Tips For Working From Home With Kids Without Going Insane
Quarantine, social distancing, and “working” from home are the new normal. For those without kids, it’s a magical time, filled with naps, eating whatever, sleeping till whenever, and just generally living life. For those of us with kids and babies, though, trying to work from the house while entertaining small children is proving to be, um, difficult. Maybe your childcare shut down in keeping with state guidelines. Maybe you had a nanny making your life a literal dream before all this and have had to temporarily suspend them because of the pandemic. Whatever the case, you’re now stuck inside with tiny people that demand constant attention, food, and entertainment. It’s like being marooned with your very drunk friend who can’t speak and only screams, cries, and whines when she wants attention or more cold pizza.
In an effort to not pull our hair out, we chatted with Lauren Benbassat, co-founder of mēle shake, a fully-balanced smoothie made from real food, about how you can work from home with your kids without completely losing it. She’s a mom and entrepreneur, and she’s got tips for staying focused, productive, and sane even with kids running around.

Organize Your Hours

Obviously, my go-to when I need to actually write a story (hi) or get some work done is making the most of nap time (or other times when my kid is distracted), and times when my partner is available to help too. Benbassat takes that a step further with some time management tools. If you think you’re organized, Benbassat, a self-proclaimed “Google addict”, keeps a detailed Google calendar that she shares with family members and the people she works with.
“I have multiple calendars which I share with various teams/parties,” she explains. “I have a personal, a husband/wife schedule, my work calendar is open and shared with team, and additionally, I have a shared ‘childcare’ calendar so my family and co-founders can see my availability for each day.”
Creating a schedule and routine not only helps you stay organized, it can also help you feel better, and therefore, more sane. If this were me, I’d add a tab for snacking time, trash TV time, and pretending to exercise time, but you also can (and should) pencil in date time, me time (more on that in a sec), meeting times, and the like.

Make Time For You

It seems really contrived to even mention self-care these days, but when you have a child, it’s so f*cking important. You’re responsible for a tiny human for what feels like every second, so being able to steal an hour to take a bath, read a book, or just watch some crappy TV will help you feel refreshed.
Benbassat knows very well that your me time as a working mom is extremely limited, and admits, “the life of a WFH mother and entrepreneur doesn’t leave much time for self-care, honestly.” So she carves out time for herself when she can, in what she calls “small moments.” For instance, “a morning walk with baby in stroller and coffee in hand!”
She adds, “If you don’t have the ability to walk outside right now, put on some music and have a family dance party. I love @amandakloots Musical Morning Playlist on Spotify.” She will also swipe on “a quick mascara and lip” when her baby goes down for a nap so she can feel like a real person for a second, and of course is a fan of “a long, hot shower once baby is in bed for the night… add a glass of wine if you want to be really extra.”
Personally, I’ve got the wine part down, and I think I still have mascara on my lashes from three days ago, so I guess I’m pretty much killing this whole self-care thing.
The momtrepreneur (sorry, but it’s accurate) also mentions that, aside from self-care, giving yourself some mental breaks can help with productivity later. “From 5am to 10pm, my day is non-stop. While I used to make time for journaling and meditation pre-baby, I’ve had to find new ways for mental health breaks. I find that classical music in the morning while I check my email and get priorities in line is what soothes me the most.” You’re not a robot; give yourself some breathers throughout the day to avoid burnout and help you stay productive.

Define Your Space

If you’re working from home, defining the space where you do your work can help with productivity. Having been working remotely on and off for the past 8 years, Benbassat says, “having a designated space for your office is KEY.” Obviously, having a separate office is ideal, but since that’s not possible for everyone, just make sure you’re changing up your environment and blocking off some area to do work in (sadly, this means no longer calling your bed “the office”). “That way,” she explains, “when you ‘go to work’ you are physically relocating to a new space and shifting mentally to work-mode.” She adds, “For me, I need three things to add to my work space: a plant, a bit of sunlight, and my water bottle.”
In other words, maybe don’t sit on the couch in front of the TV to do that project. And leave your bedroom as a retreat—no laptops, spreadsheets, or conference calls allowed.

Eat, And Make Time For Eating

It may sound crazy to anyone without kids, but when you have a baby or small child, making time to actually sit, breathe, and f*cking eat is a luxury. But when you’re working, you need food to keep that brain going, so having a good breakfast and lunch is super important.

Benbassat’s number one tip for making sitting down, eating, and actually enjoying your food easier and more time efficient is to meal prep. She obviously swears by mēle shakes as a quick breakfast or snack, but also keeps a number of easy-grab items in the fridge that can be thrown together for a quick dish. For instance, some washed and chopped veggies, fruits, and lettuce that she can quickly add to salads, bowls, or sides. She also swears by quinoa with lentils: “I prep a big batch on Sunday, cooked with chicken broth and ghee. I use throughout the week for quick bowls (with chopped veggies) and dinner sides.” She also mixes up a quick and protein-rich 3-bean salad with chickpeas, black beans, and green beans (you can sub for whatever beans you like). “Toss with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and Italian dressing seasoning, marinate in fridge,” she instructs. “It’s great with crackers, added to salad, or as a side.”

If you had told me a year or two ago that I would become one of those people who forgets to eat, I would have laughed in your face. But as a mom, this sh*t is real.

Look, working from home isn’t easy. Working from home during quarantine as a result of a worldwide pandemic is hard. Add kids to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for a breakdown. Stop, breathe, and tell yourself the work will get done, the kids will be fine, and someday we’ll all go to brunch again.

Images: Charles Deluvio, Unsplash; Giphy (3); @lauren.benbassat

Healthy Isolation Snacks To Keep In Your Pantry

Welcome to the new normal, where we’re all funemployed or “working” from home and can’t remember what it’s like to go to brunch or interact with other people. This is what we all wanted: to cancel plans forever and never leave the house. But, now that our golden opportunity has arrived, we’re all pissed. Guess it’s true: you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.

Speaking of quarantine survival, have you eaten all your Oreos yet? How about your tortilla chips that you told yourself over and over were healthy? They’re not, but it’s ok. Luckily, we have a sh*tload of healthy snacks that you can order online, that can chill in your pantry for a while. Unlike the bags of spring mix you impulsively bought, you don’t have to rush to consume all these in a week.

Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers

These. Are. The. Sh*t. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten these. They last for-f*cking-ever in the pantry, they’re only 140 calories per every 14 crackers, are non-GMO, gluten-free, and come in a lot of amazing flavors. You can eat them in a box, you can eat them with a fox—they’re just really effing delicious, guys.

Beef Jerky

Okay, hear me out. I know beef jerky gets a bad rap for being the dried meat product you can find in any checkout line, gas station, or impulse buy section of a sports store. However, it’s a great snack that lasts forever in the pantry, is high in protein, and can be super natural if you know where to get it. I’d highly recommend Brooklyn Biltong, which air dries its beef after it’s dipped in a marinade with vinegar, salt, and other natural deliciousness. It’s also Paleo and Whole30 approved, so maybe you can stave off the Quarantine 15!

Brownie Brittle

If you haven’t tried this by now, shame on you. Brownie Brittle will satisfy your dessert cravings, and since each serving is only 120 calories and 4 grams of fat for five pieces, you can eat, like, a lot of it. Lucky for those of us that may be in quarantine for awhile, there are tons of flavors, including Meyer Lemon Blondies which sound weird but, I promise, are amazing.

Harvest Snaps

Do you remember that horrible Pirate’s Booty sh*t that your mom used to try and stuff down your throat as a kid? This ain’t that. Harvest Snaps are a baked veggie snack with about 5g of plant-based protein made from green peas, black beans, or red lentils as the first ingredient. They also come in non-veggie flavors like Tomato Basil, Mango Chile Lime, and White Cheddar. Even better, they’re free of artificial flavors, colors, cholesterol, and common allergens like soy, nuts, wheat and eggs. Best of all, they’re only 130 calories per 22 crisps so, yes, they’re a better choice than a handful of chips.

Nut Butters

I know that sitting in your pantry crying with a jar of peanut butter seems reasonable and, like, maybe it is these days. But there are better alternatives to some of the highly processed stuff you’ve come to know and love. Once Again Maple Almond Butter is f*cking delicious, high in protein, and tastes amazing on a multigrain cracker or on a spoon. Plus, it has 6g of plant protein per serving, calcium, iron and potassium; is free of preservatives, cholesterol, trans fat, GMOs, added oils and salt; plus it’s gluten-free certified, vegan, and kosher, too.

Big Spoon Roasters is another company you need to stock your pantry with—especially since they just released their Go get ‘Em Tiger Espresso Almond Butter with Sea Salt. I mean, f*ck, you guys. Quarantine is about to get lit. It’s also only 160 calories per two tablespoons which is STILL less than regular peanut butter.

Kip’s Granola Bark

Before you sound off in the comments about how granola isn’t healthy, check yourself. Kip’s Granola Bark is free of the eight major allergens,  has 5 grams of protein per half-cup serving, is a great source of fiber and omega-3s, is gluten-free, AND is vegan. It will keep for literally the rest of eternity in your pantry, and you don’t have to feel bad about eating it. It’s not laden with sugar and it’ll actually give you a nice little energy boost. I mean, if you wanna keep eating your Nature Valley granola bars (falling apart like my life rn LOL), be my guest. But this seems like a reasonable alternative.

Hilary’s Veggie Burgers

There’s nothing saying that you have to keep to the pantry during quaran-times. Sure, you could buy meat and frozen veggies and plan on actually cooking. You could also buy a bag of 200 pizza rolls, which, like, while delicious, would kind of not be the vibe we’re going for in this article. May we recommend Hilary’s Veggie Burgers? Unlike your typical veggie burgers, these have actual flavor, come in a ton of different varieties (Spicy Thai, Root Veggie, and Fiesta Black Bean, to name a few), are free of allergens and have tons of protein without all the calories of a regular burger. Plus, it’s literally a move from freezer to microwave to bun for a solid snack or meal—no takeout required.

free2b Bagel Chips

Need a salty, crunchy snack that isn’t going to destroy your diet? Me too. free2b Bagel Chips are free of allergens, and at 100 calories for an ounce, you don’t have to feel bad about eating them by the handful. They come in two flavors, too (plain and everything), so no matter how adventurous you’re feeling, you can feel #seen.


Are you into granola but love a salty snack? Sounds like a packet of seeds and stuff is your cup of tea. Seriously, though, Crunchsters are a delicious crunchy snack which is low-calorie, nutrient-dense and boasts potassium, magnesium, fiber, and protein. And if you aren’t into just popping these while curled up on the couch, throw them on your salad, on your avocado toast, or in your hummus for a high protein fix. They’re also naturally gluten-free, vegan, and free from the top 12 allergens.

Albacore Tuna

I know, I know. Tuna in a pouch isn’t exactly glamorous, but it is a good shelf-stable snack food. (A can also works.) A package of Jessica Simpson’s favorite, Chicken of the Sea, contains only tuna, vegetable broth, salt, and water and is only 80 calories. It’s great on a piece of toast, or mixed into pasta, or on crackers. Plus, I’m fairly certain it would last through any apocalypse.

Dried Fruit

Before you run out and grab a bag of raisins, realize that not all dried fruit is created equal. If you’re craving a pantry snack of the fruity variety, try something like Sunny Fruit Organic Figs, which are gluten-free, high in fiber, and a great source of antioxidants. Not into figs? You could also grab a bag of Peeled Snacks Organic Dried Mango which makes you feel tropical, is non-GMO, and has literally nothing added. If you need even more variety, grab Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Blueberries which are full of antioxidants, crunchy, and perfect on their own or thrown into yogurt. Regardless of the fruit adventure you choose, all of them are great for snacking, last in the pantry forever, and are always a better choice than a handful of actual fruit snacks.

mēle Shakes


If you’re big into shakes, mēle is a balanced meal shake made of real freeze-dried fruits, veggies, nuts, and protein. Their shakes are non-GMO, soy-free, and preservative-free, plus no added sugar. They come in three flavors—Supergreen, Rawberry, and Cocoa-nut—in either whey protein or plant-based protein, so all you dairy-free people have options. All you have to do is mix one of the packets in with 8 oz. of water, in either a shaker or a blender (if you’re fancy). Despite all the real ingredients, these have a shelf life of 12 months, which better way outlast this period of lockdown, so help me.

Images: Joshua Rawson-Harris / Unsplash; Crunchmaster; Brownie Brittle; Harvest Snaps; Once Again; Kip’s; Hilary’s; free2b; Crunchsters; Chicken of the Sea; Hickory Nut Gap; Amazon

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link or purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.