parent opinion

'I'm a WFH parent. Here are the 6 hacks I swear by to actually make it work.'

HP Printers
Thanks to our brand partner, HP Printers

Most parents understand the craziness of working from home with small children is no small feat. 

I made the decision to embrace the chaos of running my media business partly from home three years ago after having my daughter. Somehow, between the naps and the nappy changes, I have managed to grow my brand, whilst also being there for every milestone and meltdown. Although it would be nice to be in an office for the latter, let’s be honest. 

I’ve since had another baby, a beautiful little boy which means each week is a whirlwind in our household, and I’ve certainly learned a few hacks along the way with two little ones underfoot. So, here’s how I do it:

1. The power of naps. 

If you can manage the rare occurrence of syncing two kids' naps, then karma is on your side that day, my friend. I call this my hour of power and it’s when I’ve learned to be my most productive. No cleaning highchairs or packing away toys during naps for me. I am head down, bum up, at the laptop where I’ve mastered the art of scheduling interviews, crafting story pitches and writing articles. 

2. Make work fun. 

It is not uncommon for my toddler to start demanding my undivided attention when I’ve just started a call or a meeting.

Having 24 hair clips put in her hair qualifies as an urgent request, right? 

I’ve learnt the best way to manage these moments is to involve her in my work. Printing off a picture on the HP OfficeJet Pro 8130e for her to colour in or engaging her in a creative activity keeps her occupied while I finish my meetings. Specifically built for a work-from-home hybrid lifestyle, its Instant Ink Subscription is so handy; with the ink delivered straight to our door, the printer really does save the day, one document (and doodle) at a time.


I also work best seeing things on paper, rather than a screen. So, I’ll often print out my transcripts and sit with a pen and highlighter, crafting my writing around the best quotes. The printer's quiet mode has been a game-changer for this as it means I can print whilst the kids nap nearby.

Image: Supplied. 


3. Technology is your friend. 

2024 is *the* year to invest in tech. One of the most effective things we do in our house is to have a shared calendar app, keeping my partner and me across both of our work schedules and commitments. 

It’s lightened the mental load of me having to remind my partner what work I have coming up. He can see when I am out of the house with a client, and he’ll adjust his work to be home with the kids. Having a partner in the loop with all work and parenting tasks has been such a game-changer for our household. 

I'm also a self-proclaimed serial list maker, so I also highly recommend using the Notes app. With dozens of lists in my phone accessible on the go, there's nothing quite as satisfying as ticking off tasks one by one.

4. Embrace the flexibility. 

There are those days when nothing seems to go to plan, and that’s okay. With a baby and a toddler vying for attention, I’ve learned to adapt, seamlessly switching from drafting an email to managing big emotions. 

This often means my work is often done from my phone, with one child breastfeeding and the other lying on my lap as they watch Bluey. Thankfully, I can easily print, scan, or copy what I need straight from my phone via the HP Smart App to the printer. It’s been a real lifesaver in helping me to juggle work tasks with baby in arms. 

5. The importance of establishing boundaries. 

This is crucial for both work and home life. 


Firstly, I am very transparent with clients and colleagues about my family life. This helps set the tone for a supportive working relationship and means my kids have been part of quite a few video conferences in their time. And at home, it means I’ve made it a firm rule not to mix work with precious moments with my kids. 

That means if I am playing an umpteenth round of Frozen roleplay, you better believe I am immersing myself into the role of Anna, whilst my daughter is Elsa. My phone and laptop are not nearby. I strictly reserve work for when the kids are asleep, having quiet time watching TV or when they are doing independent play. 

Image: Supplied. 


6. The importance of self-care. 

It’s so easy as a mum to put myself last, but my days and my time with my kids are calmer and more enjoyable when I’ve had time to look after myself. For me, that’s work. I get so much out of connecting with other women and indulging in my creative pursuits that helps me recharge to be the best mum I can be.

Explore HP's OfficeJet Pro series printers online, uniquely built to work at home and made from 45 per cent recycled plastic. 

Never Run Out: Internet connection to eligible HP printer, valid payment method, email address, and local delivery service required based on plan usage. 

Automatic Delivery: Printers need direct Internet connection for participation, Internet access sold separately. 

HP Smart app: Requires download, English language features/software may vary between desktop and mobile, subscription may be required in certain countries, internet access and HP account needed for full functionality, fax capabilities are for sending only, HP Smart Advance availability varies by country. 

Percentage of recycled plastic is based on total weight. 

Feature Image: Instagram/@ktkatesmithers.

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