Follow These Tips If You’re A Parent Who Works From Home
By Janice Russel
Working from home has tons of benefits, including freedom and flexibility. However, when you’re a working parent with young children underfoot, it can be a challenge each day to focus on your responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed. The good news is, there are some simple things you can do to balance parenthood with remote work, including finding support from other parents who are going through similar issues. You can also find some great learning resources at Little Life Co. Also, consider what you’ll need to make working from home a success, such as anything that might contribute to your comfort.
Find the right clothes
One of the biggest benefits that comes with working from home is the ability to wear pretty much whatever you want, so why not take advantage of it as much as possible? Wearing comfy clothes is a must when you’re juggling work and kids, so look for a new sports bra or pair of leggings that will give you support and style. These are great for everything from running quick errands to working from the couch and are perfect for keeping up with your kiddo.
Find a routine
While flexibility is another great benefit of working from home, it’s a good idea to form a schedule or routine that you and your little one follow each day. Set alarms on your phone as reminders to keep you on task, since a lack of structure can take a toll on both you and your child. Try to sit down and eat breakfast and lunch when she does, and work on your most high-priority tasks first thing in the morning to get them out of the way. When possible, ask a neighbor or close friend if they’d like to work out playdates with you. This way, you’ll have one or two days a week where a few hours are freed up for you to work in peace.
If your child is old enough to understand limits, explain to them that your computer or phone time means you’re working. You can use a visual cue, such as a colorful sticker placed on the front of your laptop, to help them remember not to bother you with little interruptions.
Set up a safe play area
If playdates aren’t an option, set up a safe play area for your child near where you work. Independent play is wonderful for a child’s development, so look for stimulating toys you can provide that will keep her entertained. You can also utilize a kid-friendly tablet or the television by streaming fun, educational content, and using apps specifically designed for toddlers. Even babies enjoy watching the bright, cheerful music videos that can be found on these apps.
If your child likes to wander, use baby gates or close and lock the door to the room you’re in. Staying in one spot for a while can be tricky for tots, so open the curtains and broaden the view a bit to prevent boredom.
Explore your option
Sometimes, it’s just not possible to work with an infant or toddler around. If you’re struggling with the balancing act and your spouse or partner also works a flexible schedule, consider implementing a split-shift that would allow both of you to take turns working and being on parent duty.
You can also set up a visual call with family members, which is a great way for your child to spend some virtual quality time with their grandparents while you work. Just be sure to have them use a headset so that they don’t disturb you while you’re still “on the job.”
Working from home while parenting can be truly overwhelming some days, so it’s important to remember that breaks are necessary. Stand up, stretch, get a snack, and keep in mind that small interruptions are inevitable. Once you and your child get into a routine, it will get easier.