TIPS ON WORKING FROM HOME WITH YOUNG KIDS
Covid-19 has affected the world in heartbreaking ways, and we will all be forever changed after this experience.
For some of us it has meant merging our home & work lives. If you are new to working from home, this can definitely be an adjustment! Once the novelty of it wears off and we have real deadlines to meet, kids who need our attention & a million other chores. It can become stressful if we don’t make an effort to play to our strengths & really set ourselves up to enjoy the extra time saved from skipping that commute to the office!
Here are some tried & tested working from home tips, collated from research & speaking other parents in a similar situation.
- Wake up at least an hour or more before your kids. This is a really big one for me. Personally, I do not consider myself a morning person at all, and I would not recommend this to anyone that doesn’t have kids demanding your attention from the moment they open those adorable little eyes! Waking up an hour before my toddler allows me to get dressed, have a coffee while I start on emails and getting one work task done! By the time my daughter wakes up, I can take a break to get her set up with some breakfast & some toys.
- Create a to do list – 3 - 4 tasks is the recommendation. I usually plan my week, and assign 3-4 work tasks to each day in order of priority. So when I sit down to work I know what needs my attention. I also keep another list of house chores & non work tasks that need to happen. When you visually plan out your week, it can really help you find pockets of time and also work well with your partner when caring for young kids.
- Create a work space in your home. Having a home office is great, but if you are like me and don’t have the space for one, creating an area in your home that is designated for working can be really helpful. It will help you differentiate between working & relaxing/family time. The lines get a bit blurred when you start working from home every day, also gives kids an understanding that you are in your work space & should not be interrupted. I mean, not all kids get this but you would be surprised at how quickly my 3 year old began to understand that when I am in my office space, I don’t like to be disturbed & was ‘working on my …puter’.
- Set up activity stations for your kids Spending 20-30 minutes the night before to research age appropriate activities for your kids, and getting those all organized can mean you have some tools & ways to keep them busy and occupied. There are so many websites & blogs that can give you so many ideas, all you need are some craft items that you can get from a quick Kmart run! I love @ourlittleplaynest and @sesameandberry on Instagram that give you so many fun ideas, if you plan to get work done I would pick activities they can do with only a little help from you!
- Play tag team with your partner & take turns engaging the kids. This is a suggestion from a friend & I loved this idea, if you and your partner each spend half a day with the kids, then that would mean you both have half an uninterrupted day to work! If you do breakfast, morning activities & then your partner can do lunch & afternoon activities. Hopefully there is a nap somewhere in between where you can both work!
- Cook Meals & Prep snacks the night before. If you want to get some work done while keeping your kids busy, you want everything else to be easy, so making sandwiches and keeping snacks (and some treats for emergencies) can be a real lifesaver.
- Lastly pick an end time and stick to it! I mean occasionally when things are busy and you need to put in a few extra hours that is fine, but frequent working into the night can be counter intuitive and unhealthy. Switching off & replenishing your energy is really important so when 5 or 6 pm comes around, leave your ‘office’ for the night. Spend time with your kids & give them that undivided attention they crave, cook dinner & really enjoy the biggest perk of working from home, once you finish work you are already home & there’s no commute needed!
We hope you found these tips helpful. We'd love to know if you have any tips to share on working from home with young kids?