With current circumstances, working from home has become a new reality for many people.. While working from home may be appealing to many, for us parents that only have our work to get us out of the house, it may make things a bit overwhelming.
Being able to work from home is a blessing because we get to spend more time with our little ones, but at the same time here we are wondering how to work from home with a toddler running around at all hours of the workday. While we’re no experts on this whole work from home schedule, after a few weeks of quarantine, we have a few tips and tricks on how to get things done with a toddler.
Mental Tips and Tricks
Parenting is hard and working from home makes it even more difficult, there we said it. It’s impossible to flip the switch between being the perfect parent and the perfect employee. Of course, you’re going to be worrying about one while doing the other, but at the end of the day, you also need to take care of yourself.
The most important thing is accepting that your kids will interrupt you, there is no way to avoid it. What works for us here at Joybees is making it known that you do have children at home while you’re working. Whether it’s telling your boss that you may be stepping away occasionally or making it your messenger status, everyone will understand. At the end of the day, you need to be present for the kids first and work second. Family is always more important, especially in times like these.
While you can try and have the best balance between work and family, there are going to be times where it’s overwhelming. Not having the time you normally have on your commute home to wind down and reflect on your day may leave you closeting your emotions. Make sure to take a few minutes out of your day to focus on you.
Whether it be looking through Pinterest, reading a book, or taking time to do breathing exercises, you need to acknowledge that you’re doing a great job through all of this. One thing that can help you wind down is online yoga classes. There is a wide array of options on Youtube for free, this one is only ten minutes and specializes in self-care, which we all need to prioritize. There is already so little time in the day so creating a loose schedule of your day can help you balance everything.
Schedules are everything
If you’re anything like us, not having our normal schedule we followed for months was very hard to shake at the start of the stay-at-home order. We find it motivational to have a whole list of everything we need to get done in a certain amount of time. With varied schedules because of working remotely, it’s hard to shake the “I can work on this after the kids go to sleep” or “I can do this while watching TV later” mindset.
Yes, you could finish those less tedious tasks when you’re watching TV, but there are two reasons why you shouldn’t. We all know that yes you can get it done watching TV, but it’s going to be lower quality work than the work you do when you’re in the zone working. Whereas if you say you’ll do the work after your kids go to sleep, you’re not putting aside work-free time. If you are working and taking care of the littles all day, when will you have your you time?
Remember earlier when we said to tell your boss that you’re working from home with your little ones? Being that everything is really weird right now, your boss will probably work with you if you need to have a modified schedule. By planning out the day and splitting time into blocks, you can keep your kids on a schedule and yourself as well.
If you’re consistent with your schedule, you will most likely have more free time at the end of the day, resulting in better work! We understand how hard it is to have a working mom schedule, so we’ve attached a handy scheduling tool to help you have an idea of what you need to get done today.
Physical Tips and Tricks
We know that scheduling can’t make everything automatically easier, so we decided to include some other tips that can help in addition to that. If you haven’t already, we suggest creating a workspace where you have space from the kids, but close enough that you don’t have to worry about them. Whether it be in a make-shift office or the kitchen table, it will do wonders for productivity compared to sitting on your couch.
Being that you can’t leave your toddler alone to roam the whole house, set up a play space that’s close enough that you can hear them, but you won’t be distracted. By having separate areas, you can make sure that your workspace is tidy so when you’re working, you’re fully focused. While you want your space to be a productive area, you also want it to be comforting, so don’t forget to add a potted plant or something that will make you feel calm.
While it depends on your little one’s ages, there are also activities you can do to not only distract them but to help you focus as well. Every hour or so, try doing a quick exercise whether it be without the kids or with them. It will allow your brain to reset and also if the kids join you, it could help tire them out. Also, incorporate the best time of the day – nap time.
Planning a specific time period for nap time has multiple benefits. First, it gives your kids a time to wind down during the day so that they don’t crash early and wake you up at an unreasonable time. Second, it gives you time where you can work uninterrupted, so potentially try to plan it around when you have meetings or conference calls. Last but not least, studies show that a well-rested child is a better-behaved child, so when you do have time together after your workday is over, it can be a positive experience you look forward to.
We know that these tips and tricks won’t work for everybody but incorporating a few could drastically change your work from home experience. It’s hard to have a work at home mom schedule or let alone a stay at home mom schedule. Let us know if you have anything you think makes working at home easier with your little ones.