Survival Tips for Parents Who Now Must Work from HomePublié le 11 January 2021
When the pandemic hit the world, it unapologetically sent thousands of working parents and school-going children home. Their world was turned upside down, and the need for parents to find ways to work from home amidst the chaos became a reality.
Working from home is beneficial in terms of flexibility and freedom. However, when you have to work with kids at home, it is a different story altogether. Children need attention, especially toddlers, and you still have to put in the hours for your work not to fall behind. You need to juggle between work and kid’s activities. If you are not careful, it is very easy for one to override the other. Given how times have changed, it is common to be working from home while parenting!
So, how do you survive as a parent if you suddenly have to work home with children now? Here are a few survival tips for parents who now must work from home:
1. Create A Schedule
The sudden need to stay at home is new for everyone. Working from home while parenting is becoming the new normal for people with kids. It is easy for some things to fall through the cracks if you lack a plan for everything that you are needed to do in a day. That is why it is important to create a home-work schedule for you and your children to follow.
Kids do better when there is some sort of structure. Try as much as possible to maintain the routine they are used to in normal times. Have kid’s activities such as regular time for meals, chores, schoolwork, and playtime among other activities. Schedule your own work time around the kids’ schedule In short, schedule your work around your children. If your kids are older, it is easy for them to understand that you need quiet time to work. When they are younger, they dictate when you work. This means that you need to work in the hours that they are able to concentrate on their own. It is also during their nap time that you schedule meetings, make calls, and reply to emails.
2. Take Breaks
Juggling work and parenting can be overwhelming even for most hardworking individuals. You need to create your own time to take a breath and rejuvenate. You should know that you can take a break even when home with children. Regular breaks for a few minutes in a day are enough to lift your spirits and get you powered for the next hours of work. You can take a walk around the block, a few minutes at your reading nook. In fact, your kitchen can be a good break room for you, where you can have some snacks and a cup of coffee as you reflect on your day. Consider kitchen remodeling to design a kitchen optimized for your break times.
3. Be Realistic
The reality is that your work schedule is completely different from when you were working in the office or when working from home with children away in school. This is the time to be realistic about what you can achieve in a day. Have a meeting with your employer and honestly discuss your availability. If you usually have a daily briefing in the morning yet you are busy making breakfast for your family, it becomes impossible. When you are honest about this, your boss will be willing to move the meeting a few hours later to when you have time. In addition, let them clearly state their expectations so you can plan on how to meet them. For instance, you can opt to wake up a few hours earlier or work late at night when it is quiet. In a nutshell, when working from home, you need to be realistic about your timeline!
4. Get Help
Another tip on the survival guide for parents is to seek help when things get overwhelming. When times are challenging, it is easy to think that you are alone in that situation. This is the time that you need as much social support for your mental health as you can get. Thankfully, with technology, you can still connect with your family and friends at this time of social distancing. Talk about your frustrations and worries about working from home while parenting with your loved ones. You will find it very therapeutic.
In addition, there are a lot of support groups on social media platforms for working parents. In the last couple of months, there has been an increase in the formation of groups on Facebook about people’s experiences about working from home with children around. Leverage such groups to get tips on how other parents working from home are hacking their day in these challenging times.
5. Have Them Help With Chores
Working from home while parenting might require you to teach kids basic household skills in between your work shifts. If you have older children, you can use their help in doing some house chores. Take time to teach them the loops other friendly kid’s activities they can help with at home. For example, you have them unload the dishwasher, fold laundry, put toys away, wipe spills, make their beds, clear the table, among other activities. The trick to getting your children to participate in these kid’s activities is to make them fun. For instance, you can have a chart to remind them of these chores and reward them when they do it.
6. Consider A Tutor
When your children are of school-going age, it is essential that you ensure that they continue to learn and develop their minds. Many schools have switched to virtual classes, offering a safer way for children to continue their education. If it fits within your family’s budget, you may also consider hiring an online tutor to make sure that your children are still learning, even as the pandemic keeps them out of the actual classroom. When your children are busy with schoolwork and studying, you will get to work without interruptions. In the long run, you will enhance your work productivity.
It is at this time that your patience is most tested. It is easy to get frustrated when you are under pressure. Understand that working and schooling from home is new for everyone in your family. There will be some challenges with your schedule, but with regular refining, you will get what works for you. You are not alone in this and it will get better with time.