Owing to changes around the world, working from home has brought a welcome change to the workplace. In the past, working parents used to worry themselves bald trying to work out how to deliver at work without the home suffering and vice versa. Having to work while having your kids around is every woman’s dream.
Right? But here is the thing. Dreams don’t always work well in real life.
And so there is so much stress that comes with balancing your work life and your home life. For one, there are loads of distractions from handling the kids and house chores.
Then there is the hit that your productivity takes from such distractions. Working from home is not all class and poise. Heck, most situations are not as pixel worthy as some photos on the internet would have you believe.
In some situations, there are a lot of tears, sweat, phlegm, baby poo, dirty dishes, and of course, all that crying and missed deadlines that make up the work from home scenario. But there is some good news. Working from home does not have to be stressful and such.
Some brilliant minds have developed strategies that can help you handle your kids effectively while functioning optimally at that godsend remote job. This blog will describe some of these strategies, and if you are looking for some help with your work-from-home situation, then you might want to continue reading until the last word.
Create a schedule
One of the benefits of the work from home model is flexibility which is great for improved performance. With such flexibility, remote employees can choose what hours they work best. But there is a catch.
Most folk who work from home abuse this flexibility, so they often have a terrible work life balance. It is doubly worse when you have a kid or two around you. With them around, your responsibilities increase, distractions multiply, and some days you might not be able to get much work done.
That’s when you opt to go without a schedule. But there is some great news. Working from home with a schedule is possible, and it offers you the best of both worlds.
You still have the flexibility you want, but at the same time, you can add some structure to your workday! Everyone at home understands when you want to get some work and when you are available for some home time, no matter how short that might be!
So how do you get a schedule that works? It’s simple. Create one that is customised to suit your unique situations.
Here are some tips for creating a functional schedule.
Base The Schedule On Your Regular Day
You should comeup with a work schedulethat is drawn from your waking and working hours and all the activities that happen in between. Activities such as getting kids bathed, fed and dressed, and such. Once you structure the schedule around your regular activities, you are prepared for any eventualities that might arise.
Include Breaks For You And Your Kids
Part of your work routine should be centred around the necessary breaks that bring your family together while giving you much-needed rest.
Include The People You Live With
These are the people closest to you and it is normal for them to want to reach out to you. So your work routine should be one that expects constant contact from them and any friends that you might have. Your schedule should set clear boundaries that separate your work time from personal time.
Let Your Colleagues Know About The Kids
You’d get on a lot of calls with co workers. So it is only right to inform them beforehand about your kids. This prepares them for any interruption when you are on calls.
Plan Your Meetings Right
We recommend that you plan your meetings around the times when your kids are sleeping.
Include Personal Time
You are human after all so it is normal for you to need some personal time to yourself. So you should aim at getting a flexible schedule that creates time for a part of the day dedicated to you alone.
But most importantly, you need to strictly adhere to the schedule, or it would just be a waste of time.
Separate mother and business roles
As a mother with responsibilities, it can be tricky to juggle home life with work. It is a constant stream or barrage of responsibilities: from taking care of the kids to hopping on a video conference and back to the kids again. As a result, there is almost no respite for the regular mother who opts to work from home. That is why you need to separate both roles if you value your physical and mental health.
Your body can only take so much stress, and if you don’t find the time to switch off from being as busy as a bumblebee, you might just break down like a jalopy. We understand that you need to meet up with both job titles (mom and worker) and how stressful the situation can get. But you need to know the importance of stepping out of both roles to have your ‘’you” time.
It would be best if you had your well-being at the top of your mind and all remember to plan for self-care. Another way to separate both the mother’s role and the business role is to find time to focus on your kids. Find time to give them all your attention so that they don’t feel neglected.
Plan for interruptions
If you have to handle your kids and work all by yourself, you should plan for interruptions. The reason is that you won’t be able to focus all your time and energy on either work or your kids. So incorporate these interruptions into your schedule.
In addition, we recommend that you take advantage of those times when they fall asleep to get some work done. Working from home with kids can be tasking and it is near impossible to work for eight hours because this model of work comes with its own challenges. You have loads of phone calls to take, conference calls and all.
So if you are working from home with kids, you should expect constant interruptions. The trick is to find a way to juggle work with child care. Small children who are not yet in school will need your undivided attention.
They will constantly need you to play with them and if you are on a conference call with your co-workers, you might find yourself struggling with ideas. This might affect your productivity. Yet you can’t ignore your household to boost your productivity.
You’d need patience when there is constant interruption. It can become overwhelming. It can be a huge task to manage small children who are not up to school age.
You might become frustrated like many working parents with a kid or two. But with the right expectations, the right ideas, and the right resources like this article you can achieve the right work-life balance. The trick is to prepare and manage your children.
We suggest that you aim to work for about two hours. Then play with the kid (if you don’t have more than one) for a bit. You could even take a walk to get some fresh air.
Once you get your work call you could go back to your job without feeling like a bad parent.
Seek extra help if you need it
Balancing full-time work and full-time motherhood will take a toll on even the strongest Amazon. Many working parents with at least two kids that are not in school can attest to the toll that it takes on the job. That is why we recommend that you get support for some chores around the home-particularly with the kids.
If you have a live-in partner, an older child, or any other family member without too much on their hands, get them to look after the kids while you deal with work-related tasks. You could take turns with your partner to take care of the two children. If you have close friends you could call on them for support too.
If that doesn’t work, you might try working with a neighbour who is close and doesn’t mind taking up babysitting duties for you. You could also discuss with your employer to cut you some slack with the working hours to adjust. Another way out is to get professional childcare.
These professionals can give your kids the supervision that you can’t give them because of work. Now that’s not saying that you need round-the-clock childcare. You’d still need some time within the day to bond with them, especially if they are babies or toddlers.
Getting a verified, professional nanny or housekeeper is another great option that you want to explore when working from home. You don’t need to bother about doing house chores or giving your kids premium care with any of these folks. They will provide the extra support that you need.
Keep kids entertained
Should you decide to take care of your kids without any external help, we think there is a way that you can pull it off. One way to do that is to create an engaging environment that arrests your kid’s attention. This dedicated area should be set up so that once your kids are in that area, they won’t miss you for too long.
Depending on how old they are, you could set up this space with toys, books, old computers, or even a PlayStation. Kids love playing games!
Thoroughly entertained kids will not be bored once you get them to perform the right activities. By this, we mean creative activities that get them so focused that you become a distraction to them! If they get bored with these games for some reason, you can get them hooked with some online resources like Scholastic Learn at Home.
Or you could go the old-fashioned way-Homework! Find ways to get them to complete at least an exercise every day. Spending time with them to finish assignments is another great way to bond with them while stimulating their minds.
If you have older kids, you needn’t have to worry about them because they are old enough to understand the nature of your work and help out with the house chores or babysitting.
Capitalise on nap time
You can capitalise on nap times in two ways. Firstly when your kids take a nap, it gives you the time to focus on your work(if you are not fagged out yourself). You can take the time when they sleep as quiet time to focus or handle virtual business meetings that are a crucial aspect of your job.
These naps times are also a great opportunity for you to indulge in the much-needed self-care that builds some vigour in you. Soak in a hot tub, get some manicure/pedicure, do some yoga, get some sleep, or watch some TV show or comedy that recharges you and gets you ready for the rest of the day. That way, you’d feel brand-new and able to handle those intensive tasks that you couldn’t quite get to earlier in the day.
Nap times will always come up regardless of the age of your kids, and we believe that you should use them to your advantage when they do. A freelance writer for example will need all the peace and quiet time they need.
The global pandemic has changed the world as we know it. Social distancing cost a lot of employees their jobs. Getting that work-from-home gig as a mom was a blessing because it allowed you to make some money without abandoning your family. That said, many parents who are into remote working often have to juggle full-time jobs with family time.
Thankfully there is a way around it.
It might not be the easiest thing to do, but you sure can get it done. We have described some tips for working from that workers like you can apply to become a rockstar both at home and at work. Hopefully, you will be able to apply them to stay on top of your game both on the home front and at work.