With the outbreak of Covid-19, it is fortunate to have a job that allows you to work from home. However, it poses an even greater challenge for parents who have to juggle between parenting and working from home.
Children demand around-the-clock attention and it gets even worse when they see you at home with them. Your work productivity will be highly affected as parenting while struggling to put in some work hours, attend meetings and keep deadlines is a challenge. As such, how do you find balance between the two? How do you navigate life at the intersection of working at home and mom-ing?
Here are a few tips to help balance parenting and working from home:
Create a Schedule
It’s important to line up your day carefully, with set “office” hours. Make a list of everything you’re going to do the next day and leave it on your work area – planning ahead improves productivity and helps you maximize available time. How many hours do you hope to work that day? When will you return calls? You’ll get more done if you work smarter, not harder. If you have an employer, just be sure to have an agreement on how many hours per day you should log while telecommuting.
Separate mom and work roles
Learn to keep mom and work time separate, giving each your full concentration for a set amount of time. Separate mentally from the rest of the house by setting up an office area that is kids free. For instance, you can use your bedroom and be sure to close the door. This will help you concentrate on your work as you are less likely to be distracted by house chores and your children.
Keep kids entertained
Set aside a few cool toys that your kids can play with, or arrange various fun activities for the kids to do during “Mommy’s work time.” If your children have something to look forward to, they’ll be less likely to interrupt you. Ensure you enjoy quality time with the kids as they will be less likely to disrupt you or throw tantrums due to feeling ignored while you work. Infants like your touch and they like to watch what is going on, so using a carrier may give you an hour or two a day of hands-free time–especially if motion helps the baby fall asleep.
Capitalize on nap time
Nap time provides uninterrupted work time. Take advantage of nap time for staying productive while working from home. Use this time to finish assignments that require your complete focus and concentration like phone or video calls.
Plan for interruptions
If your kids are older, teach them to avoid making noise or interrupt while you are working unless there’s an emergency. Use mute buttons when on conference calls to avoid unnecessary background noise. If your children get restless though, be sure to pause your work and pay attention to them. Strengthening your bond will help them feel more secure, giving them the ability to be more independent, which will hopefully buy you some extra free time too!
Reassess your work-at-home goals each week and set realistic expectations, reaching out for extra help if you need it. You can take turns looking after the kids and working with a partner. Remember, being a super mama doesn’t mean you have to do it alone!
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