What do you do with kids? How do you make money? What options are there?
I’ve been working from home for years and love what I do. Now, we travel a lot more so it is mostly remote work. Often I get asked how I manage to do it with my two daughters both working from home and travel. What childcare options there are. How I balance family, housework and business, my tips for organisation and all that comes with being a mum in business.
I prefer working from home or remotely. Working in an office wasn’t a fit for me and I love what I do. Here are the answers to my most common questions about it all.
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How do I Work From Home or When Travelling With two Kids?
My daughters are now 10 and 12 but I started working from home when they were toddlers. Originally, I worked when they napped or in the evening. When they started preschool I worked preschool hours then later I had hired help for childcare including an au pair, a nanny, paying a mum from school and after school care at different times.
Have Quality Time
I cannot stress this enough. Having quality one on one time and quality family time ensures my kids feel loved and are happier to do their own thing when I need them to. We have Friday Family Fun Night every Friday where they pick a movie or activity and treats. In the car we talk, I walk them wherever we go and listen to them so we have a close relationship. When I am with them, my phone is away and they have my attention.
Doing this means they feel secure, loved and confident so when I say I need time to work, they are fine to go off and play. When they haven’t have enough quality time together, that is when they get clingy or interrupt a lot when I work.
Choose Your Hours
I don’t work 24/7. Most of my work is done when they are at school or in bed so when they are awake, we can spend time together. Learn to switch off. Put your phone on do not disturb or aeroplane mode of an evening or when you are with them so you are less tempted and don’t get notifications. Depending on the work you do, you might have more control over your hours. As a freelancer and blogger, my work is extremely flexible. If I rang an online shop it would be different because people expect regular work hours.
What Work do I do From Home or Remotely?
We live at a time better than ever before to work from home or remotely. Many organisations are more accommodating and have positions available to work from home or will do a part time from home arrangement. Some jobs are ideal for working from home such as being a freelance writer, virtual assistant, social media management, voice over work, blogging etc.
What I Specifically Do
I do a variety of things. Blogging (I own a few), freelance writing especially around finance and travel, consulting mainly around marketing, business, finance and lifestyle plus public speaking. My favourite lately has been writing about travel and finance plus the community with The Thrifty Issue is amazing. I wrote about all the ways I have made money from home here.
What Other Work From Home Options are There?
Online surveys such as Swagbucks. The best Aussie ones are here which I have personally used and tested. Renting out a room on Airbnb, buy things to resell, start a shop or online business, editing, at home childcare etc. Check out 43 ways for single mums to make money and how I made $33,227 on the side in 2018.
How do I Manage Housework and Other Tasks Working From Home
I ignore it. Seriously, if I am working from home, I have to shut myself off and ignore any housework that needs to be done. My kids and I do it together, or did until we started travelling.
As such, it either got done before or after school, not during my work hours. Just as you would go to work and not do housework there, working from home is no different. Set your hours, your workspace and do what works for you. If it is really getting at me, I work from a cafe or library.
At other times I have outsourced as needed whether it was childcare, lawns or cleaning. I see nothing wrong with it as you need time to build and grow your business. Also, we are expected to do more now than ever before and it is not possible. Choose what is best for you to do and outsource or get rid of the rest.
How do I Find the Time?
Firstly, I don’t watch TV or Netflix. I cut it out years ago and loved it. Next, teaching my kids how to do things around the house helps a lot. Learning how to use my time more effectively and deciding what the best use of my time is all help. Check out these 18 tips to help you save time.
How do I Work and Travel
This is harder. Some of my trips are without kids, some with them. When I have them I have to be on top of their schoolwork with them and obviously lose the time they would normally be at school as my work time. Typically, when we travel we are doing other activities so I squeeze my work into small pieces of time I get here and there.
This results in needing to block out a few days at some point to clear the backlog of work. Travel and working with kids is a work in progress for me. I am getting there but it’ll take a little more time to find what works best for us.