Parenting While Working From Home
Whether you have one kid or multiple, you need to be able to help your kids. But to do that, you also need to provide for them, which can mean working. If you have to work from home, you have to combine your work and parenting. But you can make it work with a few strategies.
Set a Schedule
One of the first things you should do when you start parenting while working from home is to set a schedule. You should block off time when you plan to work and time when you will not work. When you aren't working, you can focus more on parenting without the stress of your job. Your schedule can be traditional, like 9-5 on weekdays, or it could work around your spouse's job. You should also consider their schedule and whether or not they work from home. That way, you and your family can have successful days and weeks.
You should talk to your spouse each day or week about how things are going. If your spouse works out of the house, you should update them on how your kids are. And if your spouse also works at home, you should check in on each other. Whenever one of you has an issue, the other can step in. For example, if you have a tight deadline at work, you can ask your spouse to do more of the parenting or vice versa.
You can also talk to your kids about your work. Kids of all ages might have questions about why you're at home but not available. Don't be afraid to set boundaries with your family so that you can stay focused.
Manage Your Time
Even if you have a schedule and you talk to your kids about your work time, you still need to manage your day. If you aren't as productive, you may need to work late, which can cause confusion when you aren't available at a certain time. You can use a to-do list to outline your tasks for the day, and you can schedule them into your calendar. Another great tool for this is a time card calculator. You can track your work time over a few weeks, and you can see how long it takes to get things done. Then you can know where you're doing well and what needs work.
During your day, you should factor in breaks. Of course, you'll need a lunch break for you and your kids. That way, you can get some food and water to help power through your afternoon. But you should also take small breaks to check in on your kids. You can schedule these breaks, or you can take them when you get to a stopping point in your work. If you wait till you reach a stopping point, you won't have to worry about losing productivity as much. But if you schedule your breaks, that could motivate you to get your work done more efficiently.
Hire a Virtual Babysitter
If you have preteens or elementary-aged kids, you can look for a virtual babysitter. The babysitter doesn't have to come to your house, but they can still entertain your kids. They can act as a tutor for school work, or they can play virtual games or just be someone to talk to. While a virtual babysitter can't treat an injury or another physical thing, they can help you keep your kids busy. That way, you can focus on your work without worrying about if your kids are goofing off.
Parenting while working from home can be difficult, and it may seem impossible at times. However, you have to be willing to adapt. What works when you first start working from home might not work well in a few months. As your kids get older and move from school to breaks to school, they might have different needs. It's up to you to talk to your kids and to provide a great home environment that can make you productive.
Working from home can be hard, but adding parenting is a whole different challenge. Keep these things in mind when working from home as a parent.