Many of us dream of working from home. The freedom! The fridge stocked with snacks we actually want! Wearing jammies all day and working out any ol’ time! The children …!

Uh-oh. Yes, in these extraordinary times when working from home is all but a must, the reality that you and the kids must now share what is “workspace” can be a bit challenging.

Check out this video of the mom who is interrupted while she’s on a major cable-TV news channel. Adorable, right? Sure, you might not be reporting national news, but perhaps you were at home on a conference call when your 2-year-old screamed for help from the potty.

Normally, the award-winning West Villages and the community’s nine stunning and distinctive neighborhoods have enough resort-style amenities to keep the kids engaged for a lifetime.

Here, then, are some tips to help you work and play well together in your new West Villages home:

Communicate: Yes, you are the center of their attention, but explain to them that Mom and Dad now must set some boundaries. Many West Villages homes feature private studies or flex rooms, which already are or can be used as an office: “This is where we go to work.”

Plan: Create lists of fun things for the kiddos to do that require little to no supervision. (If these don’t work, work with them to see what activities will work for them.) Try these:

  • Infants—show videos they’ll enjoy, music they’ll like. Learning activities. Toys. Naps!
  • Toddlers through elementary—online games, especially educational ones, PBS children’s shows.
  • ’Tweens and up—encourage them to make music, art and stories. Turn them onto bands and movies that shaped your growing-up; they’ll learn more about you. As with the younger set, tune them into more educational programs, games and apps.

Graveyard shift: Writers with day jobs already know this: they have to work when no one else is around. Even famous authors, such as Charles Dickens and Danielle Steele, worked through the creative-rich nighttime with all that the peace and quiet.

Virtual help: Enlist friends, family and neighbors to participate in interactive activities online. The Zoom video conferencing app is huge. While they’re playing together online, however, just remember not to scream about your bathroom emergencies.

Gratitude: Don’t forget to thank everyone for giving you the time and space you need for the work you need to do.

These and even more tips are available here and here. To learn more about Life Your Way and taking even greater advantage of your home as your office, visit West Villages’ Model Home Centers, listed here. Or call the Home Buyers Information Line at 941-960-7805.