How to Homeschool and Work from Home with a Baby
I see Facebook posts all the time from overwhelmed moms trying to juggle it all. While I am so far from an expert in this (like seriously, I can’t even tell you how NOT an expert I am) I have found some tricks that made huge differences in my family. I’ll break them down here in the hopes that they help you. These are the shortcuts and tricks how I homeschool four kids and work from home with a baby.
Set Time Limits
This one has been the biggest game changer and the tip that I truly believe can help anyone.
If you’re struggling to juggle everything, please PLEASE stop wasting time scheduling things.
Don’t sit down with a planner and try to map out your day based on time of day.
That almost never works.For me, that ended up looking like us reaching the end of the day and we hadn’t done homeschool, the house was a mess, and I had done almost nothing for work.
When you try to do everything, you’ll end up failing almost everywhere.
Instead, I set time limits.
I’ll set a focus for my kids’ homeschool for the day.
Maybe we need to tackle math and language arts, so I’ll set a timer for 15 minutes and see how much we can power through before the timer goes off.
I do this with all of my “have to do” items on my to do list.
Then my head is way more clear and I can focus on what else needs to happen.
While I’m homeschooling my kids, I’m usually nursing my son.
Other times he’s sitting at our feet playing with a toy and chewing on things.
If he’s super upset, I realize anything I’m going to attempt is probably going to fail, so I focus only on him until he’s feeling better.
Then I can bounce him on my lap and try to accomplish other things again.
How to Work from Home with Homeschooled Kids and a Baby
This one is truly the hardest.
I now get up hours before my kids so I can work on my blogs uninterrupted.
I leave the mindless tasks for when they’re awake.
What this looks like from the perspective of a blog owner is writing blog posts, fixing tech issues, and responding to emails while everyone is asleep.
Then making and scheduling pins when everyone is awake.
My trick to do this uninterrupted is to bargain with my kids a little.
I’ll make lunch, get everyone drinks, sit and talk with my kids over lunch.
Then I’ll tell them okay, mommy has to work for a little while, so why don’t we play a few rounds of Rat a Tat Cat first.
“Then I need you guys to give me some time to work without asking for anything, deal?”
100% of the time they say yes and 80% of the time they stick to it.
I have friends that work from home on a much stricter schedule than me and need to use TV and computers to occupy their kids while they work.
If this sounds like you, my best advice is this:
Make up for the screentime later.
Most of us are in survival mode right now.
Between young kids, extremely high prices, and just life in general – we’re just making it.
Just do what you have to do and then make up for it later.
We’ve become heavy into playing games with our kids and it has created such a strong bond between all of us.
I highly recommend trying it.
Automate Everything In Your Home
Everything that can be done for you, do it.
We have an iRobot vacuum cleaner that was a gift from my mother in law.
I would have never spent the money on one of these things but now that I’ve lived with it for over a year, I will never willingly go back.
Use your crockpot for every dinner for a while.
I put everything in mine at night, put the entire crock in the fridge, pull it out the next morning and set it to low.
Otherwise, the day gets away from me and I’m struggling to pull together dinner at the end of the day.
Have easy lunches ready.
Lately for us this looks like tons of fruits and vegetables.
I order frozen berries from Azure Standard 5 or 10 pounds at a time.
Yesterday, lunch was frozen blueberries, frozen raspberries, cucumbers and carrots with ranch, and a few pretzel crisps.
Getting my kids to sit down for lunch is difficult because they’re all over the place building forts, playing games, and building legos between homeschool lessons.
Finger foods are always a huge win for us.
Spend ONLY 5 Minutes Cleaning
I can’t do marathon cleans anymore.
When I need to clean up, I strap my baby into my baby wearer and he hangs out (literally) while I speed clean.
I set a timer for 5 minutes and hit it HARD.
If you’ve been around for a while, you know that this is my biggest tip when you’re overwhelmed.
Set a timer for 5 minutes and clean as fast as you can.
In my kitchen, I can unload and reload my dishwasher in 5 minutes.
In another 5 minute session I can scrub clean a difficult pot and completely clear and wipe the counters.
Right now you may be feeling completely overwhelmed and feel like your daily life needs a major overhaul. From one mom to another, I really encourage you to try these tips for just one day. Worst case scenario, you have another overwhelmed day. Best case, these things work for you as well as they do for me and you’ll feel more accomplished and a little lighter. Hang in there, make small changes. They add up!