Whether you normally work from home, or are working at home for the coronavirus period, it’s not easy to get things done with kids running around. Childcare takes a lot of time and patience and that is compounded by having a full workload. While there is no easy button to get you out of this tough situation, you can alleviate some of the stress by taking advantage of the tips below. With any luck, you’ll actually enjoy the extra time spent with your kids!
- Have a Conversation with Your Boss and Coworkers
First things first: have a conversation with your boss and coworkers. Set expectations that you think you can reach, but let them know that your kids come first and sometimes you won’t be able to drop everything to answer a work call. It’s likely that some of your peers are in the same boat working from home with kids, so they should be understanding. To stay on the same page without being in the office, ask for a brief weekly Zoom call where you can discuss how things are going.
- Set Up a New Routine
With the kids at home with you, you’ll have far less time for work and will have to organize your schedule wisely to get anything done. Setting up a new routine during this time will be necessary to make the most of your day. This will likely involve getting up an hour or two before your kids do as well as staying up later. Create a rough schedule through time blocking, or another method of time tracking to help you stay on track.
- Meal Prep
Gone are the days of lunch meetings in the office. Now, you’re responsible for feeding yourself and your kids every day. There won’t be time to cook an elaborate lunch, so try meal prepping on the weekends to have easy kids meals you can heat up and enjoy. Some meals you can prep ahead include Turkey Taco Bowls, Pasta Salad, and Egg Cups with Ham and Veggies.
- Do Your Hardest Tasks While the Children Are Asleep
Moments of peace and quiet are hard to come by when you have kids at home. While you will want as much sleep as possible, many parents choose to wake up earlier or go to bed later so that they can take advantage of the quiet hours while the kids are asleep. Naptime is also the perfect time to get the hardest work tasks done while you have enough quiet time to think. Save easier admin tasks like emails for later when the kids are playing.
- Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
For parents coping with school and office closures due to the virus, remember that this is only temporary and you can get through it. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get everything on your to-do list checked off in a week — we’re all struggling in one way or another. That said, you can also ask for help. Your partner should be helping with caring for the children if they are also working from home. You can ask other family members or friends to lend a hand as long as it is safe for everyone to do so. Above all, remember to take some me-time here and there to relax as stress builds up quickly!