Due to the latest happenings in the world and the coronavirus pandemic, more and more people have started working from home, and their kids have stopped going to kindergartens and schools since they’re closed. For some people, this is a perfect chance to spend less time travelling to and from work and spending that time on things and hobbies they enjoy doing. But, if you’re a parent, you may find this situation a bit challenging because besides having to work from home, you also need to replace the teachers and educators and take that role. No matter how patient and creative you are, trying to balance working from home when you have kids can be quite stressful and hard from time to time. That’s why we’ve prepared a few suggestions on how to master this situation and make it easier for everyone till the pandemic calms down, and things get back to normal.
Benefits of Working from Home
Working from home is becoming more popular in today’s business world, especially for the last couple of weeks when we’re all facing the pandemic of coronavirus and trying to maintain the career, if possible. Some people are used to this situation since they’ve already been working from home, while others are trying to get used to not working from the formal office. So, what are the benefits when you don’t have to go to the office each day but rather work from your home in your pyjamas? At first, it may be hard to stay focused because of all distractions in your home, such as the TV or finishing the typical household chores. But, with a routine and willpower, you’ll manage to get away from all those distractions and to do your job effectively. When you work from home, you get an opportunity to manage and control your work environment more than at your work office. Another benefit of working from home is that you can create your office anywhere you like at any place you feel comfortable and productive. And last but not least, you’ll get a chance to save some money because you won’t have to spend it on commuting and buying food which you can prepare yourself now.
Make a Schedule
Everything is easier and less stressful when it’s organised and when you make a proper schedule. If you’re a parent and you live with a partner, make sure you split a schedule with him or her. That way, you can be at your home office and do your tasks while the other parent will take care of the kids and household chores. You can split a schedule into shifts, so both of you have enough time to finish their obligations.
If you’re a single parent, you should keep in mind when making a schedule that you might struggle getting your work done during your working hours while taking care of kids. That’s why it’s advisable to use your time wisely and work during odd hours, e.g. before your kids awake or when they go to bed. This might be hard at first-waking up earlier or going to bed late at night, but the adjustment period will last for some time until you get used to your new work schedule. If you’re not a fan of waking up early and you find it hard to stay awake-don’t forget to get yourself a morning cup of coffee. Prepare your coffee with helpful coffee pod machines, which will help you be more energized and productive for the following day.
The important thing is to get organized, choose your tasks in advance, and then get all the information and tools you’ll use to finish those tasks. A bit of organisation and a temporarily changed routine will help you maintain your career while taking care of your kids.
Take a Break
Being a parent is a tough job itself, but being a parent while working and maintaining your career is even tougher. Working for hours late at night or early in the morning can be your opportunity to work more effectively without being disturbed by your kids. But this schedule can be tiring from time to time. Parents who work while taking care of their kids are always on. As a result, these temporarily changed sleeping habits, and a schedule can take a toll on parents’ energy levels and, more importantly, their patience. To avoid negative outcomes of that, make sure you plan a break with your kids. Make sure you get downtime to yourself and explain this rule to your kids so they can respect that time. During this break, you can exercise and boost your energy levels, or you can sit back on a comfortable sofa and enjoy your favourite book or a movie. Make sure you discuss your downtime with your partner and organize it for both of you. That way, you’ll avoid any conflicts and arguments, and you’ll get a chance to restart yourselves during the day, so you get more energy and patience to continue taking care of your kids.
If it’s possible to make sure you get outside with your kids if you can. You can do that by playing outside in your backyard if you have it, or you can get outside to the nearest park. It’s best if you manage to take your kids outside early in the morning because it’s more likely there will be fewer people, and you’ll be safer during this pandemic crisis. Just remember to follow the current advice on safety. Even though people are advised to stay at home and go out only when needed, unfortunately, it’s not that easy keeping your kids entertained at your home for so long. You might run out of creative games and ways to entertain them, but after all, kids need fresh air, and so do you. Being outdoors and fresh air can calm you down and reduce your anxiety if you’re experiencing any. Apart from taking them to the park, you can also let your kids ride their bikes or scooters around. This way, they will be away from people and away from public playgrounds and places that people have touched. For lucky ones with a yard, use that luxury to entertain your kids with a jumping session on the trampoline or play hide-and-seek.
Get a Babysitter
Sometimes, working from home is not that fun and games as you imagined it would be. When you started working from home, you probably imagined you’ll finally get an opportunity to start or finish all the things you planned on doing but weren’t able because you spent so much time travelling to and from your work office. But, in reality, working from home is really rough for all parents. No matter the age of your kids, even if they’re teenagers and independent, this scenario can be rough. But, if you have a toddler who totally depends on you, things are a bit tougher. One of the possible solutions for these scenarios is to hire a qualified babysitter or a nanny. You find yourself in a pool of deadlines and tasks that need to be finished, but you don’t have enough time. Even with your changed sleeping habits-it’s time you call for help and hire a babysitter. This way, you’ll get a few extra hours where you won’t be disturbed, and you’ll be able to finish your tasks while your toddle is being taken care of. A babysitter will help you get through some hard times when you find yourself exhausted or simply out of time or ways to balance career and your child. Hiring a babysitter or a nanny usually depends on your kid’s age, your work obligations and your schedule, but it’s always a good idea to have someone in your home in the case of an emergency.
Make Some Space for Your Kids in Your Working Area
If your job and your position allow you, make sure you create a space in your home office area when your kids can stay too. If your kids are younger, you can make a matching desk for your kids. That way, your kids will feel involved and important as their parent which will keep them busy and lost in their world of imagination and play while you’re doing your tasks. A mini desk is just one idea, but if you don’t have enough time for creating a matching desk, create a place for your kids where they’ll be able to play quietly while sharing the same working space as you. This is beneficial for you as a parent, too. This way, you’ll feel less lonely, and you’ll be able to keep an eye on your kids without worrying about what’s going on in a different house area. If you have older kids, they can keep busy doing their homework while you’re finishing your tasks.
Enjoy the Time with Your Kids
Probably the most important thing and advice on how to master working from home while being a parent are to make sure you enjoy every minute spent with your kids. No matter how you’re spending the day and time with your kids, whether it’s reading to your kids, helping them finish their homework or playing one of their favourite video games, make sure you enjoy their company. You give them the attention and affection they need. Make sure your kids don’t feel ignored, neglected or bored because of your work obligations. And if you’re under stress, you get a perfect opportunity to experience recess with your kids. Finding proper ways how to make the best out of a situation will leave you happier and even more productive.
Working from home with kids means that you have multiple roles at the same time. It means you’re an educator and a caretaker while you’re maintaining your career. This can be quite challenging and frustrating from time to time. That’s why you, your partner and your kids need to make a plan and organise your time well, so you all get the best out of the situation. It’s smart to prepare yourselves in advance so you can have it all figured out. And don’t forget the most important part of working from home which is enjoying your time with your kids and your loved ones.
I would also urge you to head over to read Top Tips for Working from Home in the Garden Without an Office by my blogger friend Rachel.