Finding Balance During The Pandemic
Working from home with kids is like working two jobs, at one time! Some days it works, and other days you find yourself in the middle of a video conference from your bathroom, while your screaming 4 year old runs around naked in the other room. Then, when you’re done your 20 minute meeting, you have to spend 30 minutes cleaning up the whipped cream and sparkles all over the house. Between working and tidying, you end up feeling like you’re not giving enough quality time for your children or doing your job well. How do I know? I’ve been there… well during the pandemic I AM there!
I’m no master, but I’ve researched and implemented some changes that have helped me organize my time and my priorities so I feel less overwhelmed, more productive and like a good mom!
So how can we make working from home, work?!
I’m Sending Help
If you’re here, you probably realize this work from home mom stuff is actually a lot of WORK and you need some help! Whether you’re at home in quarantine, or it’s march break, summer break or your little ones aren’t in school yet, I have some tips that have helped me actually get my work done, while at home with my daughter.
I’ve worked at home, at least partially, for years! I’ll share some tips that will make your work/home life easier and more productive, plus some worksheets and online activities to keep your kids busy for hours!
Tips For Work From Home Moms
Expect to work overtime. It really feels like you never stop working and you may not have any time to yourself.
If you go in knowing it’s going to be a lot of work, at least you’ll be more prepared for it. There is a misconception that working from home means you have more free time and less stress. NOT TRUE! But it won’t last forever. You children will get more and more independent, go to school and have play dates so you will be able to work in peace and quiet… one day!
Separate the roles. If you don’t separate the two, how can you give each your full attention. Make time for both roles, and time for you too. A flexible schedule will help. But, make sure to have some sort of schedule.
Work when you can. An hour here, an hour there is what I do for now. It can’t be the 4-5 hours straight you’re used to when you work out of the home. This is why it’s important to wake up and break down your tasks into smaller chunks. That way, when you have a few minutes during her favourite show or snack time, you can get to work!
Leave the mess. Instead of constantly tidying up all day long, which eats up your time, do a little tidying if necessary throughout the day but leave most of it for the end of the day. Tidying up all day can end up being unproductive because it is constantly getting messy anyway when you have kids. Tidy up before bed and then you wake up to a clean home to do it all over again…
Take it outside if possible. If you’re like me and can work from your phone- creating graphics and writing, take it to the park or backyard! I can get a little done here and there and then play for a bit. A happy kid, is much easier to work with than a ‘bored’ one!
Wake up an hour earlier. I love sleep but some days, I have to get an extra in before my daughter wakes up. I feel more productive and less stressed out when I do a little work in the early morning.
Create a work space. Designate a space just for work, even if it’s just a corner of your bedroom. No kid distractions. Use this space when you can, wake up earlier, nap time, when your hubby is watching them. This can help you get those tougher tasks done because you’ll be more focused.
Give them some quality time. If you can give your kids 20 minutes of good quality time, before you work, they’ll be more amused and happy. This is key!
Plan for the chaos. Have an emergency stash of popsicles or new colouring books on hand in case they get antsy! I usually keep a bag of craft supplies or a few new small toys they can open up if needed!
Get help. Ask for help if you need it. Get grandma or a babysitter to lend a hand if you feel like you’re stressed out and falling behind. Even just one afternoon a week to play catch up without any distractions can make a huge difference!
Use play dates. Coordinate play dates with other mom friends or neighbors. You take them one afternoon and then switch it up. Use that time to get some work done.
Make sure to take care of yourself. You will need an hour of ‘me time’ to watch your fave show, or a bath, or reading non work related work stuff. You need to take care of yourself too, so you can take care of everything else.
Printable And Online Activities For Kids
Scholastic.com has tons of fun printable crafts and educational activities like reading, writing , math and science. And, it’s all FREE!
Get your free printable activities for kids here Scholastic.com
Sparklebox.co.uk has tons of free printable activities for kids, including colouring pages, crafts, recipes, how to draw tutorials, and more!
Check out Sparklebox.co.uk for free, online kids stuff!
Twinkle.ca is offer awesome free materials to parents during the school closure. They have worksheets, an online game area, and ebooks to help keep your kids educated and occupied!
Visit twinkl.ca for more information.
Kiwico.com has a parent tool kit to help you survive working at home with your kids. They offer help creating an at-home learning schedule, printable activities and even toilet paper roll crafts to help you with all those extra rolls!
They also have fun science, art and engineering subscription boxes they send right to your door! Check them out!
Visit Kiwico.com for your parent tool kit and activities for all ages.
If things carry on, you can sign up for Outschool.com to keep your little one from falling behind. They offer affordable, live online classes for kids of all ages.
Visit Outschool.com for more information.
Update: I also found these FREE downloadable coronavirus relief packs for kids of all ages! Check them out at havefunteaching.com!
During these challenging times, I hope this helps you to be able to balance working from while with kids!