Over the years, I’ve accumulated a myriad of tips + tricks to outsmart, escape, and otherwise run away from my children while I try to get stuff done.
Just kidding, guys, I adore being in my children’s faces 24/7 and would gladly feel their stinky breath upon me on all day if I could.
Just kidding again. The truth is, I love being home with my kiddos but I also love to get a few non-diaper-and-baby-related accomplishments done every day too.
Which, of course, is easier said than done. And some days, getting anything done at all takes war-like sneak tactics, like these. And please, give me your ideas if I’ve missed any. Not that I’m desperate or anything…
Morning is by far my favorite time of day to work, but of course, that doesn’t always happen for me. But I find that once the kids are happily settled/strapped in high chairs, I can usually find time to schedule a few social media posts for the day, make a quick to-do list, or answer a few emails. I rarely get a chance to eat my own breakfast with them anyways, so this one is nice when it works out.
2. School Pick-Up
A lot of time, I save any phone calls or emails that need to be answered for school pick-up time and purposefully get there about 10 or 15 minutes early. That way, the kids are still strapped in the car seat (I usually bring snacks too!) and I can answer emails or make a phone call without worrying about someone needing something. For some reason, my kids tend to be OK with car seats, so this one is nice for me.
3. Before We Go Anywhere
This one sounds horrible, but I’m going to `fess up to it anyways. Sometimes, if I’m feeling especially desperate, I will load up the kids in the car and then dart back into the house, grab my laptop, and take advantage of Wi-Fi that still works in our driveway. If they’re happy reading a book or eating a granola bar and I can type out a post in 10 minutes with my laptop right next to them, just consider it my mobile office.
4. A Standing Office
It might sound silly, but there is something about the physical act of sitting on your butt in front of a computer that signals to your baby/toddler/older children to turn on the whining and the crying. And that’s just not cool. So instead of trying to actual sit and work like a normal human being, sometimes I just bring my computer into the kitchen or toy room and act like I’m doing normal chores, but really just peck away at the computer every now and then. As long as I stay moving, they don’t sense I’m trying to be productive.
5. Movie Night
I try not to do this that often, because I like to shut my work down in the evening hours, but if I’m on a crunch, I take advantage of movie night to work while the rest of the family is happily occupied. The baby gets to cuddle with Daddy and I can still be with the family and work. The real key for me is saving any of my “fluff” work for night, like scheduling posts or finding images, so I don’t have to use a lot of brain power for them.
6. A Hiking Backpack
I tend to have giant babies, so while wearing them is fabulous and all when they’re newborns, after that, I need a bit more support. I found an old hiking infant backpack and will often use that at home if I have a cranky baby and need to get stuff done. I’ve vacuumed, cooked dinner, wrote posts, taken pictures, done phone interviews, etc. with a baby on my back and it’s a little easier than a front pack, for me.
7. Go For A Walk
Before I became a writer and even before I was a labor and delivery nurse, I worked for a non-profit organization from home that often had weekly hours-long conference calls. I couldn’t afford a sitter back then, so if I knew it was coming, I’d try to plan accordingly and take the kids for a walk during our conference call. I took full advantage of that “mute” button and we got some fresh air + exercise in the process. Since then, I’ve used that if I need to do a phone call or interview.
8. Get YeSelf a Recording App
And speaking of doing interviews, a recording app on my phone has saved my buns many a time trying to interview someone for an article with a fussy baby. I can interview someone over the phone, record the whole conversation, and not worry about taking notes. I’ve done this so many times simply doing laps around the house with a baby it’s not even funny. When you’re done, you can download the recording later or email it to yourself for safekeeping. I use the Call Recorder App on my Iphone and paid $10 for the full version. Totally worth it.
What are your sneaky tips for getting stuff done with a baby?