Home is where…everything is

How to WFH with kids in the mix

Hello, my friends! My name is Lindsay, and from here on out, I’ll be popping into your inbox twice a week, every week as your FamilyMade newsletter writer. I’d like to personally thank Kinsey for getting the conversation started, Shawn and Andrew for endless inspiration, and you for being here. As a mom of two girls, I’m right there in the trenches with many of you and I’m honored to continue sharing tips, tricks, encouragement, and maybe even a laugh (or several) in the weeks and months ahead.

Let’s get to it, shall we?


So You're Still Figuring Out This WFH Thing...

After two years of getting comfy with cats walking across keyboards and toddler Zoom guests, you’d think more of us would have work-from-home figured out. But if you don’t, you’re not alone—because it’s still tricky to balance home life + work focus + oh-boy-what’s-for-dinner.

You might be feeling out of sorts if you’re a WFH parent, even as the new school year reintroduces a little routine. If you have older kids, you’re penciling in drop-off and pick-up between weekly all-hands meetings and manager check-ins. If you have younger kids, “go play with your brother” has turned into “let’s watch Bluey season three again.”

So? Let’s work on our juggling skills together. Here are some ideas for managing WFH with your family. And P.S.? These tips are great for any parent or caretaker looking for productivity resources—regardless of job title.

Ask for support

If you can ask a partner, relative, babysitter, or heck, even a reliable neighbor for assistance during work periods, do it. The opportunity for heads-down work time can make a major difference in your productivity, even if it’s just 30 minutes. (Ever work at “mom speed?” Yeah. It’s a superpower.)

Create realistic expectations

Start here: You probably won’t clock a solid eight-hour workday (who needs ’em anyway?). As author Eckhart Tolle says, “resistance keeps you stuck.” If your job allows, letting go of that outdated expectation gives you space to reassess how you think about your schedule and makes it easier to creatively design it around your home life.

Set expectations for your kids, too: Try a countdown clock like this, and tell your tiny coworker that lunchtime will happen when the clock color runs out. Making time “visible” is a great way to make it interactive and eliminate the constant, “Are you done yet?”

Work in sprints

Work sprinting is a science-backed approach to tackling important tasks and avoiding burnout. Try including sprints during nap time or post-bedtime. It’ll give new meaning to intentional focus!

Plan easy independent activities

Take some time before an important meeting to figure out what might keep your child happily distracted for 10+ minutes. My little one does well with hands-on activities like Play-Doh, kinetic sand, markers, and gluing things to paper (really).

An older child may get a kick out of doing work, too. My 6-year-old thrives doing school workbook practice at the table next to me or even playing educational games from ABC Mouse or PBS Kids on a laptop or tablet. As with broccoli for dinner, it’s all about presentation. Nothing is cooler than “going to work” with mom or dad.

But our ultimate WFH advice? Give yourself a break. As great as working from home can be, your work/life juggling act will take practice—and it probably won’t be perfect right away. But no matter what, we’ll be here cheering you on, with a pile of Play-Doh stuck to our standing desk.

Parenting is a humbling experience. The remedy? Funny stories from other parents, also figuring it out as they go. BoredPanda has 25 relatable stories that’ll make you chuckle.

Ever heard of the 90-minute rule? As a mom of two future teenage girls, this one from parenting coach Lisa Bunnage blew my mind. The details: a no-curfew strategy, a 90-minute check-in rule, and a whole lot of trust. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

MSN has created the ultimate fall fun list: 50 things to get the season started—both for you and for your family members who can’t have a double-shot pumpkin spice latte (yet). This should carry you through November, at least.

First edition down already?! This was so much fun! I'd love to hear from you in the FamilyMade inbox—send your feedback, ideas, and stories my way by hitting reply to this email. Can’t wait to see you all back here on Friday for our next Q&A. Have a great week!