I’m often asked, “how do I work without my kids interrupting me?”
The answer is simple, y’all… You don’t. Nobody does.
If you have kids, they will interrupt you. As a stay-at-home, home-schooling mom, I am with my children pretty much 24/7. This means there is virtually never a time when I am NOT interrupted. Ha! My children may need a snack, want to give me a booger, and sometimes, when I’m lucky, want to bring me a flower or some other token of affection. Each and every day, there is always some crisis I have to resolve. But I don’t let that stop me from doing my work! My kids have interrupted me about 4.5 million times. No, I haven’t actually counted, but I think that’s a pretty fair estimate 😉
But I don’t let those interruptions keep me from getting my work done!
What I do, is plan my day knowing that there will be interruptions. I know from the moment I wake up, there will be poop, fights, screaming and/or crying at some point in the day. How do I handle it? How do I get work done when this keeps happening? I just go with it.
If I am baking on Kitchen Day and one of my kids starts hollering for Mom, as long as no one is injured, I will keep on doing what I’m doing. I’ll say, “Hold on, and I’ll be right there when I get to a stopping point.” I may say this 10 times while making one batch of Bacon Cheese Muffins.
Does it get annoying?
Yes! But I don’t let the kids interrupting pull me away from what I’m doing. I have to take care of my family, make food, clean the house, etc. If someone is bleeding or seriously injured… that’s a different story! I’ll stop what I’m doing right away and hightail it over to help. Otherwise, I wait until I get to a stopping spot and go deal with their problem.
I’m working hard to try to not get aggravated when I get interrupted.
But I am also training my kids to be somewhat self-sufficient. If someone starts yelling, “Mom, I need you right now!” Ask more questions… Why do they need you? Offer some solutions and see if you can help them while you’re still finishing the task you are working on. Don’t just drop what you’re doing without first seeing if the kids can handle it on their own. Obviously if it’s a big deal, I will stop what I’m working on to help. But if somebody is just mad because they got the wrong coloring book, I’m not going to drop what I’m doing.
I need to add that this does mean that sometimes you will be absolutely shocked when you see how messy their toy/play room is at the end of a busy morning. You might finish your work and have a whole different mess waiting for you! And for the record, sometimes I help, but not always. The kids have to learn to clean up their messes too.
Even if you are single or your kids have grown up and left the house, there will always be something or someone that tries to steal your focus. It’s okay to get interrupted. Just plan for it in advance. How? By knowing that it’s going to happen! It may seem weird to say, but I usually plan for 1 hour of my day to be interruptions. It sounds crazy, but with 4 kids and a dog, that’s pretty realistic.
Don’t plan things so tightly in your day that there’s not any wiggle room or time to handle interruptions.
I’ll say it again… how do I get my work done without interruptions? I don’t! But even with our kids interrupting all the time, you and I can still get plenty of work done in your day. As sure as the sun rises, the interruptions will come! Let’s be ready to handle them!
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