Since the onset of the pandemic, parents have been forced to adjust to an extended period of remote work. But this does not come without its challenges as many are struggling to balance their at-home parental obligations with their work responsibilities. Below are tips to effectively balance remote work and parenting.
- Adjust your schedule. If your job doesn’t require you to be on the clock at specific times, consider adjusting your schedule to work when your children are sleeping or less active.
- Set up a “Mom/Dad is at work” designated workspace. Don’t worry if you don’t have a home office, you can still establish a defined work area at home. This space will let your kids know that when you’re in work mode, you’re not to be disturbed. Ideally, look for a quiet corner of the house where you can set up everything you need to work through your tasks as efficiently as possible.
- Be creative in how you prevent your kids from boredom. Set a schedule of age-relevant activities for your kids. For example, depending on their age, have a few toys and games ready to go in separate bins right ahead of work. Studies have found having fewer toys to play with will encourage deeper playtime.
- Balance the child’s screen time between education and entertainment. It’s important to strike a healthy balance between fun and learning. It will also allow the child to stay focused for longer periods of time if you “mix it up”
- Remember to take some YOU time/Self-care is vital. Working from home while simultaneously caring for kids can be incredibly stressful and draining, which is why it’s important to make time for your own self-care. There are many self-care activities that allow you to include your children—there are exercises and yoga that are suited for kids, reading time, crafting together and so many more.
- Be transparent with your boss—make sure your manager/employer is fully aware that you are juggling working from home and your parental duties so they can be flexible, patient and understanding. This “new normal” is nothing to hide—the struggle is real and employers must be accommodating.