Coronavirus seems to have turned life upside down, both at home and at work. The challenge is a wee bit bigger for working parents, with schools closing indefinitely and work-from-home becoming a mandate. Though you may have taken up remote work earlier to tend to a sick child, the reality of doing it every single day requires a great deal of patience. So here are some tips you can implement to make things easier as you handle your professional and parenting responsibilities together.
Maintain routines and schedules
Being quarantined doesn’t exactly sound fun but a routine is something that will maintain sanity in the household. A sense of consistency and familiarity offers therapeutic benefits in such times of upheaval. At the same time, it is practical for parents juggling video conferencing, remote meetings and client calls with meal times, overactive kids, temper tantrums and occasional sibling issues.
Set boundaries and communicate them
You need to set clear boundaries for the kids and communicate them as well. After all, you wouldn’t want them scampering around when you have a virtual call. And neither would you want to give them unlimited screen-time, just to keep them occupied while you are busy with your meetings and presentations! Let them know your work hours and create a code for “stop” and “go” that they can use if they really need your attention between the work schedules.
Find ways to keep them engaged
The last thing you would want to deal with right now is kids seeking attention just because they have nothing to do. Here comes another challenge - how to keep them engaged when they are literally “locked up” indoors. Introduce the young ones to the world of art and craft while the older ones can discover some amazing games and apps. But do keep a watch on what they are doing. And you can think of activities that the family can do together- a yoga session or indoor games every evening.
Let your co-workers know
It is equally important to let your co-workers know what you are going through so that they can be prepared for interruptions during virtual meetings and con calls. You will be surprised to find many of them sailing in the same boat. You may even get a useful piece of advice from one or more of them. At the same time, refrain from oversharing bits and pieces of your personal struggles because you are expected to be professional after all.
Work from home with kids can be draining and the fact that social distancing is mandatory makes it even tougher. Moreover, you may end up overworking just to prove to your colleagues that you are actually giving your 100 percent. Taking a break once in a while is the best way to clear out the stress. Do little things for yourself, like taking a hot shower, enjoying a cup of tea or watching your well-loved TV shows. Alternating shifts with your partner is a smart idea to keep things sorted out at home and work front.
Life is unpredictable; Reset and realign are the magic mantras and that’s exactly what every mom and dad working from home will need to do, whether you have a little baby, an attention-seeking toddler or a lethargic teen to handle. These ideas and discipline will make things easy to handle and will make sure you shine at work even while working from home!
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