How to Juggle Your Side-Hustle and Kids at the Same Time and Actually Get Stuff Done
Are you a mompreneur with a 9-5? You already use daycare so you squeeze in as much as possible during the evening hours. You might wonder how can you get anything done when you still have to cook, clean, and tend to your kids. I feel your pain, very deeply. So many times I thought no one could possibly be busier than me. I have a lot of high demand priorities, so using my time wisely is super important and a necessity if I want to get anything done. Mompreneurs who juggle their side hustle with a 9-5 and little kids create a very different dynamic. My kids are still very young, so I still get a lot of mommy this and mommy that, she hit me first, and so on. Being a mom-referee and mompreneur at the same time was a major challenge that I knew I had to tackle if I was going to make my business work for me.
When I became a mompreneur (I was a mommy first before getting into business), I felt like my blog would not survive very long and neither would I. I don’t have any family in the area that can offer relief from the kids so I had to be creative and develop some mompreneur tactics that gave me the time and space to manage my blog and build my business.
Here are some of my best mom tactics that I use to juggle my kids and business at the same time when no one else is around. Depending on the age of your kids, you may very well have to tweak this to suit your situation. This post will show you that it’s not as hard as you think to get stuff done when you’re being the CEO and mom at the same time.
Train and prepare your kids early to understand the importance of boundaries and time so that they will respect your space and time that you give to yourself.
CREATE VISIBLE BOUNDARIES
If you have a dedicated office space that you can close off, this is much easier for you than those, including me, who’s workspace is the living room. If your kids are young, you may not necessarily want to close and lock the door (oh how nice that would be), but you can establish a visible boundary that will signal to your kids, DO NOT DISTURB OR DO NOT COME IN.
Use your child’s chalkboard easel and write down the boundary they are to respect. Use words that you know they will understand and, if needed, have them practice with you before you actually dive into your work to make sure they understand your expectations.
Use red construction paper to signal to your kids, STOP! Write it out if you have to and tape it to your office door or sit the paper up on something on your desk so they can see if you have to share your workspace with them.
Use the timer on your cell phone, microwave, or clock so they can see the amount of time you expect them to leave you alone so you can get your work done. I especially recommend you have two timers. Have one that is not situated in your office or close to your workspace so your kids don’t keep coming in your space wondering how much time you have left. Let them know that this is their timer and they should look at it and wait for the buzzer before they can ask you for anything. Place the second timer on your desk or use a productivity app that you can track as well so you know when you’re getting close to the end.
TAKE THEM TO A PLACE WHERE YOU AND YOUR KIDS CAN BOTH BENEFIT
I always think it’s so cool to hear about other bloggers who work from the comfort of a coffee shop or some other cool place, but for us mompreneurs who have their kids in tow, Starbucks is not the ideal place. Don’t worry, your day is coming when you can, but for now, you have to do things a little different.
Two places that have worked well for me is the library and Chick-Fil-A. Oh yes! I found a library that has the kids area separate from the adults and it has a few play areas inside as well. My kids absolutely love going to the library because they can read and play and I can sit and do my work with limited distractions.
And who doesn’t love Chick-Fil-A! I’ve been able to cram out two hours of solid work while they play on the indoor playground. It’s great, they never get bored, and I generally sit right next to the window of the play area so that have a good view of them.
GIVE THEM SOME ACTIVITIES AND A FEW CHORES TO DO TOO!
This is a big one for me and maybe not so easy, but it can work. Prepare some activities for them to do that doesn’t require your attention and maybe squeeze in a few chores too. It’s better to do chores first and then let them play second. This will help you big time because your kids will get stuff done around the house for you. Just make sure you change up the activity each time you need them to really let you zone in so they don’t get bored so quickly.
GET OFF WORK A LITTLE EARLY AND SET ASIDE A NIGHT FOR THEM TO HAVE THEIR FAVORITE TAKE-OUT MEAL
Schedule a day out of the week when you can take off earlier and order take out. Not having to cook takes a lot of time off your hands in the evening. Make their favorite take-out meal a surprise and not a regular thing. Schedule your work time while they are eating their favorite meal.
DON’T FORGET TO SET UP A REWARD SYSTEM
One important point to remember is when you’re done, reward them for not disturbing you. I know you might be thinking, uhh my kids won’t do that. Mom, you’ve got to train them or else they’ll never get it. It’s up to you to make this work.
So when you set up your boundary also set up a tracking system for them. It can be a positive one or negative one. For example, depending on how long you want them to leave you to your work, you can give them a star for every 15 mins they don’t bother you. This will help them know how well they are doing. On the other hand, you can also give them tick marks for every time they step into your workspace uninvited and let them know they won’t get their surprise at the end of your dedicated work time.
MAKE YOUR KIDS FEEL LIKE THEY ARE A PART OF YOUR TEAM
Yes! They may not be answering emails or taking care of your social media, but when you’re ready to establish your boundaries, talk to them first and have them help you set them up. They won’t hate them as much and they’ll have a good understanding of what the boundaries mean. When the time starts for them to leave mommy alone, start it out with a team pep talk. Yes! Pump them up and make them feel like “We” can do this! Get creative! Run down the game plan and then ready break! It’s work time.
Do you have any creative ways to set boundaries with your kids while you're trying to work with them at home? Share them in the comments and let's hear about what you do?