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  • A Witty Door Sign Helps This Mom Work From Home With 4 Kids. It Could Help You, Too!

    The sign lets her kids know what Mom’s “status” for the day is.
    by Kate Borbon .
A Witty Door Sign Helps This Mom Work From Home With 4 Kids. It Could Help You, Too!
PHOTO BY courtesy of Facebook/Kate VanDusen Danielson
  • Working from home is tough for parents — how do you focus when, at any time of the day, there’s a possibility your child will bombard you with questions or constantly make noise? Kate Danielson, a mom who works from home, understands that struggle, so she came up with a genius way to limit the instances of her kids interrupting her while she’s working.

    In a Facebook Messenger interview with SmartParenting.com.ph, Danielson shared that she is the proud mom of four kids: 12-year-old Isaac, 11-year-old Anders, 11-year-old Hannah, and eight-year-old Michael. Isaac and Anders are her biological children, while Michael came into their lives through foster care at two years old and was formally adopted when he was eight. Hannah, the newest member of their family, has been under their guardianship since June 2019.

    Aside from being the mom of a big brood, Danielson also works as the founder and executive director of Foster Progress, a nonprofit organization that provides kids in foster care access to higher education.

    “The outcomes for youth who age out of foster care are really dire (homelessness and jail time are much more common than earning a college degree), and our work inspired them to pursue better goals and a brighter future,” Danielson shared. The organization provides mentoring and scholarship programs, college trips, and training for caseworkers, educators, and foster parents.

    Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Foster Progress is busy organizing virtual events and other initiatives to keep the students in its program safe during the quarantine, such as by providing temporary living arrangements and buying groceries and essentials for them.

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    All this means that Danielson can’t put her job on hold despite the pandemic. To make sure she focuses on her work, she decided to take over the bedroom of one of her kids and turn it into a home office.

    But she didn’t stop there: Danielson also created a door sign that contains different “statuses” that describe how she feels each day. The statuses range from “Come on in! I’d love your company” to those that signal to her family that she’s in a meeting and should not be disturbed. She uses a clip to indicate which line describes her status for the day.

    She made another sign that contains quick answers to her kids’ FAQs (because we all know kids seem to have a thousand questions each day). These questions include, “What are we going to do today?” (answer: “The same thing we do every day”), “Can you help me with my homework?” (answer: “Ask Dad”), and “What’s for dinner?” (answer: I don’t know yet.”)

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    Since Danielson posted photos of the signs on Facebook, they have gone viral among parents who thought it was a genius idea. But the best part of this could be that, according to Danielson, the signs work very well!

    She told CafeMom, “I hear them outside the door going, ‘You guys, mom is on the deep orange! Shut up!’ And now if they ask me, ‘What’s for dinner?’ they say, ‘I know you don’t want me to ask this but…’

    “Although my door signs were meant to be funny, they serve the real function of drawing boundaries,” she added.

    If you’re currently working from home and want to try using Danielson’s signs, here’s some good news for you: She has shared links where you can download printable versions of the signs (click here and here)!

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