10 Ways You Know You’re a Work-From-Home Parent In The Holidays

Hooray! It’s the Easter holidays!

Otherwise known at that time when the kids are off school and us lucky Freelancing parents – workload depending – get to juggle the delight of our children being at home while we frantically attempt to not lose work momentum (or our minds).

Hah. Good luck with that.

I genuinely miss the bones of my two when they’re at school. They are the lights of my life and there is nobody I’d rather spend time with. But mama’s gotta work, and the world of online marketing doesn’t stop spinning because school allows us two weeks of family time to gorge on eggs and frolic in the sunshine (or, most likely, rain).

It would be easy if I could take a step back and tell my clients that working just ain’t gonna happen for a week or two, soz, because we’re off ice skating and cinema visiting and burger eating. But the thought of how behind that would leave me come the summer time leaves me feeling cold; I already squeeze 10 hour days into approximately six, when would I find the time to mess around on blogs and Facebook?

And so I plod on. Hope for the best. Deploy LEGO and Neflix. Promise ice cream and Easter eggs and Peppa Pig world, just for 30 minutes of silence. It’s not perfect, but the juxtaposition of the holiday fun we have when the frantic working mum bit is out of the way is nothing short of joyful.

Are you a Freelancing Work From Home parent? You might find the following familiar…

work from home parent

1. You can take conference calls while doing literally anything at all

Things I’ve recently done whilst on a conference call include taking a three year old to the toilet, wiping his bottom, flushing the loo and washing his hands: all without anyone on the call noticing (thank god for the mute button). I’ve also cooked a whole meal, done a Mr Tumble dance and built a LEGO car whilst participating in calls. Much profesh.

2. Your house persistently looks like it’s been burgled.

When you’re trying to simultaneously work and entertain your children, the ‘put one toy away before the other one comes out’ rule ceases to be important. As far as I’m concerned, a clown could vomit over my living room, if I could only finish responding to this email…

3. Your kids can navigate Netflix better than you.

That is, if they can’t already. Netflix is the cheapest babysitter around, and it’s sometimes completely necessary to just stick it on for a couple of hours. I’d like to recommend Team Umizoomi for apparently being fairly educational (the kids are always shouting numbers at the telly), but most importantly very engrossing.

4. You become way more creative with your ‘creative play’

“Come and sit next to me darling, let’s play offices”

5. You become way more creative with your evening meals.

Pizza delivery is known as a very special treat in our house for a reason, you know. I save those exciting moments of ordering food to the house for when I need top-notch blackmail fodder. Didn’t teach you that at NCT, did they?

6. You have an incredibly unbreakable concentration span.

Type for 30 seconds: get a small person a water re-fill. Type for 30 seconds: rescue a toy car from under the sofa. Type for 30 seconds: dole out rice cakes and banana slices. Type for 30 seconds: ooh and ahh over a hand-drawn spider with 80 painstakingly crafted legs. Repeat ad infinitum until you’re about to go mental. Then deploy point number 9.

7. You’re exhausted and quite possibly need botox for the furrowed brow caused by your efforts to unbreakably concentrate.

Put it this way: I only ever drink gin in the school holidays. Because concentrating on work while concentrating on children is just exhausting.

8. Your kids float around the house wearing some VERY interesting outfits.

When “getting yourselves dressed” becomes another game that allows you to snatch five more precious minutes on that very time-sensitive email, it has to be done.

9. You become creative with your out of office.

“I will be out of the office at meetings from 2pm and will respond to your email on my return”. Translation: I’m off to the cinema to see Zootropolis, and also get a 20 minute snooze while I’m there.

10. You say goodbye to your evenings.

Because you’re catching up on all the work you missed while you were napping in front of Zootropolis.


Happy Easter, Freelancing parents. Shall we not think about the madness that will be the Summer holidays?

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  1. Jen Walshaw wrote:

    Oh this is my life. Although it is all worthwhile to be with my monsters during the holidays. But I do find it hard to burn the candle at both ends.

    Posted 4.5.16 Reply
  2. alice wrote:

    so difficult, Jen! I tried to have 5 minutes of shut-eye in front of Cars 2 this afternoon but I kept getting kissed, and then elfie sellotaped a plane to her brothers’ feet ;) Was not as relaxing as I’d hoped!

    Posted 4.5.16 Reply
  3. Slummy single mummy wrote:

    Ah happy days! I have taken many a conference call at the same time as cooking meals – it’s all fine until you forget to mute and realise that everyone is listening to you shouting at the children to come down for tea.

    Posted 4.5.16 Reply
  4. Gemma | Pushchairs & Bus fairs wrote:

    I just started a very small, work from home project and I can feel your pain! It’s hard to find a few minutes to really get something done when my two little ones need me so much all the time. You’re amazing!

    Posted 4.5.16 Reply
  5. katie albury wrote:

    This is brilliant…although I’m not a freelancer, being on maternity leave and juggling life and the blog sure feels like it. The ‘lets play offices darling’ really made me laugh! Happy easter holidays, hope the rest of the break isn’t too hectic! x

    Posted 4.6.16 Reply
  6. Polly wrote:

    haha!! totes my life EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!

    Posted 4.6.16 Reply
  7. Rachel wrote:

    Sounds somewhat familiar, even though its’ mostly my blog stuff or when I’m working from home and have to get something done first thing before I can drop Pip off at pre-school. Starting to dread the long school holidays already… :)

    Posted 4.6.16 Reply
  8. Bobbie Phillips wrote:

    Its so difficult,but its not impossible.best of luck.family is always helpfull.

    Posted 4.13.16 Reply
  9. oli khan wrote:

    I can drop Pip off at pre-school. Starting to dread the long school holidays already…

    Posted 4.13.16 Reply
  10. Christina - Ladybug Home wrote:

    Totally relate to all. I need to try the “Let’s play office”. Really need to plan “work hours” during summer holiday. I did create a stickers for good behavour during Easter break. She did get a toy. Low point was yesterday when trying to do some work and toddler son draw with red pen on Laura Ashley couch. Ouch! Good luck this summer!

    Posted 4.22.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Ooh stickers for good behaviour are a great idea. Sending sympathies for the red pen on the sofa thing x

      Posted 4.24.16 Reply