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You’ve been rocking it the past year with your work from home business. Your kids’ nap times have been an easy and consistent 2-3 hour work block every day!
But then one day you wake up and your child decides to drop their nap. You aren’t ready for it, and panic starts to set in… when in the world am I going to get all this work done?
Whether you work part-time from home or really just need to get stuff done, here are 12 easy ways you can ACTUALLY get work done at home when your child doesn’t nap.
First Create A Routine/Schedule
First and foremost, you need some sort of work routine or schedule each day. It can be so easy as a work at home mom to just go with the flow and work whenever. That’s why we decided to work from home right??
Well, it isn’t that simple.
The amazing benefits to being a work at home mom definitely include being able to BE THERE for your kiddos. But we still need to be productive, right?
In order to be more productive with our time, setting that work from home schedule will not only give you a clear picture of when you will be working, but get your kids on the same page as well.
This AWESOME list of ideas applies to:
- Moms who work at home with school age children
- Homeschool moms who need to work part time around teaching
- Moms who may not work part time but have other chores and things to get done
Now let’s get into these 12 practical ways we can actually get some work done!
1. Utilize Other Sleep Times
As difficult as it is when your child finally drops their daytime nap, it is still possible to make great use of the other times when they sleep!
If your child wakes up at 7:30, get up at 5:30 to crank out 2 hours. If they go to bed at 8, work 8-10 and you’ve got another 2 hours.
Do this 5 days a week and you’re already at 20 hours! That’s without even sneaking in a couple hours during the day too.
Is your child waking up early or staying up late? That’s okay! Kids go through SO many seasons, just try and do the best you can, give yourself grace when you can’t, and go all in the next day. 🙂
2. Incorporate “Rest” Time
Still need some extra time to get work done during the day? Start incorporating a “rest” time into your daily routine.
Rest time could mean a lot of things. You can have them lay in their bed with the lights off for about 45 min – 1 hour or simply have them play in their room quietly.
Who knows, maybe even your child will fall asleep and resume naps! If that isn’t the goal however, you can find some great independent activities for your kids to do so you can get some work done.
A few quiet things that they could do by themselves could be to read books, play dolls, work on puzzles, etc. These are activities that will keep their focus and attention, but don’t include screen time.
Now, I’m not saying screen time is bad, we will actually get to how to utilize it well in a bit. 😉
But for the purposes of “rest time,” you want to help them a) calm down for a short amount of time and b) do things on their own without having to come to you for help every 5 minutes!
3. Find A Mother’s Day Out
Another great way to get some work done from home when your child doesn’t nap is to find a Mother’s Day Out program near you.
But wait, isn’t the whole point of being a work at home mom to, you know, be home with your kids? The answer is yes!
However, a Mother’s Day Out is different from a full time day care. Most MDO’s only offer a couple of days a week and at a much cheaper rate.
My daughter started attending Mother’s Day Out last year, 2x a week at a church that’s only 5 minutes from us. It’s 5 hours a day and guess what… I only pay $15 per day!
A part time income would cover that and more! Plus, your child will learn as well as get to socialize with other kids.
Tip: Try to find a Mother’s Day Out run by a church – you’ll probably find a cheaper price and know your child will be learning about the love of God as well!
4. Hire An In Home Babysitter
If you aren’t comfortable with sending your child outside of the home to someone else’s care (which I totally get) then you can try and find an in-home babysitter! They can come and watch them in your home while you work.
Even if it’s just for 2 hours every day, add that to your morning and night time work hours and BAM, you’ve gained another 10 hours of work time!
Maybe you have a neighbor, church friend or know of a college student looking to make a little extra money. This is a much cheaper option than daycare and you can choose as many days and hours as you’d like.
Tip: You could always send them to Grandma’s house a couple of days a week too. Free childcare. 😉
5. Work Outside
During the spring, summer, and fall, you can definitely take advantage of gorgeous weather and work outside!
Bust out your laptop and fold up chair, and head to the back yard. Your kids can play and explore while you supervise and get some work done.
Plus, working outside has some pretty awesome benefits as well:
- Fresh air boosts your brain and creativity
- Get some extra (natural) vitamin D from the sun which helps your energy levels
- Mental benefits – reduce stress and anxiety just by being outside!
Not too mention, these same benefits apply to your kids too!
Incorporate outside time into your routine every day. Once you work for an hour or so, put down the laptop and join your kiddos – the perk of being a work at home mom!
6. Involve Your Kids In Work
Maybe your kids are going through an extra clingy phase? You can still get work done by having them join you!
What does this look like??
You can place a small table in your office space, wherever that may be (it could even be the kitchen table!) and set up a “workstation” for them. Let them use pencils, crayons, paper, glue, scissors – if they are old enough – and give them a project to do.
This could be making “important” notes, drawing pictures to mail to family members, or have them draw a picture to hang on your fridge! Kids love having something important to do, and will feel like they are “working” with Mommy.
I set up a workstation in my office for my daughter and she loves it. My dad had an old calculator that printed out the paper, so I let her use that. Oh man, was that a hit!!
7. Set Clear Boundaries
Any time you are trying to work from home, it is SO important to set clear boundaries. Even more so when your child no longer naps and you need that extra time to work!
When you incorporate rest time or independent play, make sure they know that during this time, they must rest/play by themselves. This is a Mommy work time. Then you’ll be golden!
8. Take Breaks As Needed
Want to know another GREAT benefit of being a work at home mom? You work at home! You set the schedule, and you are the boss.
Is your kid sick? You don’t have to call into work.
Is there a children’s reading time at the library next Tuesday morning? You can go!
Do you see? Contrary to what people say, you are allowed to take breaks!
And you should for your mental, spiritual and emotional health.
Hustle hard to get your work done, but also give yourself grace when life happens. That’s the beauty of being your own boss!
9. Get Important Tasks Done First
I’m sure you know as a work at home mom that sometimes things happen and work can fall behind! This is why it’s so important to get your high priority tasks done first thing.
Use that 2 or so hours of morning work time to get your most crucial tasks done.
That way if something happens later – sick kiddos, unexpected trip, grocery store run – you have the bulk of your work under your belt already.
Plus, your brain will probably function better first thing before all the craziness of the day ensues, leaving your brain a pile of mush that night! The LAST thing you want to do is sit down to complete work and rush to meet a deadline.
10. Utilize Good Screen Time
Now we’re back to screen time! It’s inevitable. If you are a mom (or at least, if you are THIS mom) then you will at some point use screen time for your kids.
And that’s okay.
However, you don’t necessarily want to become dependent on screen time so you can get work done! Try and utilize fun learning activities or streaming shows if you do use screen time.
You could pump out some good work during that 20 minute show or activity, because you know their attention will be on that!!
What does this look like during the week? Say you work 20 hours a week, maybe 5 of those could be screen time for your kids.
Two great options for screen time are:
- Osmo Starter Kit – this is a hands on, interactive learning system for your kids is SO. MUCH. FUN. You hook it up to an iPad or Kindle, and it comes preloaded with apps and accessories. You can add to it as they get older too! My 3 year old loves it and learns at the same time. Win-Win!
- GoMinno Kids TV – this is a faith based streaming service that is filled with awesome family shows! You won’t have to worry about what your child is watching, and they will learn about God too!
11. Independent Play Is HUGE
All of these tips and tricks will certainly help you get more work done with kids that no longer nap. But you really can’t beat teaching them how to be a little more independent!
Finding fun & educational activities that they can do on their own will not only help their growth, but allow you work from home and get more done.
Benefits of Independent Play:
- Expands their imagination
- Build self confidence
- Helps them develop problem solving skills
- Gives you time to work!!!!
This is personally something I wish we did earlier with my daughter!
As a stay at home mom for 2 years, I was home all day with my daughter. Now that we have been practicing independent play for a while, I can’t tell you how much she has grown and even I have had a better mental mindset!
12. Prep Snacks Ahead Of Time
How many times a day do your kids ask you for a snack?
At least 8.7 million times right?? At least my child does!
By the time I would get up to get her snacks, something else would happen and before you know it I missed a whole hour that I was supposed to have dedicated to work.
Prepping kids’ snacks ahead of time will not only save you time, but also help your kids become more self sufficient.
You can treat it like meal prep! Each night, get 2-3 snacks ready for the next day, and put them somewhere where your kid will know where they are and can easily access them.
Tip: Prep YOUR lunch at the same time so you can save time the next day and not have to stop and make it!
These snacks don’t have to be fancy either – I’m talking pretzels, apple slices, strawberries, animal crackers, gummies… you get my point!
Have their drink poured and ready too so they can snack until their heart’s content. When it comes time for a nap, they can sit and eat their snack instead, and you can get some more work done.
Get Work At Home Done When Your Child Doesn’t Nap
Sometimes we think when the nap days are over, so is our current level of productivity. Let’s break that rule!
No more work at home mom panic mode, because now you have the tips and tactics to be ready – whether that day has already come or will here in the near future.
I hope you become more confident in getting work done at home even when your child drops their nap!
Which tip was your favorite?
About the Author
Mindy Jones of MindyJonesBlog.com
I am a Christ-follower, wife, & momma to a fiery red-headed little girl. After transitioning from a stay-at-home-mom to work-home-mom, I realized how tough it was to balance it all! I have a huge passion for helping other moms balance work-life while still loving their spouse and kids well – and am usually happy with a Diet Coke in hand. 🙂