure out how to work from home with kids, I faced challenges that can test the patience of even the most seasoned professionals. 

On a typical workday, the clock strikes nine, and it’s as if a starter pistol has been fired. Emails start flooding in, the baby’s cry signals it’s time for his feed, and, just like that, my to-do list seems to expand the more I look at it. 

This scene, chaotic and all too common, has been the reality for many moms maneuvering through the tasks of working from home with kids.

Yet, within this daily whirlwind, there exists a rhythm, a series of strategies that have not just allowed me to survive but to thrive.

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A Working Mom’s Survival Guide on How to Work From Home With Kids

While working from home and entertaining kids at home can be a lot to manage, there are a few things you should absolutely do to maintain your sanity and get things done.

Here are some key tips you’ll need to work from home successfully:

Tip #1: Understand the Challenges of Working from Home with Kids

working looking at laptop with baby on her lap

One of the primary hurdles of working from home while managing children is the constant interruption. Whether it’s a toddler needing attention, a baby that won’t settle, or just the many demands of running a household, these interruptions can severely disrupt the workday, making it hard to focus and maintain productivity. 

Another significant challenge I found is the guilt and stress that come from balancing professional responsibilities with the need to provide care and quality time for your kids. 

This emotional tug-of-war can lead to feelings of inadequacy in both roles. 

The lack of clear boundaries between work and home life can make it difficult to ‘switch off,’ which can lead to burnout and decreased job satisfaction. 

All these factors combine to create a complex environment that work-from-home moms need to navigate daily.

Tip #2: Create a Dedicated Workspace to Become More Productive

One of the things I found was absolutely necessary for moms trying to balance working from home and kids is to create a dedicated workspace. 

Here are my tips for doing so:

  • A physical boundary can significantly enhance focus and productivity by minimizing distractions and psychologically preparing you for work mode. 
  • Even in limited spaces, you can get creative and transform a small corner into an efficient office. Start by choosing a quiet spot, as far away from the main living areas as possible, to reduce distractions. 
  • Next, invest in comfortable, ergonomic furniture to support your posture during long hours of work. 
  • Organize your workspace with essential supplies within reach, so that you can maintain a clutter-free environment and promote mental clarity. 
  • Personalize your area with items that inspire and motivate you, such as photos of your children, inspirational quotes, or a small plant, to make it inviting and conducive to creativity. 

The act of entering your dedicated workspace will then serve as a cue to your brain that it’s time to focus on work, providing a mental separation from household responsibilities and enabling greater productivity and job satisfaction.

Tip #3: Structure Your Day to Balance Work and Childcare

Balancing work and childcare from the confines of your home requires a deft approach to time management. It also requires a flexible routine that accommodates both your professional responsibilities and the needs of your children. 

Here are some strategies to achieve this balance:

  • Start Early: If possible, wake up an hour or so before your children to tackle high-priority tasks. This quiet time can be incredibly productive and allows you to focus without interruptions.
  • Create a Schedule: Design a daily routine that mimics a traditional work and school day, with structured times for work, play, meals, and rest. Ensure it’s flexible enough to adapt to unexpected changes or emergencies.
  • Set Clear Boundaries: Make sure your children understand when you are working and need to focus. Use visual cues, like a sign on your office door, to signal when you should not be disturbed. 
  • Involve Your Kids in Planning: For older children, involve them in creating the daily schedule. This can help them understand the concept of work time and playtime, and they’re more likely to respect the boundaries you’ve set.
  • Plan Activities for Kids: Prepare activities that can keep your children engaged while you work. This could be educational apps, puzzles, crafting, or simple age-appropriate tasks that they can do on their own. Some of my favorites include magnetic tiles and Leapfrog tablets.
  • Take Regular Breaks: Use breaks to spend quality time with your children, whether it’s a quick game, a walk outside, or lunch together. This helps minimize the feeling of neglect they might experience and reduces the guilt they may have about juggling work and childcare.
  • Leverage Nap Times: If you have younger children, align tasks requiring deep focus with their nap times. This may mean shuffling your schedule to maximize these quiet periods.
  • Communicate with Your Employer: Be open about your situation and discuss flexible working arrangements. Many employers are understanding and may offer solutions like flexible hours or condensed workweeks.

Finding a balance will not always be smooth, and there will be days when your plan doesn’t go as intended. The key is to maintain flexibility, forgive yourself for the hiccups, and celebrate the small wins along the way.

Tip #4: Keep Your Cup Full By Engaging in Self-Care

Self-care is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity, especially for work-from-home moms who tirelessly balance career and family life. Incorporating self-care practices into your daily routine can significantly affect your overall well-being. 

Start with something as simple as setting aside a few minutes each morning to enjoy a cup of coffee in silence, allowing yourself to gather your thoughts and prepare for the day ahead. 

Commit to regular physical activity, which could be a yoga session during a lunch break or an evening walk. Remember the power of a healthy diet and staying hydrated. 

Most importantly, acknowledge the importance of mental health by staying connected with friends, seeking professional support if needed, and engaging in hobbies that bring you joy. 

Balancing work and personal life is challenging, but taking steps to care for yourself is crucial in ensuring you have the energy and mindset to face each day with positivity and resilience. For some additional self-care inspiration, check out 13 Self-Care Night Ideas That Will Change Your Life.

Tip #5: Embrace the Chaos with Grace and Grit

Woman relaxing in front of her work desk with cup of coffee in her hand

The journey of a working mom is nothing short of heroic, a testament to our inner resilience and strength. Acknowledging the challenges is essential, but equally important is celebrating every victory, no matter how small. Whether it’s successfully managing a work project or witnessing your child’s first steps, each moment is a milestone. 

Continue to approach each day with grace and grit, for in doing so, you’re not only shaping your future but also the future of your next generation.


As someone who does it all the time, let me be the first to tell you that working from home with kids is not easy. If you don’t create some structure to your day, distractions and chaos will be inevitable.

It’s important to find a routine that makes sense for you and your family, and to be flexible when things don’t go according to plan. Creating a dedicated workspace, structuring your day, setting clear boundaries, engaging in self-care, and communicating with your employer are all essential for work from home success. 

So take it one day at a time, and don’t forget to BREATHE and celebrate the small wins along the way!

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