It is the ultimate holy grail of many parents, to be able to work from home.
We all see the adverts on Facebook offering a "laptop lifestyle" and with beautiful young women tapping away in gorgeous houses and I am sure I am not the only one who has a knowing smile.
Working from home with kids is bloody amazing, it is brilliant don't get me wrong. But, as with most things in life it is not all hearts and flowers. I set up my business a year ago and worked throughout my second maternity leave to build it up so it is now my main job (and I recently opened up a second business too...)
This is my survival guide to working from home. Invest in some nice gym kit - you can (with a lot of planning) get to the gym now and if you have taken 45 minutes out of your schedule you aren't going to have time to change so you might as well look reasonably presentable in your active wear rather than in an old track suit.
The gymwear (or activewear as the companies call it) is good as well as if you are a productivity junkie like me you will know you should be doing some exercise every 50 minutes, you are ready for those star jumps when the time comes (or not, you don't have to do it!)
Plan your day so you get some human contact. I remember 10 years ago I used to work from home and when my boyfriend got back I was unbearable wanting to know the minute details of his day as I had basically sat in my lounge with my laptop and not spoken to a soul. I now make sure I have human contact every day, ideally a coffee date but more often than not a phone call or a Skype. I spend more time with my kids nursery workers and know all the local business owners as well which is nice (for me, at least).
When I am talking about planning your day actually do, plan what you are going to do. In the early days of working from home I didn't do this and ended up either faffing a lot or forgetting to make time for important things like lunch. Planning helps give you a focus and keeps you on track.
If you are working from home for yourself you need to be self motivated, it helps if you love what you do. It also helps if you have someone that you need to be accountable to - this could be your coach, or it could be your partner (be careful with this one, I have realised I don't always react the best way to my partner when he asks me if I have done something). This helps you to stay on track, the other thing that I find helps is giving yourself rewards. I know it sounds a bit like what we do with our toddlers but rewards do work.
Finally, in terms of the house and chores and life admin think about what you can do outside of your working day or allocate a small amount of time to this. These can take over your day! I personally prefer to do the washing or cook when my kids are around as they can get involved in them whereas when I am on my laptop there is zero interaction.
Working from home is brilliant and I love that I am able to do it but it can really affect your sanity, do what works for you. If you see a very friendly active wear clad lady in south east London clutching a coffee say hello - I might not have seen a fellow human all day.Suggest a correction