How we’ve been getting the kids to release their energy:
Screen Time Rules:
- We like to break it up throughout the day so they’re not playing constantly.
- We have rules for when they can play and when they have to stop.
- They can’t play if they haven’t done their chores
- On school days they cannot play until after “school” which for us is 2:00pm.
- I’ve also set up screen time limits on all of their devices, so once it’s up they have to go find something else to do. You can do this by going into the settings and setting it up with your own passcode which can be different from the device’s passcode! I thank my sister-in-law for letting me know about this trick!
Morning Routine (7am-9am)
- 7:00am – my husband and I wake up, make coffee, brush my teeth and wash my face, then relax together before our crazy day
- 7:30am – the kids start waking up and my husband starts working in the office
- 8:00am – we all eat breakfast
- 8:30am – the kids and I do a quick clean if it’s messy, kids usually the empty dishwasher
- 9:00am – we start school
Morning School Routine (9am-2pm)
- 8:50am – I get the kids settled and ready on their computers or whatever work they need to be doing
- 9:00am – Math | this is when I do my daily workout (I use an app called FitOn – it’s completely free, and I never get bored because there’s so many videos)
- 9:30am – Reading/ELA | this is when I shower and get dressed, my daughter likes to join me in getting ready with her little vanity set.
- 10:00am – Writing/ELA – I typically have to help them with this
- 10:30am – Break/recess/snacks – we typically like to get some fresh air, go for a walk, play with bubbles or chalk etc.
- 11:00am – Social Sciences/Videos | this is when I would start working on my blog tasks | my daughter usually plays quietly or reads
- 11:30am – Arts/Crafts – we all do this together. We’ve been loving the how to draw videos on youtube
- 12:00pm – PE/GoNoodle/Just Dance – all the kids do this together
- 12:30pm – Make & Eat Lunch
- 1:00pm – quiet reading time
Afternoon Routine (2pm – 5pm)
- 2:00pm – Chores/snacks
- 2:30pm – Screen time | my work tasks
- 3:30pm – This is when my husband usually ends working and takes over watching the kids while I work until almost dinner time | if I don’t work then we all would just play together
- 4:00pm – My husband takes the kids for a bike ride/run, some days I join them if I don’t have a lot of work to do which is usually every other day.
- 5:00pm – My husband starts making dinner, I probably only cook once a week every since the quarantine (so thankful for him cooking!)
- 5:30pm – we eat dinner
Evening/Night Routine (6pm – 11pm)
- 6:00pm – after dinner clean up – wash dishes, pick up
- 6:15pm – call friends/family
- 6:30pm – video games, movie night, or play toys
- 7:45pm – kids take a bath | I take my bath and get into PJs too
- 8:15pm – I read to the kids a few books and they go to bed
- 8:30pm – My husband and I sit on the couch and relax. This is when I usually take 5 minutes to plan my next day.
- 9:00pm – We turn on the TV to watch our favorite shows
- 11:00pm – We head to bed
Some nights when the kids are still extra crazy we like to go on night drives. We would just drive around to calm them down look at the empty streets, drive by downtown, old town, and have conversations in the car. Do you do this too? We’ve been doing this for years because our kids usually fall asleep in the car after 10 minutes!
Working at Home with Kids Tips
- Set boundaries. Working from home can have so much freedom, yet that much freedom can be hard to know when to start and/or when to stop. So set your hours and tell yourself once it’s 9am you have to start working. Or when it’s 4:30pm, no more working. This will help to ensure your work/life balance isn’t crossed and you won’t feel overwhelmed or stressed. If you didn’t finish a task at 4:30, just write down what you were working on and pick up on it first thing tomorrow. If you’re the main caretaker for your kids like I am you’re going to have to break up your work day. I set up two blocks in my day where I can work.
- Have a specific work area. Set up a corner of your home where it’s quiet. Put a small desk and your computer there. Make sure it’s not near an area where there’s heavy traffic. If you have an office make sure you can close the doors. If you have a spare room, try to use that area as your new office temporarily. Having a quiet area to work will help you stay focused and feel more like a work office.
- Prepare the kids – Let them know when you will be working. Use a sign on your office door so they know not to bother you. Make sure they are fed, have received enough attention, and won’t need you during your work hours.
- Keep the kids busy and entertained. Depending on their age, you’ll have to decide how to do that. Create quiet busy boxes so when you need quiet time you can just bust out one of these boxes and let them play quietly alone.
- If you have babies maybe you can work during naps, baby wear them, or work while when they’re on the swing, or in a bouncy chair.
- If you have a toddler, use the busy boxes, let them play quietly in your office (I have a play kitchen in my office because my daughter likes to be near me), put on their favorite show or let them play online games.
- If you have older children who are in school, make sure they’re all set up for school and let them do their work while you do yours. Have them read or write stories. Let them watch educational videos or play video games with their friends.
- Wake up early. If you absolutely cannot get work done while the kids are up, this may be your only other choice. Get up before the kids do and do your hardest most focused task during that time. Don’t waste this time on responding to emails or other things that aren’t important. Make sure every minute is spent on doing something that will really matter.
- Prioritize your schedule. If your work is important you will prioritize time to work on it. Set those boundaries and rules to your family so they know and stick to it as best as you can. Don’t let distractions make you procrastinate. Facebook, a phone call, an email, your new show released. It doesn’t matter what it is, the point is that there are people and things that will try to distract you into procrastinating. If you let them. Instead, make the important project you’ve been procrastinating on a priority and working on it first thing every morning.
- Be aware of your distractions. Simply being more aware of what things, devices, and people tempt you to procrastinate is helpful. When you find yourself putting something off, look back and see if you can pinpoint what caused it. Then take action towards preventing it from happening in the future.
Plan the night before. A successful work day starts the night before. Before you call it a day, sit down and make a simple plan for what you want to get done the next day. Identify the three most important tasks. When you get up in the morning look at your list and work on these three most important tasks before you do anything else. This alone will make a huge difference in how your day goes, how productive you are, and it of course keeps you from procrastinating on those projects. Putting them off until the end of the day when you’re too tired to do anything is no longer an option.
- Ask for help. Have your partner watch them while you work and switch shifts. My husband sometimes takes a 30 minute break in the middle of his day so that’s when I know I can hide out in the office to get my deep work done. Ask older siblings to help out with little things or to keep the little ones entertained.
- Take breaks often. This is important! If you don’t take breaks and the kids come for your attention you will get frustrated and stressed out. So do yourself a favor and take breaks often. Check up on the kids make sure they’re still busy, get yourself some water and something to eat, and let your brain rest for 10-15 minutes before going back to work. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to do some deep work again.
My Favorite Tools for Staying Organized at Home