With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, work from home parents are taking on new measures in combining their careers, looking after their kids and pets.
And as far as we know, there’s no end date in sight, with little or no help in caring for their kids. This may sound dramatic, but it’s a reality!
So, how do super parents cope with their families in this pandemic while working from home?
Will you do a hide-and-seek challenge with your kids and hide for five hours to work (I guess they have not yet discovered your secret hiding spot)?
Well, this won’t qualify you as super parents. We have a better idea for you to keep your family together this period.
Read on to learn how to manage your home, pets, and kids while working from home.
1. Create a family schedule
Every family member has an individual task to accomplish daily; it’s time to pull them together and draw a unified schedule. Parents should start by first understanding each person’s priorities and workloads.
A family schedule is pretty easy with these helpful tips for working from home with kids:
- Discuss with your partner (if you have one) about their work schedule and the number of hours they need daily. Also, take into consideration their most productive time of the day to complete the task.
- Some people’s work requires them to work from 9 am to 5 pm while others have more flexible work hours. Having your child’s schedule in mind helps you develop a daily timetable for you, giving you ample time for yourself, child care, and other deadlines or work calls.
- When working from home, check out your child’s assignments to assess the ones they can do independently and those that need adult assistance. Include the task into an easy to follow a schedule with snacks, and play in-between.
- Schedule general and oral health checkup appointments with the doctor for your family members. Your doctor or dentist will show you helpful ways to care for your family members and identify red flags early.
2. Take the hours you can get and make it count
Although specific tasks require undertaking them during regular hours, some can be done anytime. If your tasks are not timed, you can apply creativity while maximizing your time.
Morning hours are usually the best time to handle responsibilities. You can kick off your day by working several hours, setting your course, and mood.
Similarly, you can get more work done after bedtime and brace yourself for the next day.
There’s a temptation to surf the internet and check news feeds. However, resist this temptation. Time is precious; every second is worth a lot.
Virtual systems of communication are indeed the new norm, but this doesn’t warrant shutting everyone off.
Take work calls often, reply emails, communicate with clients and colleagues over virtual conferencing avenues like Google Hangouts or Zoom.
If your organization utilizes other options like Slack, communicating with coworkers via messaging should be done as it would in the office.
Your boss and coworkers should always know they can reach you anytime. With the frequent calls and video meetings often comes stress and challenges handling the kids and being active.
This is a new norm, and as such, we all have to adjust to it. No aspect of your life should suffer, be it your work, childcare, or care to pets.
4. Foster independence
We’ve heard of parents who are always there for their kids, at their beck and call. This is good, but fostering independence among your kids is even better.
Although when working from home, it may be difficult to leave your kids on their own, especially if they’re little, it is also good to encourage new things and build independence among your kids.
Also watch: How to raise an independent child.
5. Don’t do it alone
The best way to work from home is to try not to play a superhero.
You’re not expected to undergo a crash course in education and draft lesson plans for your kids while working your job.
If you have older kids, they can handle most of their assignments without assistance and communicate with their tutors.
Younger children, on the other hand, need more guidance and support. You can relieve yourself a bit by calling your children’s teachers for assistance on explaining subjects, instructional materials, or recommendations for online channels to consult.
Make the best of these resources. Engaging your kids in educational or leisure activities gives you ample time to work. Likewise, with pets, you can ask for recommendations on exciting activities to keep them busy.
6. Set designated playtime
A crucial aspect of owning a pet and working from home is learning to be flexible.
You can easily get distracted from work when you’re alone, let alone when you have a pet craving your attention.
To prevent your pet from taking most of your work time, set break time for you and your pet.
This playtime not only allows you to work but helps reinforce submission.
Stroking your pet while on a conference call makes your pet feel like you can always give them attention anytime. This helps establish a balance in your life.
7. Set up a separate workspace
When working from home, making a distinction between your workspace and your private life is excellent, and this is beneficial for your well-being.
You can also separate your work area from the play area. It makes you understand that your life isn’t just about work.
8. Take a break
Everyone needs a break at one time or the other. No one can work nonstop.
Carving time out for a little walk with family or playing with kids and pets in the house can be refreshing and help you focus better.
It is often very tasking to juggle working time and parenting, as well as homeschooling and handling new virtual communication tools.
But, how do you stay calm and balance the demands of children with life and work?
The points mentioned above are helpful tips for working from home effectively and spend quality time with your kids, pets, and family.