The pandemic continues to affect daily life, even as the effects lessen. One such way is the increase in people working from home. While working from home has a number of benefits for both employers and employees, it can be a little daunting for parents. So read on for a guide to working from home with kids.
First and foremost, you need to accept that it won’t be easy. Some days may be easier than others, but the reality is that it can be a challenge. Set realistic expectations for yourself. Communicate with your employers – it is far better to under-promise and over-deliver.
Plan & Prepare
This is essential; it is one of the most helpful things that you can do. Try to start your day with a plan or a to-do list to make yourself more intentional with your time. It gives your day some structure, and it helps you identify where your focus needs to be throughout the day. In addition, you can plan for both your workday and your children’s day so that they know what is expected of them too. Often the more organised you are, the more in control you feel.
Have a list of resources on hand to make your day easier. For example, if your child is poorly, look into a GP online, Virtually Healthcare is an online NHS accredited service, and you can make an appointment to speak to a GP on the same day. This eliminates waiting times, and it also means that you can discuss your child’s care from the comfort of your own home with the least amount of disruption to your day.
Direct Your Energy
You should try to identify when you are at your most productive throughout the day and try to get as much done during this time as possible. Pay attention to the times during the day when the kids require less attention, like a nap or tv time and try to organise your schedule so that you are doing the most important tasks that require the most attention during this time.
You might also find it useful to get up and ready before your children to tackle those tasks that need more concentration. Some people also use the evenings when the kids are in bed to get some of the more menial tasks done, such as emails or admin. If your job is flexible, you can make your own hours as long as you meet your deadlines and get the work done.
Identify Your Biggest Stressors
For most parents, there will be a few big stressors that can make their day harder. Try to identify them so that you can make an effort to resolve them. For example, you could implement an earlier bedtime, naps, offload some of your tasks if you are struggling or hire a dog walker. There are always solutions – find them.
In the End
Flexibility is your biggest friend. Having a routine is great, but sticking to it rigidly is not always helpful, instead try to go with the flow a little, relax the rules if it makes your day easier. Try to find out what works best for your and your family. It can be a challenge, but using the above should help.