When you are taking care of young children, you are already working a full-time job. Add to that the change in work arrangements due to COVID-19, and many adults suddenly had to begin juggling several jobs while staying safe at home.
Many prefer remote work setups, allowing employees more room to plan their daily schedules and make time for other responsibilities and hobbies. For parents, however, the idea of free time often feels like a luxury. Remote work has made the balancing act of family and career more challenging.
It is a challenge to stay focused on your job while being present in your kids’ lives. The good news is that there are handy methods to help you stay productive while being both a full-time parent and a career person.
Plan with Your Family
Before you start working, you need to iron out your schedules and involve everyone in the household. Here are three things you can do:
1. Go Over Your Children’s Schedules
Whether your child is on vacation or temporarily on a distance learning arrangement, they need a routine to follow, too. Even as the pandemic has disrupted your children’s usual activities, take the time to maintain consistency in things like mealtime and bedtime.
Since the pandemic has significantly limited the opportunities for kids to gain new experiences, it is essential to open up these chances for them in your small ways at home. Your choice of toys for your kids can help them build creativity and problem-solving skills. For one, manipulating 3D objects lets your kids develop their spatial awareness and abstract thinking.
One that can help your kids have fun while building something on their own is a toy construction set for children. You and your children can set up these toys in various ways to accomplish different purposes. Diversify their playtime, too, to keep things interesting. On some days, let them fiddle with their toys. Then on others, allow them to go out into your backyard and run around freely.
2. Establish Your Work Time
One of the hardest things to do as a work-from-home parent is to set proper boundaries between work and family, especially when you have small children. However, this is important to be able to do both well.
Firstly, have a dedicated office space at home. Make this the place where you do your work-related deliverables. This way, you condition yourself to get into the work mindset easily and with fewer distractions.
You should also set specific hours for work and inform other people in the house to know when you are available and when you are not. If necessary, give yourself short breaks to check on your kids and attend to their needs.
3. Partner with Your Spouse or Another Family Member
Ideally, you are not taking care of your kids on your own. Living with your spouse, a family member, or both lets you divide childcare responsibilities between each other.
Check your schedules against each other and rearrange them so that someone can attend to their work responsibilities at any time of the day while another person can keep an eye on the kids.
Reinforce a Rhythm
Once you have planned your schedules to work with each other, you can set reminders to make sure everyone is on the same page. Here are two simple ways you can set reminders at home:
1. Set Visual Reminders
Since you, your spouse, family members, and kids have to mind one another’s daily routines; it is easy to get things mixed up. One way to make sure that everyone is on the same page is to have visual reminders at home about your daily schedules.
You can have a whiteboard detailing everyone’s daily schedule, or you can have a sign on your office door to say when you are busy. It does not have to be elaborate. You just need these tiny signals to help inform the household if you are free or busy.
2. Respect Family Time
Finally, always make time for family bonding. Busyness is the usual excuse for neglecting spending quality time with your loved ones, but remember that you miss out on a lot of your child’s early experiences if you prioritize work over family.
As you are growing older, your kids are growing up too. Don’t miss out on the milestones of their young lives because you tried to make your work deadlines.
Here is something to remember: you can always make money again, but you cannot return to your kids’ childhood years. Treasure this period and use your time with them wisely.
Striking a perfect balance between your responsibilities at home and work can be daunting. But with the proper techniques and approaches, you can juggle both with ease. Make sure to set boundaries and set aside time for both work and family.