COVID-19, “safer at home” orders, social distancing, and student distance learning have caused many working parents to work from home with kids underfoot. I’ve been working from home for five years. It’s a new experience working from home with my kids here too. Here are some of the ways that I’ve been able to save my sanity and get my work done.
Communicate with Your Family and Employer
With the balancing act of family, home, and work responsibilities, it is important to communicate your needs. With your family, it is really helpful to set clear expectations for what you need to accomplish. For example, a great time to communicate the plans for the day or the whole week is during family meetings and/or at mealtimes. Also, with distance learning, you can discuss what assignments your children need to complete as well. The same thing goes for work. It helps to have a short, weekly meeting with your boss. This can be your opportunity to ask questions and share what you are working on.
Create a Plan Ahead of Time
A daily plan with some built-in flexibility goes a long way. When it comes to working from home, it helps to map out your “top 3.” The “top 3” are the three things that I intentionally plan to accomplish for the day. The “top 3” help me the most with work responsibilities. I use a daily planner to map out when I will do my “top 3.” At the end of the workday, it feels good to be able to check them off of my to-do list.
Involve Your Kids
Include your kids in your working from home plan. In our family, it has helped to create a family schedule the night before each day. We write out our plan on a whiteboard in the kitchen. Also, this has been beneficial because both of my kids are able to provide input into what we are going to do the next day. As we go through the day, they are able to look at the family schedule for what comes next. My five-year-old loves being able to check things off of the list.
I hope that these tips can make your life just a little bit easier for you during your day to day. Please stay, calm, kind, and safe while working at home with your kids!