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Tips for Working at Home with Kids

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Congratulations! You've landed a job working from home! Your new position will give you the freedom and flexibility you need as a parent, plus the opportunity to never again change out of yoga pants. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your telecommuting lifestyle.

1. Set up a home office. Everyone needs a designated work area, even those who work from home. Set up a comfortable, efficient workspace; outfit it with a sleek collection of matching files and folders; invest in a comfortable, high-quality desk chair; and then never look at it any of it again as you carry your laptop from your kitchen table to your sofa to your bed and back.

2. Set a schedule. Without the routines of office life, it's easy for telecommuters to find work creeping into every part of their day.

3. Set healthy boundaries by developing a solid work routine. Explain to your office-bound coworkers that you are available by phone or email from 9am-5pm, as well as evenings, weekends, and all state and federal holidays.

4. Take frequent breaks. Get up every 15 minutes to stretch, grab a drink of water, change a diaper, pick up your child from school, take them to soccer practice, change another diaper, answer a question, find a bandaid, walk your dog, resolve a dispute between siblings, make a snack, or change another diaper.

5. Keep kids occupied. Working from home doesn't mean you can't have a little peace and quiet. Schedule important calls for what is theoretically nap time, or set kids up with a quiet activity during your busiest times, preferably something that requires them to constantly interrupt you with requests for help and encouragement.

6. Relax! You're done for the day! Now to start the dinner, baths, and bedtime routine that comprise your second job of the day. At least you're already wearing yoga pants.

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