Working from home while actively parenting your children (and in some cases, teaching them) is a brand new horizon. Many of us are doing this for the first time...and struggling. All your responsibilities are suddenly under one roof asking you for help.
But if one thing can give you some solace, it’s knowing that you are not alone in this struggle. Below, we’ve rounded up a few key tips that will help keep your head on straight while providing the structure necessary for you and your kids to be successful.
Build a schedule (and do your best to stick to it!)
The most important part of making this particular situation work is a schedule. If your children are of school age, they are used to having that kind of structure during the day. Even kids below school age understand routine. Once you’ve adjusted to the routine, working from home with kids starts to feel more normal and you have extra brain space to use (for something other than wondering what to do next).
Give kids their own workspace
This might seem small, but giving your child a special place to do their work helps build their understanding of work-life balance, too. Similar to going to school, while at home, they go to their special work area. Let them take ownership of their space. If you go shopping for their workspace supplies, take your kids along. Let them pick the table and any other decorations you might put in the area.
Plan for moments when you have to focus
Every job has those moments where your full attention is necessary. It could be a meeting, a deadline, or something that just popped up. Try to have an independent activity planned for your kids, and give yourself ample time to explain how to do it. If you have a child that needs supervision, try to have a friend or family member watch them for a designated amount of time. The idea is to have your children focus on something, so they are busy while you work.
Whether it’s with a romantic partner, friend, or family member, buddy up with someone to split responsibilities. If you have a friend who also has kids, ask them if they would like to WFH together. Trade which days you work from home to switch up the scenery for you and your kids. This method gives you:
It’s always good to have someone who understands what you’re going through.
Give yourself some grace
You are taking on the roles of teacher, parent, and employee all at the same time. That’s a lot for anybody. Make sure you’re giving yourself grace and finding time to relax. Every situation is not going to be perfect, but you’re already doing a great job!