Let’s face it. It’s simply impossible to stay productive while working from home with kids! Besides juggling with work, you goal is to keep your children well fed and alive at the end of the day. If you have a schooling kid, you’re also expected to play teacher. It’s really really hard.
However, here are some tips to hopefully make working from home with kids just a teeny tiny bit easier.
1. Create A Schedule and Stick to It
It’s important to map out your day carefully to account for your work and other responsibilities such as meals, chores and childcare. Then, keep the routine of the day as similar as possible so that your child gets the benefit of familiarity and know what to expect.
2. Be Up Front with Your Boss
Communication is an essential part of the job. Proactively letting your boss and your team know what you’re working on and what you’re struggling with can help make your job a little easier.
3. Seek Help
Do you have anyone who can share your load? A partner, older kids, friend, family or trusted neighbours? If you have a partner, you may consider implementing shift work depending on your flexibility and your partner’s flexibility. For example, you may work for fours hours in the morning while your partner watches the kids. Then you switch.
But if you do not have a partner, even though social distancing is being observed, many friends and neighbours would love the opportunity to help. Just ask!
3. Take Advantage of Sleep Time
When the kids are in bed, whether it’s for nap time or other sleeping time, take the advantage of that prime window to get more work done in peace and quiet!
4. Take Breaks from Responsibilities
When work gets demanding, it is totally okay to outsource them if budget allows. Getting a cleaning service or buying packaged meal doesn’t make you any less of a good parent. It’s necessary to maintain sanity.
5. Let It Go
We all probably know it’s not healthy to rely on screen time as a babysitter. While we might monitor or limit it during “normal” days, there’s nothing wrong with letting them have a little more screen time than usual, especially during an emergency. Don’t feel guilty or stressed about it!
Most importantly, set clear guidelines and explain to them that this is a special circumstance, and it won’t last forever.
Lastly, accept that things are not going to run completely smoothly and we aren’t going to all be our 100% productive selves. A twitter user once said, “You are not working from home; you are at your home during a crisis trying to work.”. So, cut yourself some slack! And when work is over, give the kids plenty of love and attention.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels