working form home

Tips for working from home with little kids

Due to the Movement Control Order, a lot of us have been subjected to working from home, and for those of us with families, it means working from home with kids. I have some experience in the area – I usually work from home once a week, and even when I’m at the office I’ve had either Eesa or Hudaa with me on most days. So when our social media manager asked me to share my working from home with kids tips to make into MCO content, I was more than happy to depart my wisdom *cue eyeroll*

Disclaimer – this is just what works for me, and a lot of the time, I don’t even manage to do all these. Sometimes, you just have to forego taking a shower in order to beat that deadline. Or you are so worn out from juggling so many hats that the last thing you want to do is wake up in the wee hours of the morning to get a chunk of work-time. Life goes on.


Be Flexible

The main thing I can advise people about working from home with kids is to be flexible. You will NOT get a solid 8 hours of work in like you do at the office. There is no 9-5. Of course you will try, but bear in mind that your working hours would more likely be spread out across the whole day and include so many more ‘breaks’ than you had planned. If you are working alone or are pretty independent from other departments in your company, this shouldn’t be much of a problem. However, if your work requires a lot of scheduled meetings/discussions/collaboration with others, it might be a bit harder for you. Tip 2 will address that issue.

Being flexible also means you are able to work from various locations in your house. Ideally, you would work at your dedicated workspace, whether it’s your dining table, or your home office space. But sometimes, your kids require (read: demand) your attention.

Some people may have kids who are older and understand boundaries better, but if you’re like me and have a baby, or a toddler, who have not developed enough self-restraint or comprehension of the phrase “mommy needs to do some work right now”, you will find that being flexible in the location of your workspace allows you to get more work done. Of course, this only works if you have a laptop or if you can work on your mobile phone. If your work is tethered to a PC, planning becomes even more crucial. As you go along, you can (hopefully) train your child to recognise boundaries better.

Have a plan

I find that having a plan for the day helps me arrange my schedule better. And planning doesn’t just include work – now that you’re working from home with kids, it also means planning for meals/cooking, planning for downtime with your kids, and planning for other home-related things like laundry, naptimes, cleaning, etc.

My method is quite loose (remember tip no.1!), and it involves listing down my work goals for the day or my work to-do list. Next, I identify tasks that have time constraints, namely deadlines and meetings/group discussion. Then I can make sure my day is geared towards setting myself up for as much success in achieving these highlighted tasks.

For example, if I have a conference call scheduled at 1pm, which is when we usually have lunch, I will make sure that the kids are fed and lunch is cleared up earlier, and that I spend at least 20 minutes entertaining the kids so they get their mommy time before I have to hole up in my room. The rest of the day is slipping in pockets of work in between so I can check them off the list.

Additionally, if you get derailed by the many, many breaks you are forced to take, having a plan or to-do list written down will make it easier to pick up where you left off and get right back on track as soon as your situation allows you to, instead of backtracking and wasting time gathering your work mojo.

working from home with kids

Get backup

If your spouse is also working from home, then you’re lucky, Alhamdulillah! After listing down your work tasks for the day, I will usually let Shafiq know about any uninterrupted time I might need and vice versa. This allows us to take turns in attending to the kids while we chase that deadline or attend to that meeting.

If you are alone working at home with kids (LDR couples, single mothers, HUGE salute to you!), identify an activity that your child engages most in, and save that activity for when you really need it. And of course, when all else fails, Paw Patrol is hopefully just a click away.

Everything else

While those would be my top three tips, some other tips I find useful are:

  • Getting up earlier than your kids to get solid uninterrupted work time in
  • Try to make sure you get ready for the day – getting ready physically also helps you get into the work mindset. Take a shower and put on something other than your pyjamas. Make yourself a nice mug of coffee just like you would at the office
  • If you find yourself getting distracted by your phone, social media, etc, maybe use a timer or the Pomodoro method to break your work up into smaller chunks. The timer can also help train your kids to know when it’s working time and when you are allowed to take a break.
  • Make time for your kids – there’s only so much time they can leave you alone for. And really invest in that time – enjoy connecting with them and make it quality time. It might just help you destress from work too

Although to me working from home with kids seem like second nature, I hope these tips can give the bewildered and frustrated parent who is new to working from home some tools to make it through these strange times <3

working form home


My labour story

My EDD was 3rd of February, but because of my gestational diabetes, if I hadn’t given birth by the 2nd, I’d have to be admitted for induced labor on the 2nd of fib. So the days were going by and I didn’t feel any signs of giving birth. We decided to go to the bird park on the 1st to get a good walk in, which is supposed to help with labor. The day before I had attempted to do some squats, which weren’t that successful since I only managed a few before my knees started shaking lol.

The morning of the 1st I woke up feeling a bit sore in the pelvis. Must be those squats. Got ready and headed to the was really nice! About halfway through though, I started feeling pan in y pelvis and it got harder and harder o walk. It got so bad that at one point I couldn’t move at all. Standing still was fine but any kind of pelvic movement was close to impossible. It felt like I had dislocated my whole groin/hip.  I was close to tears at that point, because I felt so helpless. Anyway, we had to get back to the car so I leaned on Shafiq and slowwwwly hobbled back through the park.

It was already lunchtime and we hadn’t really had anything to eat the whole day, so we decided to get lunch otw back. Grabbed Burger King at Masjid Jamek and then I felt like having some coffee, so we decided to drive to TTDI. On the way we stopped by a gas station to pray but I couldn’t make it out of the car! lol. So we just went home. Shafiq asked if I wanted to go to the hospital to check but I knew these weren’t contractions. First of all the pain was constant and not every few minutes, and second, it was all in my pelvis, not my uterus. I said I didn’t want to go to the hospital and just be told to go back home, so we headed straight home.

Later that night the pain was still unbearable, and Salman and Munira urged me to just go and check. So after dinner, Shafiq loaded our hospital bags and scooped me up, off to the delivery wing. After arriving in the wheelchair, the nurse told Shafiq to wait outside in the waiting area and told me to lie down on one of the beds. I almost broke down again because I really couldn’t walk without support. Somehow I managed though, groping at walls. It took me a good 15 minutes just to get on to the bed. They strapped me up with some monitoring devices, and the nurses weren’t too happy with my readings.i didn’t understand what they were sayig but basically they meant the graph seemed to be upside down? After half an hour they said I could get down from the bed and wait for the doctor. So another agonizing time getting down, only after to finally make it to the chair, the doctor came and asked me to get back into bed for more checks.

The doctor asked me some questions (are you sure you don’t feel any contractions? no.) and told me that my baby’s heartbeat was quite fast. She then ruptured by membrane to check if the baby had passed stool inside the womb, which he didn’t. Then the doctor asked the nurses if there were any beds available. At that time I thought to myself, ok well at least they’re not sending me home, at least masuk ward for one night. The nurse came back and said bed 2 was empty. Then the doctor told me I was actually already 2cm dilated and since the heartbeat was fast, they were putting me straight into the labor room.


I totally did not expect that. I was terrified! So not emotionally and mentally ready to give birth that night! They wheeled me out into the waiting room and I broke down in tears when Shafiq came to me. I was so so scared.

The labor room was right next door, and they told me to go to the bathroom, and change into the hospital gowns. I lay on the bed kind of in a daze, trying to remember everything I had read and prepared. I still felt no contractions at all, only pelvic pain. It was 11.30ish. I couldn’t see the clock but a few hours later the nurse came and checked me again, still only 2-3cm. so she said they would give me some medication to speed up the contractions. I don’t know what it was but it was administered via IV drip. (Dah Google. I think it was Pitocin)

Oh boy did that medicine work. I contractions came and went. In the beginning they were manageable-ish, I remember asking Shafiq if we should time them. But soon they started to get reaaaally strong. I tried breathing through them but I guess I failed. At one point I remember a nurse coming in and asking if I wanted pain medication, to which I said YESS and waited for her to come back, but when she did she said they couldn’t give me any because I was already 9cm open. Good news I guess, meaning I was able to go thru (relatively) drug free. The contractions felt like…bowling balls growing and rolling inside me. For some reason every contraction came and felt like different colors. I don’t know how to describe it. Overall the most colors were purple and orange. The last contraction was definitely yellowish orange, I remember thinking ‘mcm nangka’ and “shaped’ like an inflated rounded rectangle (kinda like durian crepe?) I guess mild synesthesia hit me or something.

The pushing part was kind of a chaotic blur. First only 2 nurses attended to me, but later I think there were 3 nurses pushing and prodding my belly, 2 more standing at the foot of the bed waiting to receive, and one more doctors looking on. Everyone was telling me to do different things, lift chin, push more, tahan nafas, lagi, lagi! I don’t remember actually feeling the “ring of fire” moment when the baby’s head emerged. They did pull my hand down to feel his head almost there. /I do remember feeling angry; I wished everyone would just shut up and let me focus lol! I definitely shushed Shafiq once when he was urging me to lift my chin.

Alhamdulillah after about half an hour, baby Eesa came into the world. They placed him on my chest and I couldn’t stop saying AllahuAkbar..This is my baby!