As you may have seen from my post the other day I am taking a bit of a step back and focusing on what is important. I am so thankful to be a part of a community where we all help each other out.
Today’s guest post is by Katy from KATYKICKER.COM. Katy is wife to Tom and Mummy to beautiful little Daisy. In this post she talks about how she keeps her daughter entertained whilst she works from home.
Back in 2013 I quit my job, just like that. Goodbye job and hello staying at home! After just a few months I knew that I wanted to make something of myself and I set to work making money online. I then started my website to help me share my knowledge with others. Now 1000s of people visit my website each month to find out how they can make and save money online.
My life has changed a lot since 2013 as last year we welcomed our first daughter, Daisy, into the world. Since then my work has gone from strength to strength and I have had to learn a whole new way of life. I now spend my days juggling family, spending time with my daughter, working hard and visiting our allotment. This is the life that I want, and I really enjoy it, but at times it can be a bit of a juggling act. I wouldn’t really have it any other way now but I want to share with you the ways that I keep my daughter entertained while working from home.
Toys in a playpen
Now I know playpens aren’t for everyone…! When I wrote a post on them recently a few people referred to them as a cage. However, for my daughter she loves being able to have space to play. At 10 months old Daisy is beginning to stand up, cruise the furniture and will soon be walking unaided. This is an exciting time but it also means that I will need eyes in the back of my head to get any work done. This is where a playpen comes in for me. I’ve gone for a pretty one, rather than a white metal one, and it is great for keeping Daisy occupied. I can fill her playpen with great educational toys, bright garish plastic ones and a nice blanket or two. Daisy can then sit in there, safely, and I am able to get 15-20 minutes of work done.
Using a walker
Daisy loves being able to go around our home. I place her in a walker and this gets me a little burst of time. Daisy is able to fly around the room, investigating things, trying to open cupboards and smearing things across my Macbook. This is great fun for the two of us and again it gives me a small window of time in which I can reply to emails, take photographs for blog posts or take care of social media scheduling. Daisy thoroughly enjoys being in her walker and that is the main thing!
Daisy is a bit of a funny girl with her food. My husband and I often remark that she has two days a week she eats like a horse and five days that she eats like a bird. Some days Daisy will be happy in her highchair with finger foods, other days she will want a feast. I take advantage of this by sitting Daisy next to me, so I can supervise her, and I then allow her to feed herself. This is a little messy but most importantly it is fun for Daisy, she can experiment and she eats more food this way.
If Daisy is having a day where she wants to be clingy that is fine with me. I’ll never sacrifice time with my daughter for working. However, there are days that I need to reply to an urgent email or get a post submitted on my website. If Daisy is being clingy then I allow her to sit with me, with her toys. We have a nice cuddle, we play games, we chat and I work one handed. Yes it isn’t the most practical thing ever but I’m not going to let Daisy sit there upset just so I can get some work done – whatever works hey!
The electronic babysitter
This isn’t going to be favoured by everyone but I love using the electronic babysitter at times – the television. Daisy has a couple of shows that she really enjoys and best of all they can be educational too. Daisy is happy to sit through 15-20 minutes of television a couple of times a day. I enjoy this time as we can sit together but Daisy is happy without much attention. Daisy has the potential to learn to cook, learn sign language, learn about cities around the World and much more just through the television. Best of all I can then practice such things with her afterwards when we have time to play together because I have completed my work.
Sometimes being a work-at-home Mother can be hard. However, for me I would find it harder having to send my daughter to a nursery for 30-40 hours a week so I could get my work done. This isn’t a judgement on others but it is just my personal feelings for my time with my own daughter. I’m in a fortunate position not to have to send her to nursery so I would rather not until she is older.
Evenings are often the time that I get the most work done, once Daisy is in bed. During the day I try and limit the time that I spend working. I don’t want my daughter growing up seeing Mummy peering at her over the edge of a MacBook while she learns to walk, talk and all about life.
One thing that is important to me is having one day a week where I can focus on my important work. On this day Daisy will typically go to my Mums for the day. Daisy has a wonderful time at Grandma’s house and Grandma loves to spend the day with Daisy too. On this day I get several weeks of posts scheduled for my blog, I work on paid collaborations and do what I can to make the following week run easier.
I make a point of getting us out of the house most days. This might be something simple like going to the supermarket, visiting soft play, going to see relatives and friends or walking to the local park. Whatever we do we always have time together and try to make sure that I am present. I don’t want to spend hours buried in my phone while we are enjoying life together so I make sure that I work hard on my one day a week and the rest of the week I just pick and choose when to work.
This is what works for me, perhaps what works for you is something completely different. I never look down on others for their choices and instead I just empower myself to be confident with my family choices. My family works very well and we get to spend lots of hours together everyday. This works great for us and I wouldn’t have it any other way – at least not at the moment!