Working from home with kids, especially younger children, can be incredibly stressful, and it is very easy for you and the family to go stir-crazy. That is why we have pulled together some tips and tricks that we at Biostime Nutrition have found to make life a bit easier whilst working from home and looking after little ones.
Make a plan – but be flexible
Creating a schedule for work and family time can helpful in ensuring that you find the time to meet all professional and personal responsibilities. The best way we have found to do this is by setting up a routine for the family to follow together, such as what time you get up, when to go for a walk, or eat breakfast and lunch. We’ve found some great examples of schedules that other parents are using on Mommyhood and Kids First that may help you to get started.
When making your schedule, here are some thing you could incorporate to make your days a bit easier:
1. Get the children involved – Children love to be involved with what happens around them, this could be done by getting their help to work out the times for activities or even asking them to construct the schedule by colouring it in or personalising it.
2. A great way you can find some extra time in the day could be through taking advantage of naps or reading time to slip in some extra work. It’s important to try and find solid periods of work time where you can focus, instead of sporadic minutes peppered by disruptions.
3. You can also break up your day by allocating time to play or go for walks with your kids. By scheduling this in every day, you will get time away from work, and you will be proactively spending time with your children – plus you’ll both be having some computer- or tablet-free time to repose.
4. You can also pick some fun activities to do each week with your kids. These could include making some delicious bliss balls, baking banana bread, or doing fun exercises to stay active – we even have live yoga streaming on Facebook and Instagram for you and your little ones! There are heaps of great activities available online, so try and take advantage of some of them.
While keeping a schedule will help with the day-to-day routine, we find it’s also important to keep a flexible frame of mind. If it’s a nice day, you can go outside to play with (and tire out!) your kids so you can get more work done in the evening.
Create boundaries for your home and work lives
The easiest way we found to do this is to have separate areas for your work and personal life. Setting this up might take some time, but it’s worth setting it up to suit your preferences. Once your work area is ready, you can take some time to sit down with your kids and let them know that when you are in there, they can’t disturb you.
A great way you can keep your kids from interrupting your workflow is to leave the room regularly to check in with them and take some time out for yourself. You can even put these times in the schedule!
Keep in touch with your community
We understand it can be overwhelming to think of calling friends and family when you can barely manage your own time, but setting aside some time to video-call others, set up virtual playdates, and check-in with other parents can be helpful and restorative. You never know what interesting things they are doing to keep their kids occupied. Some might even be doing online school classes or can help organise an online time to keep your kids busy whilst you finish off your emails.
Make time for yourself
With work and home life melding together, it can be difficult to find time for yourself, but this can be key in staying productive and happy. You could go on a long walk around the neighbourhood – changing routes every time to keep it interesting, or buy that book you’ve been thinking about for ages but have never got around to purchasing. Here are some great books we found to escape with! It could even be as simple as having a bubble bath and taking some time to do absolutely nothing.
Working and parenting from home can be a difficult task for anyone, and the easiest thing is to jump on social media and compare with other parents who might seem like they are handling things better. Instead, try jumping on the phone with your friends, chat to your partner, or reach out for help from teachers and others who are ready to support you. You are not alone.
For more tips on ways to connect with your children at home click here.