When my son was born a little over ten years ago, I gave up my office job and settled down as a freelance worker. For the time being, this fits our family. Although my income level is completely unpredictable from one month to the next, I can usually make a few cents more. In the end, we also make nice trips that we couldn’t afford if we only relied on my partner’s income. The downside is that I have to juggle the care of my 10 and 8 year olds all the time. Your school days are short, the school holidays are long and it is difficult to meet my deadlines and keep the kids busy at the same time. That is why I have developed some strategies that I can use to work with children from home. I thought I would share this.
The current COVID-19 pandemic coronavirus means that schools around the world have closed and people are isolating themselves. Many parents may work with children at home. It will be a big challenge, but I hope these tips can help a little. Please let me know if you want to add more!
If you can, change your working hours
One thing I have to do regularly is to set my alarm clock to an unholy hour to give me an hour or two of work before the kids wake up. If you have babies or very young children to take care of, this may not work. Until a few years ago, one or both of our children were up at 6 a.m. and I would NOT have enjoyed the prospect of getting up at 4 a.m. Now, however, I often get up at 5 / 5:30 a.m. so that I can jump into the day, send emails or meet a deadline. The same applies to evening work. I try to do many of my administrative tasks in the evening because my mind is too tired to concentrate on something too difficult. But friends of mine who are night owls like to do big jobs after bed.
This strategy does not work for all jobs. However, if you have work that you can do quietly on a keyboard instead of having to be present and turned on during office hours, try to do as much as possible before or after the kids are in bed. And if your child is still napping, use this time!
Plan a schedule of activities
To work with as little interruption as possible, you need to make sure that the children are busy. Fortunately, some of my friends in the blogging world have put together ideas for how to keep the kids entertained when they are not at school.
Some of the activities they suggest require more parental involvement than others. For example, it is impossible to play a board game at the same time as a conference call. But maybe you can just get the kids on a treasure hunt around the house while you answer a few emails. If you are planning some activities for the week, you can start them at the appropriate time. If you have older children, you can even set up an activity station with safety scissors, card, pens and – if you feel brave – paints and glue. Then you can let them tinker when they feel bored.
Check out this feature from Monkey and Mouse on 1 for inspiration0 ways to keep children entertained and educated when school is closed.
Set up a structure for your day
If you work with children from home, it may be tempting to stay in your pajamas until late morning and let the routine out of the window. I’ve done that in the past. It was fun the first few days, but after a while we felt shabby, disgusting and stressed at the end of the afternoon. We needed a routine to feel “normal”.
If your school closes and sends distance learning for your child, it is good to have a regular time frame for schoolwork. That way, you may be able to avoid some arguments. Tomorrow is schoolwork, and that’s it.
Children (and adults) often have more energy in the morning. In addition to schoolwork, it is a good idea to get some fresh air in the morning. Of course, if you isolate yourself, it may not be possible to go outside. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a garden or access to an outside area where they don’t meet anyone else. But if you can go outside, try doing something active – hop on a trampoline, run across the lawn, or work on a garden project.
In the afternoon
In the past, I’ve found that afternoons are a good time to sit back and relax. Let’s face it, if you have to work with children as part of a national emergency from home, you’ll likely need to put them in front of a screen part of the day. And afternoons are a good time for that. The hour or two after lunch is a time when the energies drop. While the kids are busy, you can contact your office – or even try to take a ten-minute nap if you’ve worked a lot early in the morning or worked late the night before.
Manage your own and your children’s expectations
You may be used to working a few hours from nine to five or six o’clock. This is extremely unlikely if you are working with children from home. You have interruptions when the kids decide that they want a snack or want to show you the special picture they just drew. If you have more than one child, you may need to intervene to resolve an argument. I was about to tear my hair out in frustration. Unfinished tasks can pile up while the kids bother me with requests and dramas. But it’s completely normal to feel that way. Working from home due to coronavirus COVID-19 is an extreme situation and things will eventually return to normal. You won’t be able to work as efficiently as usual – and that’s fine for now. It must be.
On the other hand, there will be times when the children cannot interrupt you. Most of us have seen the clip of the reporter whose toddler and baby entered him while being interviewed on the BBC news. You want to avoid that. If your children are old enough to understand, try to make arrangements with them in advance. For example, if you go to your bedroom and close the door, they know that this means you answer an important call, and they not allowed bother yourself If you can get away with it, try not to have too many of these moments a day. In this way, the children are more likely to obey when the “no access” sign is attached to the door.
Communicate with your partner to share work with children from home
Studies by the National Statistics Office show that women do an average of 60% more household chores than men. This includes childcare. Regardless of whether you are in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship, it is important to discuss with your partner how you can ensure that childcare responsibilities are shared equally if you unexpectedly have to work with children from home . I like the idea of a schedule where each partner takes turns taking care of the children for an hour or two. Then when you have a job to focus on, you can try to get it done if your partner takes care of the children. Alternatively, you can alternately have a full day of uninterrupted working hours while the other partner fits in with his work around parenting.
Consider some time in me
Working with children from home is stressful. So don’t forget to take care of yourself. As I said, try not to beat yourself up if you’re not as productive as usual. Also, don’t feel guilty because your kids had a lot more time on the screen than usual. These are extreme times, and it’s okay to let yourself and the kids do things you wouldn’t normally do.
In the past, I tried to jump on the PC whenever possible to catch up on work while the kids weren’t there. While this is a short-term strategy, it is not a long-term solution. It is just as important to keep an eye on your mental health and well-being as it is to meet these deadlines.
The main thing is to take care of yourself and the people around you. Allow some time to relax with a good book, take a long bath, treat yourself to a manicure … whatever makes you happy and relaxed.
These are tips based on what worked for me. To have she Have you ever had to work with children from home? Do you have any tips you can add? Please share it!
You might also be interested in these functions:
What I learned when I bored my children
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