There are countless tips and life hacks that can help you arrange your day, especially when working from home with kids. When arranging a schedule, you need to consider many things and be sure to get all of them done. As unrealistic as it might sound, there are some real ways to do so.
Amongst tons of ideas and life hacks, we have selected those that ACTUALLY work. With the ideas written below and your alterations to some of them (to adapt them to your family and personal needs), you can ACTUALLY structure your day and make it productive. Remember that 40% of success is planning, and the other 60% is effort. Combine these two and voilà!
Tips For Working From Home That Actually Work:
Working from home with children is a tremendous challenge. Not only does a parent have to be a parent, but one also has to be an employee and a personal tutor.
There are so many things that need to be taken care of that sometimes you might forget about one or two. To keep track of tasks and plans, you need to schedule your day.
Because a 24/7 stay at home is stressful, you might get anxious and feel like everything is getting out of hand. The first step would be to calm down. The next step will be to write down household chores and your work schedule.
Find out if a child has online school lessons and write down their schedule. When you have everything you need in front of you, it is high time you started organizing things.
First and foremost, talk to your boss (if you have one) and make sure that you have a flexible working schedule. I am almost sure that at times like this, it is understandable and not a problem.
Second, have a family meeting and offer a plan to organize the day. This way, you will create one schedule for everyone to hang on the wall or the fridge. If you have a spouse, you can delegate half of the chores to him or her.
For instance, you can work from early morning until lunchtime (4-5 hours) while your significant other looks after a child and helps you with the household duties. Then you take over the household, and your partner works.
If your significant other cannot help you or are a single parent, you will have to work in the early morning and use every free minute you can get during the day.
The third step is to set your priorities straight. Find out what is more important to you and what you need to attend to first.
Your family is your team. It is your support and hope. If you want to make things work, you will need to work together. You know your family, and you know what they can do.
First, have a family meeting and talk. It would be best to make sure that each of your family members is healthy and serene.
Because of the current situation, people are stressed out and anxious. Therefore, you should all talk about your feelings and mental state (both parents and children).
Second – be realistic. Expectations and ambitions rarely meet reality. Therefore, to be productive, estimate your capabilities and capabilities of other family members. If you feel like you can work 4 hours with only one or two breaks, then be it.
Please don’t push yourself too hard, because nothing good will come out of it. Estimate what a child can do. Depending on age, a kid can focus its attention on one task for a certain amount of time. Find out how long a child can study and how much time it needs to rest.
By being realistic, you save yourself a lot of nerve cells and time. Set yourself a time limit rather than the limit to the amount of work you want to do. If you set a time limit, you will do as much work as you can.
However, if you determine the amount of work you want to do, you might spend more time doing it than you think. Eventually, you might even get mad at yourself for not doing what you have planned.
3. Lower the Bar
Working from home with children is not as rainbowy as one may think. Creating a schedule is much easier than actually following it. You might expect things to go perfectly well because everything has been planned out, but not so fast.
There are always things and situations that happen out of the blue. Therefore, do yourself a favor and stop expecting things to go according to the plan. By pushing aside high expectations, you will be less stressed and anxious.
When you have an online meeting, the first thing you need to say after greeting everyone is that you might be interrupted by a child. This way, you will give your co-workers heads up, and the appearance of your little one will not take everyone by surprise.
Be ready that this might happen, because small children don’t particularly care that you are busy. You can be a Hollywood star for the entire world, but for your kids, you are simply mommy or daddy.
4. Wake up with the First Rays of Sun
Name at least one thing that is better than waking up early in the morning. I bet that the first thing that came to your mind was “sleep”! It was mine too.
Waking up super early in the morning is a perfect way to get most of your work done. As soon as you get used to this routine, you will see that the days are longer, and you manage most of the planned tasks. You don’t feel short on time, you are energetic and inspired.
Some people cannot work in the early morning. If you are one of them, then I know exactly how you feel. Nevertheless, you can have a cup of coffee or tea, meditate or do some household chores, make a plan for the day, or simply relax and enjoy the peace while you can.
5. Determine Priorities
When working from home with kids, you have a lot on your plate. As much as you would like to include a couple of additional hours into the 24 existing, you can’t fit all of the tasks into one day.
Prioritize your work and build the day around it. Make sure you get to tasks that need your undivided attention and dedication first (best in the morning).
You will need a quiet place in order to do your work properly without interruptions. You can do some things like checking emails or doing minor tasks later, whenever you have a spare minute.
Make sure that you give your child the undivided attention it yearns for. Check on a little one and help a kid if it is needed. If you are working from home with a toddler, you might need to give a child more attention and check on a little one more often.
A tip for you will be to buy a toddler a busy bag. I assure you, it will keep a kid occupied. Newborns, on the other hand, are quite demanding, so you will have some free time whenever a child is asleep.
6. Set Boundaries
Boundaries are very much needed for each and every person regardless of age. When it comes to working, you need a quiet and calm space to get things done quickly and correctly.
Have a family meeting where you will introduce the concept of boundaries to your children. Establish rules that each member of the family needs to follow (this also includes you). Tell children that you will have a phone call or an online meeting and that you will check on them as soon as it is over.
Whenever the door is shut, a child must knock. However, if there is a sign that says “Meeting!” it is not allowed to knock. Explain to children how to behave when you are “at work,” what to do if there is an emergency, etc.
If you have older children, they might also need privacy if they study or work (depending on age), be sure to respect their privacy as well. Knock when needed, and do not disturb them when you see the sign on the door. Teach children to respect privacy by being their main role model.
7. Screen Time
Parents have been telling children to turn off computers and go play outside for so long that today it seems rather weird to say, “Go and play some computer games with friends.” With months spent in quarantine, parents understand that technologies and the internet are their saviors. Of course, it is not okay if a child spends hours and even days playing games, but it is totally fine to extend screen time for them.
World Health Organization (WHO) has proven that it is okay to let children spend more time online because this is how they can socialize with their friends, spend some time in a virtual world away from the scary reality. Hence, it means that letting kids play a little longer is good not only for them but also for you, for you can use this time to finish your work or rest a bit.
8. Snacks and Drinks Kits
Hunger is a child’s best friend. Because children run around and spend a lot of energy, they need a recharge every hour or less. However, it means that you need to drop everything each time you hear “I’m hungry!” and feed a kid. Don’t worry, there is one thing that can help you.
Arrange snack kits and leave them in a child’s reach. They must be safe for children to use. Get plastic or paper cups so that it is safe for kids.
Teach children how to pour water or juice and show where the snacks are. These snack kits are a great idea because they will keep a child full, leading up to the day’s main meals (it would help if you scheduled them and stuck to the routine).
9. Activities stations
Children are incredibly creative and resourceful! Their vision is truly amazing! You can help children develop their creativity by giving them the tools but deliberately leaving out the instructions.
The main idea is that you can set a few “creativity stations” around the house and let a kid do whatever it wants. Put a garbage bag or something to cover the floor with and leave different tools there.
You can put paper, glue, crayons, macaroni, etc. Everything and anything that a child can use to create a “masterpiece.” Of course, everything depends on age! Therefore, get creative and help your children spend their time doing exciting activities.
Playdates are one of the best things that can occupy a child. The internet is filled with ideas of fun playdates for children of all ages.
Furthermore, a child’s school can organize them, so be sure to use each opportunity. Not only will it keep a child busy, a little one will have fun with friends, have a good laugh, and take the mind off troubles.
You can ask your relatives to “look after” a baby while you are working. Little ones can play, draw, and sing with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.
Also, you can talk to friends with children and take turns “babysitting” kids. One time you organize a fun playdate for children, one of your friends takes on the host’s role next time.
11. Be Understanding and Gentle
The situation that we are in today is stressful for everyone. Parents try to maintain the household, job, and children, while children are filled with the energy they have nowhere to spend. It is a hard time for both parties, and there are even more challenges that await us.
Each time you gather a family meeting, talk about your feelings, emotions, and thoughts. Encourage each member of the family to speak and open up.
This way, you can relieve the burden of anxiety and fear or share it. Use the time you have together to connect with one another.
Make sure to have meals together, where you can all talk about your day. Tell stories that children might not have known about your past, laugh, and be gentle with one another. Very often, people take each other’s love and understanding for granted.
As a result, there are arguments and tantrums. You might get mad at work and unconsciously redirect your anger to the family members. Children are susceptible, and they start thinking that they are the reason for your bad mood.
Whenever you feel like “blowing up,” go into another room, count to 10 or meditate but never project your bad mood onto children or other family members. You know how easy it is to wound someone’s feelings and how difficult it is to ask for forgiveness afterward.
When working from home with kids, you constantly need to be active, think, and do something. It is very tiring, and basically, the only time you can stay alone with yourself is when you fall asleep.
Have an hour or 30 minutes of personal space! It is something that each member of a family needs. Make it a rule, incorporate it into the schedule, or do it whenever you feel like it. Regardless of age, a person needs time to be alone, think, and listen to the inner voice.
It is crucial to listen to what your body and soul want to tell you. Therefore, if you or any other member of the family (children included) want to spend some time looking into nowhere and contemplating – let it happen. Respect each other’s needs and privacy so that you could recharge and come back to the loved ones as fresh as the winter air.
Whatever the situation is, fear, anxiety, anger, and panic will never help you. You will get lost even more. Hence, problems will continue piling up.
Calm down, put the world on pause, and organize your thoughts. Remember that there are people who depend on you. Their unconditional love will give you the strength to move forward.
Mind and body walk hand in hand, so take care of both, and build up your positive energy. Eventually, you will deal with the difficulties and get used to the routine you will create. Just give it some time.
The tips above are inclusive, and that is why you will find them useful and suitable for you. Also, remember always to use your imagination. Children are little clouds of energy that are interested in all new things.
They always explore and get to know the world. Therefore, help them find their passion and develop it. By establishing a bond with one another, you will see that it will be a little bit easier to ask a child for help or understanding when you need it.
Did you find these tips for working from home with kids helpful? If you are looking for other relevant content, check this out:
By the way, you might want to check out this fun mom-and-baby matching outfit for you and your little one!
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