Life with two kids is hectic. I thought my energetic 5-year-old kept me busy enough, but it’s ten times worse now. My days are full of too many diaper changes to count, slobbery shirts, and constant noise. That’s what gets to me the most I think. The noise. And, it’s not even coming from the baby, really! Instead, the majority of the noise comes from my daughter.
I’m accustomed to baby noise. He cries, I figure out what’s bothering him, fix it, and we move on. But with her, it’s constant attention these days. It’s always, “Mommy, look at this,” or “Mommy, should I put this dress or this one on my doll?” or any other form of calling my attention. This is not during the times we are playing together, but rather during the designated “mommy is working and you need to keep busy” times.
You see, she used to attend preschool five days a week from 9-5. However, we had to cut back and she’s now attending only 3 hours each day. When you account for driving time to drop her off and pick her up, I only get 2 hours each day without her home with me. I’m still trying to adjust to the change.
I’ve attempted a variety of ways to keep her busy so that I can get some work done each day. From following a similar schedule to the one at her preschool, to letting her play games on the laptop while I work on another computer. They work for a bit, but without fail, she will come up to me to ask questions or simply to tell me about the activity she’s doing – like a narrator.
I love that she shares so much with me and definitely don’t want to discourage that. After all, less than 10 years from now she’ll be in her prime teenage years and will probably not want to share anything with me. So, of course, I want to create a habit of healthy conversation. But, I do need to get some work done. No work, no income.
I even explained that to her, “If mommy doesn’t get any work done, then I won’t get paid. I need to get paid so we can pay for food, clothes, our house and all the nice things you have.” Yesterday I took a different approach and compared my work deadlines to homework: “I have to be sure I get this work done today. It’s like your homework. If you don’t turn it in the day it’s due, that’s no good, right? So, it’s the same with my work.” And, she actually understood and responded with “If you don’t turn it in, you might get fired!”
But, alas, here we are again another day with her seeing me working and still talking to me just as much. I really hate to have to say, “Just be quiet so I can get some work done!” It seems like that may be where we’re headed, though.
That’s why I want to know what works for you. What are your tricks for getting some work done while your kids are home with you? Share your best tips for entertaining the kids when working from home!