My son and daughter-in-law are working from home and have two young children. They both used to work in offices so this is an adjustment for them. Isabel from 4moms wrote and asked if one of her writers could post a blog on this topic for me as it’s something of great interest to my family. Let me introduce you to Rae Steinbach. She is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing (of course). And she is very organized!
Working from home when you are used to being in an office is an adjustment for everyone. Even more so for busy parents. It’s enough to not get distracted by noisy neighbors and the doorbell ringing without having your kids popping their little heads into your Zoom calls while you are talking. By this point, most people are understanding about colleagues working from home with young children, but that doesn’t make it much easier for you. To help you manage your workload while taking care of your brood, we’ve rounded up some tips that will take some stress off your plate.
1. Stock Up on Helpful Gear
There are so many products designed to make parents’ lives easier, from a swing for infants to puzzles, books, games and apps on your phone. Adding these tools to your work-from-home office will occupy your child in a safe and quiet way. Then you can get some essential tasks done. You can still keep an eye on them while you work.
2. Make Priority Lists
For most of us, it’s a miracle to get even three-quarters of our to-do lists done for the day. Even though you have the best intentions to get everything done, it’s simply not possible timewise when you have little ones in the house. The only way to manage this is to revise your to-do lists often. Moving high priority tasks up to the top and making sure you get those things done first. That way, you’ll be able to sleep at night without the guilt of not having finished everything hanging over your head.
3. Use Bedtime Wisely
This tip applies to both your child’s bedtime and your own. While your baby or toddler snoozes, whether for a long nap or overnight, you have the peace and quiet to get some of your harder tasks done. You can save lighter tasks that require less attention, like emailing, for when your child wakes up. When it comes to your bedtime, you might do well to adjust it. You can wake up earlier or stay up later while your child sleeps to have more time to focus.
4. Take Advantage of Screen Time
Under normal circumstances, you might put a limit to the amount of television your child watches, or the games they play on your iPad. However, while you’re working from home, anything that will help your child stay busy and quiet is a godsend. While you might let them watch some cartoons, you can also stream shows and programs that are educational. This way your child is still getting value and learning while at home. The same is true for you; let yourself relax at least one night a week with your favorite Netflix show.
Thank you, Rae, for these solid, actionable tips for parents with young children who are continuing to work from home. Reach out to me if you would like some personalized assistance in planning, prioritizing, or creating a daily routine that works for you and your family.