A few years ago, if you would have asked me the “perfect world” situation I’d want for a balance between work and family I would have hands down said working from home.

Oh yea, the kids can play in the background and I can get my work knocked out while they’re eating and napping without the high costs of childcare and the guilt of missing their milestones. Now? Now I wonder who I was kidding.

Helpful tips for being productive when you work at home with kids.

I’ve been mostly working from home since September. Writing for clients at night after my kids are in bed. Getting in posts for my blog while Lil’ J is at gymnastics and my son is napping (today at least) and I’ve learned there’s no way I’m meeting my deadlines for the news station unless I just take the kids to the sitter and get it done at work, or while they’re out of the house.

There are many positives. Once you get a routine down it’s nice to close my laptop and say: “it’s time to be with the kids.” Mondays, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and weekends are (for the most part) family time. Wednesdays, Fridays, and every night from 8pm -2am is pretty much when I work. If I stick to the system it’s a very healthy and happy balance. Tuesday and Thursday mornings are times I get to hang out with my baby boy and do “fun stuff” like craft, or shop. If I need to catch up on sleep, or work, it throws off the balance a little, and I’ll work on the weekends, those mornings Lil’ J is at gymnastics, or when my husband is off.

Helpful tips for being productive when you work at home with kids.

Helpful tips for being productive when you work at home with kids.

If things get REALLY out of wack, sometimes I’ll attempt to work when my kids are home and awake, but it usually ends in disaster, with me getting frustrated about interruptions, my daughter feeling ignored, and my son injuring himself on something.

Despite the difficulties I must say I can’t imagine it any other way. I can’t imagine going back to an office and set hours five days a week. I can’t imagine my kids being in a daycare full-time. I also can’t imagine giving up all of the writing, reporting, and career-stuff I am doing.

Helpful tips for being productive when you work at home with kids.

This isn’t meant to be a brag-fest, but I guess words of encouragement and guidance to my 20-year-old self and anyone out there wondering…

-The grass is usually greener on the other side.
-Multitasking at work is easier than multitasking at home.
-Kids are way more demanding that I ever imagined.
-But they’re pretty awesome too.
-Once you find your groove, write down what’s working and keep at that schedule until you need to change it up again.
-Sometimes you’ve just gotta let things go… Like the upkeep of your playroom.
-Most of all, remember what’s most important. Have priorities and take care of those things first.

Have anything else to add?

Helpful tips for being productive when you work at home with kids.

And just because I think more people need to see this video of my brilliant dog, and adorable kids, here’s Snoop’s IQ test (and make sure you watch the cute montage with the kids at the end).

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23 Responses to “Working from home: It aint all it’s cracked up to be”

  1. Alice Anne says:

    Omg, doing hair from home while watching Kal is much, much harder than I thought it would be! I could be in the middle of a braid and Kal is having a meltdown and I can’t get to him… I’m like, “Can I finish this braid please??”… or he’s pulling on my leg and saying, “Mommy. Mommy. Mom!” Yep, working from home can be a mess. I’d never be able to write for a living with a toddler at home, because that requires my focus/brain, so kudos to you for what you’re able to accomplish with those two! I’m impressed. :)
    Alice Anne recently posted..Life LatelyMy Profile

    • Baby Making Mama says:

      Girl I don’t know how YOU manage to do that!! My kids are the WORST when I’m talking to other people. My clients would have to sit in silence, or talk to miss J the entire time they were here. Haha.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Working from home is hard, but being away from the kids or being broke is harder :) I don’t work, and we have made a lot of sacrifices for me to be able to stay home, especially while my husband finishes his degree. But I’ve tried to work from home and it is not easy, so props to you!
    And that video is ADORABLE! My husband is not an animal person, but someday I’m going to convince him to let me get a dog…I can tell the bond your kids have with snoop is unbreakable and amazing, would love to have that for my littles :)

    • Baby Making Mama says:

      There’s no easy choice is there? Good for you for workin what you’ve got!

      Good luck with workin your hubby for a pup! Snoop is really a part of our family. I’m not sure we’ll ever get another dog. But I’m glad we have him :)

  3. I wish I could say I’m kidding, but I can’t look at those photos. I’m too freaked out. Is there a link without them? When I look at them, my skin crawls and I get anxiety. I wish I were joking. Still love you though. As usual, the kids are gorg (despite the freaky pics).
    Weather Anchor Mama recently posted..6 Awesome Baby-Safe Products & Babyganics GiveawayMy Profile

    • Baby Making Mama says:

      You are cracking me up! We’ll just chat about the post over the phone. Lol. Sorry for freaking you out!

  4. Working from home definitely has its pros and cons like anything else in life, but I do enjoy it for now. I agree that sticking to a schedule helps big time. Love the funny pics of you and the kiddies.
    K. Elizabeth @ YUMMommy recently posted..Thankful ThursdayMy Profile

  5. I have to agree! Before having kids I always thought working from home would be ideal. Well, now with 2 kids and 5 years of working from home with them I STILL think so, but it’s definitely not as pink and rosy as I thought. Lots of sacrifices, time management, trial and error, but I LOVE it. I love being with them, having a flexible schedule, working when I can but giving the best of my time to my kids. There is no way working outside the home would work for us because I’d be spending most of what I earn on childcare and commute anyway. So this way our expenses are minimized and what I make is actually profit – even thought it’s not a lot. Raising our kids is way more important to us than any job I could have anyway. But they’ve finally pushed to follow what I’ve always wanted and didn’t have the guts to start – photography. :)
    Anastasia @ eco-babyz recently posted..Solutions to Toddler Sleep IssuesMy Profile

    • Baby Making Mama says:

      Exactly all of this! You hit the nail on the head by saying its great, just not all flowers and roses as I expected.

  6. kika says:

    awww love this post Jen, as always 😀 Thanks again for the advice today!
    kika recently posted..Life…My Profile

  7. Quiana says:

    I definitely prefer working from home and have been doing it for 5 years come this fall. Now with #2 on the way I’m definitely looking into getting a mother’s helper a couple times a week. I’d like to be able to designate strict work-days and family days but know that the lines may blur depending on unexpected events. The ability to be flexible is key. I used to a strict-schedule follower, but now I’ve learned having more wiggle room and selecting work relationships that honor this works best for me!
    Quiana recently posted..Baby Agbai 2.0 Report: 36 WeeksMy Profile

  8. JustnXander's mom says:

    I wish I could work from home but law enforcement hasn’t figured out a way yet!!! Just look at the lessons your children are being taught just by watching you “hustle” as you say! Your daughter sees a self motivated woman to model herself after. And your son is being shown that women are strong! Kudos and hats off to all the stay at home, work from home moms! You are awesome!

    • Baby Making Mama says:

      Ok this made my day! Thanks for your sweet words!

      It would be awesome if LEOs could work from home. But we are so grateful for you protecting us out on the streets. YOU are awesome!

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About Jennifer

On the air, I'm a freelance news reporter and anchor. Off the air, I'm a wife and mother documenting my life in extraordinary ways, and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making beautiful memories with my beautiful babies.

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Can you believe less than 50 years ago our interracial marriage would have been illegal in 16 states? New on the blog I'm discussing Loving Day and teaching our children to not let fear and hatred hold them back. #LovingDay #makingstrongroots direct link in bio.
LOVE the Disney traditions my daughter and I are forming. They are moments I know I'll always cherish. New photos in our Disney Princess photo series on the blog. This week its our take on Rapunzel. Direct link in bio. #dressupwithj
Tip for capturing big events: If there's a practice/ dress rehearsal get all your photos and videos in then so you can sit back and enjoy the show on the big day. I was a 2-camera wielding mama today going crazy behind the scenes. I'm leaving them at home this weekend and just getting a good seat. #photography #phototip #makingmomentslast
A blog reader told me as she read my latest post, her 4-year-old son came over her shoulder and asked what we were doing. She said Lil' J was just hanging out with her mommy then said look, they have matching headbands! And he said yea, and they have matching faces too. So sweet! And my daughter would agree. Direct link to how she's currently self-identifying as a biracial child in my bio. #biracial #multiracial #family - Cute matching headbands from @stitchedontheave.
My biracial daughter proudly explained to me how she's a little pink like daddy and a little brown like mommy. I hope that it doesn’t come to this but if/when there are days she’s called too light or too dark, I want her to remember who she is and this conversation. The full story is new #ontheblog today. Direct link in bio. #makingstrongroots #makingstrongchildren. And her super cute shorts and headband are from @stitchedontheave! #brandrep
So FREAKING excited to be partnering with @canonusa  To share some of my photography tips. I'm also giving the scoop on the benefits of having a DSLR and sharing some of my favorite photos that happen to be moments I wouldn't have been able to capture the same without it. All new on the blog today. Link in bio. #BringIt
This little guy was my assistant photographer this week. We got some creative angles on video while he held the GoPro. And THEN the poor guy came down with his first stomach bug the next day. I was pretty dramatic, but we survived. Then I journaled it all so we won't forget the hilarity. Just shared on the blog. Link in bio. #makingmemories
I am now the proud owner of a selfie stick. And not even a little bit ashamed. I mean, how else can you get random family portraits in 2 seconds? Tiny, portable, and it's great for video too! Currently trying to rig my camcorder to it. I'll let you know how that goes. #selfiesunday #selfiestick #makingmemoriesbeautiful
The sun finally came out today so I'm capitalizing and starting a project that's been on my mind for a long long time. The grass is still wet and we all slipped in the mud but we had a good time together. Can't wait to get this show on the road! #4CanonsAndAGoPro #makingmemoriesbeautiful
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