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Learn the art of distraction

You’re trying to finish this ‘one last thing’ and your little one is screaming and tugging at your leg. You’re overwhelmed with guilt. You decided to be a work at home mom because you wanted to spend more time with your little ones, but you have a very pressing matter that needs to be taken care of for a client. You’ve tried working when they’re sleep, but naps are getting shorter or are non-existent, there are certain hours during the day that require you’re attention i.e. a conference call, or there just aren’t enough hours at night to work and sleep.

Time to learn the art of distraction. The easiest distraction is the television. This all depends on your child’s age and attention span. The next idea is to have your child in the room with you, surrounded by toys. This usually buys you 30 minutes max. If you’re good at working in time blocks then work for 30 minutes and play for 30 minutes. Set a timer if you need to. This way your child recognizes that when the timer goes off it’s time for Mommy to play or time for Mommy to work. My kids love the timer.

Make sure your kids are not hungry. If it’s close to snack or lunch time, go ahead and fix it before you sit down to work. This way they aren’t screaming at you 20 minutes after you sat down to work. Set up a kid size office for them. Put a little table and chairs near your desk. Make sure to give them their own phone, notepads, pencils or crayons, something to type on and maybe even a calculator. My little ones love to play with calculators. You can find cheap ones at the dollar store.

If  these methods aren’t working, try to get the older kids to (distract) play with the younger kids for 30 minutes to an hour. I’ve even been known to offer my 10 year old payment for ‘babysitting’ her younger siblings. If all else fails, result to bribery. In exchange for their playing quietly (or at least far enough away from your office that you can’t hear them) you will give them ice cream, candy, a trip to the park, or whatever will work with your kids.

Michele Casteel is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and novelist who resides with her four rambunctious children and loving husband in the heart of the South. Last year she created her own small publishing company.

About Stephanie Watson

Mom | Wife | Virtual Assistant | Content Strategist
Stephanie has been working from home for over 20 years as a virtual assistant, template bender, and content writer. She's currently transitioning to business coach. You can learn more about her at her website


  1. OMG, I can’t get anything done without a timer.

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