If you are home with your kids on a weekday, it may feel as if you need to be writing or researching or studying. Many times these things are almost impossible with the little ones at home. When I first started my PhD, my family was 2 kids lighter. With only one little person running around, I was able to complete a respectable amount of work on the days she stayed home. With 3 kids running around, there are days where I barely get everyone dressed and fed before my husband gets home at 5 o’clock. When these days happen, I try to let go and remember that things will get done.
Pushing myself to work when I know nothing will get done is a recipe for stress and anger. One thing that helps my little ones is getting out of the house in the morning. I find that if we have an outing in the morning, we can come back and have a more peaceful afternoon. They will play with their own toys after spending a bit of time out on the town. Some examples of free places to take your kids in the morning for a more peaceful afternoon:
Of course this is number one. The park is a great place for the kids to get out some energy and enjoy a different environment. Getting to the park always gets my kids napping a little better in the afternoon. Try to find a park that is occupied, your kids will appreciate having playmates other than their siblings for a bit.
2) Story time at the library
This is always a favorite of my kids. They love hearing the stories and singing songs with the librarian. It also gets them some much needed social interaction. If you make a habit of attending the same story time each week, you may also find a mommy friend or two out of it!
3) Go for a walk
Even a short walk can help the children calm down in a new environment. The change of pace is important and fresh air can do wonders for the kiddos.
Getting out is one of my biggest tips for getting work done when the children are home. Use this time to unwind from your own work as well. I find taking the time to socialize with the other moms or catch up on Facebook when the kids are occupied helps me get more focused in the afternoon. The most important part is don’t stress! The work will get done but stressing about it will not get it done any faster.