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Karen shares some great tips for parents trying to work from home. Many of them are geared to having young children. I think that is absolutely the toughest time to try to focus on work while caring for your kids. Children under the age of five or six simply don’t understand why Mom or Dad is right there, but can’t engage with them.
Have you been using her ideas? Let me know how you manage in the comments!
(My girls are much older, and I let them have too much screen time – tv and tablets – in order to focus on tasks I need to get done!)
On to the article…
Nailing Motherhood While Working at Home
Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, more and more companies have adopted Work from Home as the new normal. In many countries affected with the virus, they require everyone to undergo a quarantine. The young children and the elderly especially, as they are the most vulnerable. That means everyone gets to spend more time with their family around them, inside the house.
Schools have suspended their operations. Students practice home schooling. Working parents, who are under Work From Home status, try to juggle work and home duties while watching over their kids.
How is that even possible? Can we really meet our work loads and parent duties all at the same time?
It might be a little scary to think about, especially if your kids are still little, but yes, it’s possible.
Since March 2020, I have been working at home while taking care of my kids. They are 2 years old and 4 years old at the moment. At first, I was terrified of the thought that I might not be able to do it. But here I am, on my 4th month of going through it, still positive and doing quite well.
I have learned few things which became my guide through this journey and I will share them with you in this article.
I won’t say things got easier. Instead, I have learned, and gradually mastered, the routine of handling situations, especially the unexpected ones. Everyday is not a perfect day, but at least i wasn’t as stressed out and exhausted as I thought I would be.
Tips on Juggling Work and Mommy Duties Inside your Home:
Before anything else, have a serious talk with your kids. Especially if they are old enough to understand and grasp what you are saying.
Make them understand that you will now be working from home and you need them to be cooperative, understanding and patient so you can do it successfully. Tell them that by doing so, they are helping you accomplish your work.
Kids love to help their parents, so praise them if they do it. After all, their cooperation will be very much needed for your success.
Okay, let’s get into the real tips.
Scheduling Activities Ahead of Time
If you have an important matter to work on at 9am, get your kids ready and up early. Have breakfast with them and, by 8:45am, set them up for a fun activity that will keep them busy.
Be sure to provide everything they might need in the activity so you won’t have to stand up and get interrupted from your work. Give clear instructions too to avoid repeating it over and over.
If possible, be in the same room with them so you can keep a glance at them every now and then too.
Have a List of Activities You Can Give to Your Kids
Search and prepare for your kids’ daily activities. Make sure they will be busy doing something educational, something fun and interesting.
If their activities are well prepared for, well-thought and something that is fun too, they will become interested and occupied by it and it will buy you some time so you could be productive with your work.
This works well especially if your kids are old enough to understand instructions. Tell them that when you put on the Do-not-disturb sign, they should stay away or keep quiet because you are in the middle of a very important task.
The sign can be anything convenient for you, be it wearing a red headband, putting an X sign on the top of your table, or maybe holding a DND signage should work its wonders too. Though this is effective for older kids, this won’t work well with babies and toddlers since they don’t understand the depth of the task.
What you can do if your little one is having a fuss is ask for a time out from work. Pick up your baby first and get back to work once he is calm. I’m sure your boss will understand.
Have Your Own Private Space for Work
I know I said earlier that you should stay in the same room with the kids so you can watch over them. However, we can’t deny that there is really a line drawn between work and kids.
No matter how much we juggle them, there will be times that you need to focus your attention on only one area so you can achieve a much needed task.
Yes, you can still go to the kids while checking your email, while organizing files, while reviewing something. But if you have a task to work on that needs your full attention, give it your all and close your doors for a moment.
Sometimes, we need to clear our heads from children’s running around, happy squeals, or loud noises and messy games in order for us to think straight, concentrate, and finish what we are doing.
Eat Together and Work Together
I agree that kids could finish their meal faster when they eat together with their parents rather than when they eat alone. If they finish their meals faster, you will have more time to be productive for that day. It saves you from wasting time checking on them and making sure that they finish their food.
Be Productive During Their Rest Time
When your kids are taking a nap, that could be the only time you are free from the thoughts that are interrupting your work. Use it that time well.
Be productive and make use of rest time. Work on a tasks you need to finish. But of course, if you are already set for the day, take a rest too. You deserve that for being a hardworking employee and an amazing mommy.
It’s challenging to be a mommy taking care of kids, and be a career woman working hard to achieve her goals. I believe that women are very flexible and good multitaskers. For our families, there is nothing we can’t and won’t do.
There will be times that the house is messy, or you’ll be late with meals but that’s okay. So as long as your kids are healthy, eating well, and you can provide what’s needed on the table from your hard work, your hard work will be paid off.
As the kids grow, they will remember those moments when they watched you work hard and try your best to take care of the family too. And they will be so proud of you.
Karen Arceo is a stay at home mom to two little boys, ages 2 and 4. She discovered her passion for writing while sharing her experiences as a mother. Through her website https://www.mothersheknows.com Karen reaches out to other mommies as a blogger. The purpose of her blog is to make Motherhood and Parenting fun, enjoyable and less exhausting through practical and informative tips and hacks.
Karen is learning to appreciate all mothers around the world for the undying patience and sacrifice for their families. She wants every mom to know they are worthy of praise, loved and truly admired for every thing they do.