If you are working from home with children, juggling nap times, mealtimes, and your kids’ educational requirements with your work schedule can be daunting. The First Baptist Church Groveport would like to help by offering these three tips for staying productive and maintaining your calm demeanor, all while simultaneously working from home and parenting your kids.
- Implement a Daily Routine
As The Military Wife and Mom notes, kids need the predictability of a daily routine to stay focused and calm—and adults do too. It can be tempting to throw caution to the wind and allow unlimited free time, especially closer to the end of the week, but this lack of structure may make your whole family feel more stressed and leave kids reaching for you all day long. Factor in work time, playtime, and family time to build relationships into your daily routine. You will need to set real “work” hours that can only be canceled if there is an emergency.
Consider holding a family meeting on the weekend to discuss with your partner and children how you will handle the next week. For young children, you and your spouse can trade childcare responsibilities with a partner to lighten your burden, and consider switching up kids’ toys throughout the work week so they have something to look forward to every day. Older children may be able to better self-regulate and work or play independently as long as they have set meal times and bedtimes.
- Share Educational Endeavors With Your Partner
Even if your kids are too young for formal homeschooling, they will need attention and one-on-one time with you. Reading to toddlers and even babies helps with their literacy as well as language development. Discuss with your spouse how you will handle the school, or “learning” portion of the day, and divide it accordingly.
You may choose to divide the work according to your children’s needs: if your 10-year-old daughter needs help completing virtual assignments while your three-year-old son wants to play outside, each partner assisting one child may work better. If you are a single parent with multiple kids, discuss with your children that they will need to take turns with you. Remember, though, always create a schedule the day before for consistency, as well as for the much-needed structure discussed above.
Many families find a command center comes in handy, since everyone can tell at a glance what is expected of them. You can use a chalkboard calendar for the starring role in your command center, color code days or family members for clarity, and for smaller children, consider some magnets as understandable visual aids.
- Utilize Screen Time Appropriately
There will be days when you feel like you can’t get anything done because of your children’s demands for your attention. If you have toddlers or younger children who have not gained independent play skills for more than a few minutes at a time, utilize educational screen time while you complete tasks that cannot be interrupted, such as video chats, phone calls, and important meetings with clients.
Kids can glean a lot from computers these days, but parental controls and cybersecurity are critical. You also need to provide a reliable computer that’s capable of running their educational videos and games. Thankfully, families can avoid overspending on gadgetry and software by searching out deals online.
Working from home can provide a wonderful way to be present for your children while contributing to the income of your family, but sometimes it can be difficult to juggle everyone’s needs. Consider trading childcare responsibilities with members of your church or community in addition to your partner to give yourself a much-needed break. Remember to be kind to yourself, explain the situation to your children, and provide structure to set the family up for success.
Connect with First Baptist Church Groveport for more guidance, inspiration, support, and for opportunities for worship.