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  • Hey, maybe we could all share some tips on how to juggle kids and job from home. One thing I have learned is to dive into my work when my 1-yr-old seems in a good mood. If she's even the least bit tired and grumpy, forget it. She gets so clingy and I just have to give up. It's impossible to focus. I guess I'm getting better at reading her moods and seeing opportunities to get work done. In other words, when I work has to partly be based on her schedule too. It's been hard to get to this point, but the only way is up!

    My other "rule" is that if I'm feeling burned out, I sleep when she takes her nap. Working through it when I'm tired makes me feel awful. For the sake of my health and happiness, I nap when I need it.

    Can anyone come up with some good suggestions?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 26th November 2007
  • Set up a "work" station for your kids: Older kids can "type" on a dead keyboard or write with a notebook and pencil while you work, and they'll probably be happier about it if their "desk" is right near yours.

    Have a special bag of toys that comes out only when you have to work. The novelty won't wear off so quickly if they can only play with these toys at certain time.

    Don't feel guilty about using the "electronic babysitter" for a little while if you need to. A little Dora or Backyardigans or Sesame Street won't kill them, and you'll be able to get a bit done.

    (I'm actually doing combination of all of the above right this minute!)
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 26th November 2007
  • Lylah, first of all, glad to hear you went home!

    I love, love the idea of having a special work-related toy bag - in fact, going right now to make one up. My afternoon to be working from home with my daughter is coming up soon, so I need this. Great idea!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 26th November 2007
  • Work related toy bag . . . doing that as SOON as they go to bed! What a great idea!

    I tend to let the kids save their arts/crafts for when I need to crunch out some work . . but that limits me on how much time I actually get, since they need interaction.

    I have been saving the boob tube for just when I'm working - and I'm guilty of using naptime to catch up, instead of working on the piles of laundry I have. . .
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Naomi on 27th November 2007
  • I find that spending some one on one time with my boys is the best way to work. First, we do something together, like have a tickle fight or read a stack of books. My toddler is far more willing to let me work on the computer if he feels he´s had some Mommy time.

    I really like the idea of a special toy bag, too! Another idea that my mom used with my baby sister was a rice box, a big plastic tub with about five pounds of rice in it. She tinted some of the rice with food coloring to make it more interesting, then gave my sister toy pots and pans and she played in it like a sandbox. Rice is WAY easier to clean up though.

    Books on tape tend to work well for older kids, too. Adventures in Odyssey, etc.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Genesis on 27th November 2007
  • So glad you've all found this helpful!

    The toy bag doesn't have to have anything elaborate in it, and you can even just use toys that you've taken out of rotation -- puzzles that haven't been used in a while, a few board books that haven't come off the shelf, a couple of stuffed animals from the bottom of the pile. If they haven't seen these things in a while, it's like they're magically transformed into "brand new" toys...

    I love the rice box idea! I want to try it, but I'm a little worried about the mess (and the dog).

    P.S. -- Thanks, Nataly! But of course I logged on after I got the wee ones to bed! Going to drink more tea now...
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 27th November 2007
  • Lylah, you could put down a dollar store shower curtain under the rice box. Just move the box, gather the corners and tip all the rice back into the box when your child is done. That won´t help with the dog though!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Genesis on 27th November 2007
  • This might be out of reach for some of you, but . . .

    I formed a babysitting co-op with some of my friends . . .

    The concept is simple - you watch my kids, and I'll watch your kids . . . and we do it on a point system.

    We currently have 16 members, and you are not required to equally swap with the same mom. You each start out with a generous amount of points . . . if your kids are watched, points are deducted from your account - and if you provide the babysitting, those points are added to your account.

    Provides a fantastic way to get a couple of hours to yourself, without paying for it!

    I'd be glad to share the points system, forms and such that we've created if anyone wants to take a stab at starting one of your own!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Naomi on 29th November 2007
  • These are all great suggestions! Since starting this discussion, my neighbor also suggested the toy bag and she even packed me a ton of toys from her overstocked toy selection (3 kids in her house, so she's got plenty) to borrow, and I can switch them out when I want. She really recommended rotating them. And she also suggested setting them up in an interesting way to get the child intrigued and get her in a mood to play with the toys you've selected. Rather than just putting the toy box down on the floor, that is. That's what I will try for now. I loved Lylah's suggestions of a work station.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 30th November 2007
  • My work hours are from 9-12. My 3 year old comes in my office and colors or does stickers. Sometimes she'll watch a movie. At noon we play cards and eat lunch together. She knows that when I'm done , its her time!!


    Oklahoma State Leader, Senegence.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Dawn on 17th December 2007

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