Survival Guide

Survival Guide to Working at Home with Kids

Working at home with kids is seriously the worst, friends. No, really, it’s exhausting. So if you’re thinking about doing it, or you are doing it and you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s a few things you need to know. Of course, this mostly pertains to kids who aren’t in school yet. If they’re in school, they’re not with you, right?

Surviving Working at Home with Kids

Full time is NOT an option without help.

Working at home with kids is exhausting, to say the least. Learn how to survive it if you're crazy enough to try it. #WAHM #workingfromhome #workfromhome #moms #kids
You can trust me, look how fancy my office is.

It might feel like I work thirty-two hours a day, but the timeclock usually says about four. Even without this blog (you can read how much of a time suck it is here), there is no way it would be possible for me to work forty hours a week at home while caring for my children. Actually caring, I mean. I could definitely let them watch TV and occasionally toss them a snack, I guess, but doesn’t CPS frown on that? And I’m sorry, but if you’re working full time with your kids and mostly paying attention to your kids, you either have a joke job or you’re not very good at whatever it is you do. Some people will think working at home with kids is totally fine, and you’ll get the best of both worlds that way. Those people are crazy. You might think this is not very helpful advice, and it isn’t, but if you do work full time from home and have a nanny or daycare, when people give you a hard time now you can show them this. ­čÖé

You need to have kid specific time.

Do you like to sit there on your phone or laptop with a toy in your hand and halfway pay attention to both your kids and your work? I’ve got news for you. You’re actually slowing yourself down this way. We’ve all heard about the problems with multitasking, but it’s not just that.┬á You don’t have to spend all day with your kids, but you do need quality time with them. That’s not me nagging you, that’s science. But regardless of science, I find that if I sit and play irritating games with my son for half an hour, he’ll leave me alone for half an hour. That means I can actually focus for thirty minutes. Not only do I get more done in a shorter period of time, but I also feel better about my parenting.

You have to leave the house.

It can be really tempting to stay at home forever when you work at home and your kids are there with you. Like, really tempting. But you do need to get out if you’re going to survive working at home with kids. For one thing, it’ll keep you from going stir crazy. For another, it will wear the kids out. That’s probably more important, isn’t it? Let them go crazy out in the real world so they sleep at home. I’m still relatively new in my city, so I joined a Meetup group for moms to help us all be social. I also discovered a coffee house that has a kids area in the back. There’s a ton of toys and an internet connection, so I can work while my son tests everything. That’s a great way to get out.

Prepping for naps is essential.

Working at home with kids is exhausting, to say the least. Learn how to survive it if you're crazy enough to try it. #WAHM #workingfromhome #workfromhome #moms #kids
They wind down, you power up.

Naptime is the best time to work, right? Besides getting up early or going to bed late (hey – that’s what I’m doing right now!). But, moms are tired too once naptime rolls around. It can be really tempting to run around doing something else and avoiding work. That’s why it’s important to prep your work area before you put the kids down. If everything’s already ready to go, you don’t have an excuse not to work, plus you maximize your working time.

Get comfortable with change.

Kids change and grow all the time. One minute they’re napping three times a day, the next they’re fighting twenty minutes of sleep. Their food changes, their energy changes, everything changes. So if you’re going to survive working at home with kids, you absolutely have to be prepared to change your routine, well, routinely. The biggest changes will come if you add another kid to the mix, of course. It’s like juggling when someone keeps throwing random items into your circle. Routines are good for kids, so you don’t have to abandon them, but make sure you do an honest assessment of your work every couple of months or so. You might have to adjust yourself or the kids.

Working at home with kids is exhausting, to say the least. Learn how to survive it if you're crazy enough to try it. #WAHM #workingfromhome #workfromhome #moms #kids

Working at home with kids is exhausting, to say the least. Learn how to survive it if you're crazy enough to try it. #WAHM #workingfromhome #workfromhome #moms #kids

Working at home with kids is exhausting, to say the least. Learn how to survive it if you're crazy enough to try it. #WAHM #workingfromhome #workfromhome #moms #kids

style sneakers

What to Know about Blogging Time Commitments

Thinking about starting a blog? Then you probably need to know something about blogging time commitments. Look, I’m no expert on blogging, I’ll be honest about that. But I have perfected the art of not having time to do anything, so you can trust me when I tell you a blog can rule your life if you let it. So, before we get into that, you may be wondering why I’m writing about blogging at all. Let me tell you all a little something about my daily life. Once a day someone says to me, “You’ve got your hands full,” especially when I’m walking my two dogs, wearing my daughter, and pushing my son in his stroller. Once a week, someone asks, “How do you get anything done?” I decided it’s time to write about it.

When someone asks me how I get anything done, I usually tell them it’s easy, I’m a bad mom and a bad employee. Poor quality takes no time at all! They laugh, and then they say, “It’s sleep, right? You don’t sleep?” Yes. They are correct. Sleep is for the weak. And the healthy. Anyway, after that they want actual detailed advice, usually in email form, so I decided to add a weekly post to the blog that discusses things like how I hate schedules. If you’re here for entertaining posts only, Saturdays will still be for you. Fellow busy moms, work-from-homers, and bloggers, Mondays are the day to see how I manage to do it all and only partially lose my mind. So, let’s get to it!

Blogging Time Commitments (for monetized blogs)

Blogging is fun, but if you want to monetize it can consume you. So, how much time do you have? #blogging #time #planning #newbloggers

1. Writing Blog Posts – 30 minutes per post

Real fast, I am only discussing blogging time commitments for monetized blogs. If you aren’t trying to make money, or at least doing what I do and daydreaming about trying to make money without really trying, you aren’t going to be doing half of this. You’ll just be writing to your heart’s content, I assume. On with it. You know what’s the easiest part of blogging? Writing the posts. Think about it. It’s typically 300-1000 words about something you WANT to write about, not a term paper you’re trying to avoid. Not exactly time consuming. Of course, how many you want to write is up to you. I know some people will be faster or slower depending on typing and whether or not they grammar good, but as long as you know what you want to write it should be easy.

2. Photos – 20 minutes with stock photos, eternity if you take them yourself

Eternity might be a slight exaggeration. Just a slight one though, taking pictures is exhausting. First of all, half of them suck, and secondly even the good ones need to be edited. Granted, I’m not a photographer, but I would think actual photographers take even longer. They would need to put up their best work, whereas mine just has to be usable. Looking up stock photos usually goes really quick, but only if you know what you want before you start. If you don’t, I suggest taking some time while you’re cooking dinner or something and visualizing it. Then you’ll know the keywords to look up. PS – these are all stock photos. Eight minutes.

3. Social Media – At least 30 minutes a day

Blogging is fun, but if you want to monetize it can consume you. So, how much time do you have? #blogging #time #planning #newbloggers

Unless you’ve hired a virtual assistant to do this for you, you will have to handle your own marketing for your blog. This is my least favorite of the blogging time commitments. Before I started blogging I had a Facebook I checked once a week, and now I use hashtags with ease. Now, I know thirty minutes a day probably sounds like a lot to new bloggers, and like a joke to pros, but let’s just assume you’ll want to check your Twitter or Instagram once a day. Perhaps you’ll want to join in on some Facebook group threads, or schedule a week of posts. The thirty minutes isn’t a firm number, but it is firm that if you ever think you’re going to make money, you can’t skip social media. You just can’t. So, plan to spend time on it, whether you like it or not.

4. Research – Varies

What will you be researching? I have no idea. But I can tell you you’ll be researching something. Perhaps it’s SEO, or how to set up a business Pinterest account, or what the heck is a linkup party. Maybe you need to do a research heavy blog post, like I did with parties for pay. You could see the coolest thing ever on someone else’s blog and become obsessed with figuring out how to do it. Or, heaven forbid, you might have a technical problem. Basically, you can assume that one of your widest varying blogging time commitments is going to be research, if you want to have a cool, functioning website that people actually want to visit.

5. Pinterest – Double what you do anyway

Blogging is fun, but if you want to monetize it can consume you. So, how much time do you have? #blogging #time #planning #newbloggers

No, Pinterest is not social media. It’s a search engine. You don’t post pictures of your kids there, do you? Comment on your friends’ vacation pictures? Nope. It’s Google, but with pictures. You’ll probably read over and over that Pinterest is going to bring you most of your traffic, and it’s true. Unless you are a SEO genius, you’ll wind up on Pinterest eventually. Now, Pinterest is pretty saturated in the US, so there’s a good chance you use it personally anyway. Double the time you spend on it daily because you’re going to need to make your own pins as well as find others. Yes, there are ways to speed up your Pinterest usage with schedulers, but you won’t be at the set it and forget it part for a while.

6. Other – Whatever you’re willing

I have to confess something. My blog is monetized, and I have written one sponsored post, but that post came to me and I would be on Amazon anyway so I joined their affiliate program. I have no idea how much time it would take to really go after the money, because I don’t have time for it. I also only look at Google Analytics for about five minutes once a week, which I know is really stupid, but guys, I have another job and my boss is the worst (I’m self-employed). Plus there’s those little kids I’m supposed to be responsible for. Any better bloggers than me reading this? Comment with how much time this stuff takes you.

You should know that your blogging time commitments will only grow once you get into it. That is, if you enjoy doing it. You’ll start coming up with new and terrible ways to let it take up your time. If you’re good at it, it could eventually take you forty hours a week! That’s like a full-time job! Ah! But it is fun to do, and FYI, this 1100 word post just took me 28 minutes. I’m outta here!

Blogging is fun, but if you want to monetize it can consume you. So, how many blogging time commitments can you make? #blogging #time #planning #newbloggers

Blogging is fun, but if you want to monetize it can consume you. So, how many blogging time commitments can you make? #blogging #time #planning #newbloggers

Blogging is fun, but if you want to monetize it can consume you. So, how many blogging time commitments can you make? #blogging #time #planning #newbloggers

Blogging is fun, but if you want to monetize it can consume you. So, how many blogging time commitments can you make? #blogging #time #planning #newbloggers

Blogging is fun, but if you want to monetize it can consume you. So, how many blogging time commitments can you make? #blogging #time #planning #newbloggers