Quarantined at home with your kids but still have to work? Check out these 5 tips on how to work from home with kids, be productive and stay sane.
How to Work From Home With Kids
Most of us parents have worked from home occasionally. Like when your kid is sick or when the weather closes school, or during the summer when school is out.
But what happens when you HAVE to do it. Like every day? AND your kids still need to learn because school is technically still in? How will you be productive at work? Or juggle conference calls and emails and deadlines with the constant around the clock attention that kids demand? Who will you keep your kids entertained? How will you keep from giving up and just binge-watching Netflix all day?
Well, if you are struggling to get used to life outside the office, these 5 tips to help you work from home with kids will help!
1. Set a Schedule for Everyone
Listen. EVERYONE needs a schedule of some kind. Especially the kids. In the summer or any other time, you might be kind of a person who says, oh we will just go with the flow.
No. Now is not the time!
Schedules not only make people feel like they have boundaries, but they also help you and kids know what to do next. Just like school. How do you think teachers coral them from one subject to the next? Because the schedule is written and posted on the wall.
So get up at a reasonable time, get dressed ( at least put on pants!) and start working at the same set time every single day.
Once you have your schedule figured out, try to stick to it as much as you can!
When schedules become routine, they make work-life balance easier. Don’t try to fit in housework in between meetings. Set aside a time in your schedule to do it just like you can set aside a set lunchtime.
Trust me on this one, it’s easy to get distracted by finally organizing that junk drawer.
And don’t forget to set a STOP time. For yourself and your kids. That way there is time in the evening for family time, dinner and just quiet time.
2. But don’t be a slave to the schedule: Be flexible
I know, I tell you to have a schedule but then I tell you to be flexible.
That’s because life happens. There may be a day when you all wake up late, and you have to shift things around. Your kid may have to spend more time on math than you thought. Or you might have a meeting that runs over and your kids spend more time watching Disney Plus than doing school work.
Once you follow your schedule for a week or two, you will begin to tweak it and that’s ok! You learn to adjust to what YOUR family needs.
3. Create your own dedicated workspace for you and your kids
I know, it always looks like work at home moms are all lounging on their couches in bathrobes with their laptops. But truthfully, its more helpful if you have a designated space for work. This creates boundaries and reminds both you and your child that you have WORK time. For example, I close my door when I have a meeting so that my son knows not to bust in and that I am most likely busy.
Teach your family that when your door is closed or you are in your designated space, that they should knock or hesitate before interrupting you. That takes the stress off of you and your family.
And kids need their own dedicated space too. Having one helps them to realize that when they sit down there, it’s time to work, not play.
4. Become an early bird or a night owl
Take advantage of your kid’s sleep time! As a new parent, we are always taught to sleep when the baby sleeps, but for some of us, this is the only time we can truly be productive.
If you have been following me for a while, you know that my morning routine involves waking up REALLY early. Why? Because that is 2-3 hours of uninterrupted work and personal time. It’s the only time when I can guarantee that I will be productive. And uninterrupted.
If you can’t wake up early, consider staying up a little later after the kids are sleep to complete major tasks.
5.Give Yourself Grace
Guys, this won’t be perfect. There will be days when everything goes right, and days when you feel like you have neglected one part of your life for another.
Give yourself grace.
Unless you have been trained as an educator or have homeschooled before, educating your kids and working at the same time won’t come easy.
There may be a day when your kid gets more screen time than you would like, or when you spent all day snuggled on the couch binging on NetFlix instead of working.
It’s a crazy time. Go easy on yourself and take everything day by day.
So that’s it. These are my recommendations based on what I’ve experienced and the experiences of my fellow work at home moms.
And remember, when work is done, and school is done, give your kids some time. Just being together. And remember, this is temporary, and you can do it!
Do you have any suggestions? Share them in the comments!