Many parents wish for a set-up, in which they can take care of their children while they work from home. Achieving the perfect balance between both duties requires planning
It is a trend that is catching on. Many parents, who do not want to depend on outside help to look after their toddler or preschooler, opt to earn a living through a work-from-home arrangement. So how does one get to that place where work-at-home duties and parenting are both enjoyable and fulfilling?
Having a dedicated space for work is essential. A workspace can be a spare room or a nook, simply a comfortable corner of the house that will allow you to have peace and privacy while you get your tasks done.
Designate a space with proper lighting and an area to organise your files and other work-related materials. If you need to work alongside your child’s play or rest area, make sure to childproof your workspace just to avoid clutter and incidents.
Set your ground rules for your children and everyone else in the household to follow while you are working. Set clear expectations, rules, and rewards system for kids so that you can work smoothly while managing them at home.
Doing household chores amidst work can easily distract you, the same way that work-related emails and phone calls can interrupt your personal and family time. Avoid distractions; commit to a work schedule that suits your parental duties. Our energy is also limited. Thus, proper time management is the key to getting good hours of rest. See to it that you have a work schedule to follow on a regular basis.
Set an internal deadline for your projects and leave enough wiggle room for those unexpected moments. Most importantly, focus on work alone and avoid unnecessary activities during your working hours. I am talking about social media in particular - platforms like Facebook and IGs are good, but sometimes, we spend too much time on it without actually realising how much time we’re wasting.
Playtime varies from one child to another, but it is not going to hurt if we create a work schedule based on your child’s routine. You should schedule meetings and conference calls during your child’s downtime, if possible. Scheduling your work early in the morning, while your toddlers are still in bed, is also good. It will give you uninterrupted time to make necessary preparations for the long day ahead.
There will be times that you need to deviate from your schedule and routines. Save your work files frequently and be ready to stop working when you have to attend to your child’s need immediately. In creating a work schedule, also set a day where you can catch up on your unfinished tasks.
You should have a plan to keep your child entertained while you are busy at work. Let them play with toys or do activities that will keep them busy long enough for you to focus on your work. Invest in a craft and activity station near your workspace. The area should be safe and stimulating at the same time. You can monitor your kids and ensure that you can immediately respond to their needs. A little dose of TV time should be fine. Having your kid enjoy a few child-oriented shows should let you do your task while keeping them entertained.
Keep healthy snacks or an extra set of clothes nearby. The shorter the trip takes you to grab some snacks or a shirt, the more time you can have for your tasks. An outdoor play area, where you and your kid can spend some quality time together, is a great idea as well although it applies only to those who have a bigger space at home.
Your work schedule may be unpredictable that it often eats away portions of the time you allocated for your family. It is also normal to get interrupted by your children.
As a work-at-home parent, you can try to enlist the help of relatives or friends to help you with the childcare. If necessary, you can hire a caregiver or part-time babysitter to help better manage your time. This ensures that you focus on your work and still have the energy for some quality time with your child. Be honest about your struggles, because only then will you know the steps you should take in balancing your work-life routine.
Don’t forget to take breaks in between your tasks for some “me” time. Take your mind off work so you can come back fresh. You can also spend this time to play with your child, or enjoy watching child-oriented movies or maybe browsing through some baby stuff online. Any activity that would allow them to cuddle with you some more!
Having a balanced work and family life takes a lot of work. But it can be achieved even while you are working from home with a toddler.
Angelica is a devoted mom, an animal welfare advocate, content writer at babywisp.com, and a digital marketer. She graduated with a degree in Business Administration major in Banking and Finance.
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