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Working from Home: How to Meet Deadlines When your Children Refuse to Nap

Working from Home: How to Meet Deadlines When your Children Refuse to Nap

Thus far in my blogging career, I’ve been able to complete a sizeable chunk of the hefty workload whilst my children slumbered. I would put them down for their afternoon nap and sit down to a couple of hours work in the afternoon. Then when they went to bed in the evening, I’d grab a few more hours for good measure. It was a good balance and one that will be sorely missed.

The last few months have seen my eldest daughter drop her naps altogether. My youngest does still nap, but not for long during daytime hours. This has thrown a huge spanner in the works where my business is concerned, as I’ve lost a whopping 14 hours of dedicated blogging time each week. At first I found myself in a spin of overwhelm and disorganisation. With even less time in the day to get on top of things, I felt like I was drowning in my work load.

Something had to change. Firstly I had to accept that nap time is no more. I’ve had a good run of 2.5 years of mid-afternoon bliss, but it was time to re-asses our daily routine to keep each of us as happy as can be. After much trial and error, we now have a good little routine going!


So, here’s how to meet deadlines when your children refuse to nap:


Split your days into activity blocks –

The key to keeping everyone in your house happy, is to allocate of time to meet everyone’s needs. In our house, the littlest still needs a short nap around lunchtime, so our day is divided into three blocks; ‘morning’, ‘downtime’ and ‘the rest of the day’. Our morning and the rest of the day is dedicated to our girls, we take them out, educate them and do everything else that comes with being a parent. Downtime however, is time for me to settle the girls down for an hour in order to get through some of my workload. I often enlist the help of Peppa Pig here, but it’s a good rest for the girls and time for them to recharge for the rest of the day.

Create a dedicated work space –

Having an area that’s just for you is a great way to make sure you meet your deadlines. My husband recently built me a desk area and it means that I can leave unfinished work to come back to later. I’m able to jump back into my chair and continue my project without having to wast time reorganising myself. It also means there are no little people using my documents as scrap paper!

Work into the night, but know when to stop –

I’ve accepted that If I’m to continue working at the level I’ve gotten used to, then burning the midnight oil is a given. As it’s the only real quiet time I have, I leave all of the more complicated projects until after the children have settled for the night. Working too late, too often can quickly lead to burn out though. So it’s important to recognise your limits and to hit the hay early once in a while. Burning the candle at both ends won’t be a benefit to anyone.

Use downtime to catch up on easy tasks –

If the kids are up and you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, tackling tasks that are simple will make you feel like you’ve been productive. It’s still work that has to be done and once you have time to yourself you can concentrate on the more complex projects.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help –

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and getting things done becomes impossible. That’s when you need to admit defeat and ask for a little help. Whether that’s getting someone to watch the kids whilst you spend some time catching up, or outsourcing work that you just isn’t at the top of your priority list. Don’t try to be superhuman!


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63 Replies to “Working from Home: How to Meet Deadlines When your Children Refuse to Nap”

  1. Great tips. When they go to school you won’t know what to do with all that time! Unfortunately for me they always seem to be the quickest 6 hours of the day!

  2. I am dreading the day when my babies stop napping! Those 2 hours in the afternoon are essential to my business and my well-being. I think I’ll be enlisting Grandma help once they decide they’re too old for sleeping.

  3. I’m in the same boat at the moment. My youngest is a terrible napper so I am really missing my 1/2 hour solid work time each afternoon. When my eldest isn’t at preschool and if I manage to get the little one to nap, then I get the eldest to have some ‘chill out time’ in his room. This buys me a little bit of time. Housework and food shopping I am always behind on but I am growing to accept my limitations. It’s hard being a work from home mum!

  4. Great tips. My 3 year old never naps and honestly, I’ve given up attempting to work while she’s home. She does go to nursery 3 afternoons a week though which is perfect! Ha. I think I might try setting up a dedicated workspace like you suggested. That way I can just get back to it instead of having to get everything out again. That would be a lot more productive. ? #TriumphantTales

  5. I always find doing work from home to be impossible unless my son is napping or sleeping. I usually do all my filming video editing, blogging, etc while he is sleeping but I need to use some of your tips #GlobalBlogging

  6. Ouch! When that nap goes it must be hard! When I’m home with the baby I get most of my blogging stuff done during nap time. Other than that I do a little in the evening (still like to go to bed early though) and get up around 5am

  7. Good tips. I’ve found being more realistic about what I can actually achieve really helps too. When my to-do list is neverending it’s so disheartening that it makes me less productive. #blogstravaganza

  8. I currently work full time, but I’ll remember these tips for my next maternity leave when I’m trying to get some blogging done with a toddler and a baby to wrangle! Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is basically my life at the moment! Zach has stopped having any naps plus he wakes a few times a night. My only time to work and blog is at night but I’m often too exhausted and want to get some sleep before he wakes. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

  10. My youngest stopped his afternoon naps around Christmas. I’m definitely noticing the difference to how productive I feel! Planning through my deadlines and managing small chunks everyday seems to be working though… for now 😉 #Blogstravaganza

  11. I’ve always wondered how parents of young children fit in blogging around them. If I have my nephew (4) I literally get nothing done at all. I am lucky my daughter is at th stage where spending time with me is a low priority so I get plenty of time to work whilst she’s at school and upstairs avoiding me! #blogstravaganza

  12. I’m with you on this! Completely agree with having a ‘quiet time’ to replace naps, everyone needs a re-charge and some time (to blog!) A tad jealous of your previous 2.5 hour breaks though!! #blogstravaganza

  13. I’m concerned about how I’ll cope with blogging and the twins AND Ben, luckily my MIL will still have Ben some days to help me get my head around newborn twins and also she knows blogging will be my job once I return from maternity leave.
    I agree about easy tasks when they’re refusing to nap and night time work for me isnt too much of an issue as im used to blogging mainly at night… lets just hope the twins have a good adjustment to the nighttime routine! #blogstravaganza

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