With workplaces asking employees to work from home and school being closed for the rest of the month, many parents are joining the ranks of the work-at-home-parent. Working at home with kids is one of the hardest things to do but it is doable. As a WAHM myself, here are some tips to help you succeed.
Be Kind To Yourself
These are hard times and working at home with kids is a struggle under the best of circumstances. Do your best and don’t expect perfection. Your kids may not understand that even though they don’t have school, you still have work. There may be crying (you and/or them) and that’s okay. You may not accomplish your entire work to-do list and that’s okay too. Finally, the dishes may not get done, the laundry left unfolded and toys may take over – it’s okay. Everything is a phase and this too shall pass.
Whether you have a dedicated home office or clear off a portion of the kitchen table, create a dedicated work zone. This is a great way to set boundaries for you and your family. When you’re there, you know you have your work hat on and will be focused on work. Your kids will also know that it’s your work space and you can’t be interrupted for non-emergencies. You can even make it fun and have your kids make you office signs or decor to help define your working space. Conversely, when you’re not in your work space and in parent mode, try to avoid getting sucked in by a beeping phone and incoming emails to focus on your family.
A standard work day is hard to accomplish with kids at home and no help to watch them. Kids demand our time and attention always and that doesn’t stop because you have work to do. If possible, evaluate your schedule and build out your work hours in blocks of time. 2 hours before the kids wake up. 2 hours after breakfast while they play in the toy room, watch a movie or play on a tablet. 2 hours in the afternoon during naptime or quiet time and how ever long you have to after they’ve gone to bed. If you have extra help available on the weekends making up loss time or ground during non-traditional work days helps too.
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