Even before the pandemic, I enjoyed the flexibility of working from home several days a week. Working from home offered many benefits, such as skipping 3 – 4 hours of commuting and catching up on Oprah episodes. But once I became a parent there were also challenges. Here are some insights I have on how to deal with those challenge with children at home.
Balancing Work and Parenting
One of the biggest challenges of working from home as a parent is finding a balance between work and parenting. With children at home, it can be challenging to concentrate on work, and it’s easy to get distracted. On the other hand, you don’t want to neglect your children’s needs, and they may feel neglected if you’re working all the time.
It’s important to set boundaries and create a schedule that works for both you and your children. You can set aside specific times for work and stick to them, but also schedule breaks to spend time with your children – even if you have a baby-sitter or nanny.
Children can be unpredictable, and they may need your attention at any moment, which can be distracting and frustrating.
To manage interruptions, it’s essential to communicate with your children and set clear expectations. Let them know when you’re available to talk or play, and when you need to focus on work. You can also create a quiet workspace, away from distractions, to help you concentrate.
Working from home can also affect your productivity. Without the structure and routine of an office environment, it can be easy to get distracted, procrastinate, or lose motivation.
To maintain productivity, it’s essential to establish a routine and set goals for yourself. You can create a to-do list or use a planner to help you stay organized and focused. You may also want to establish a morning routine to help you start your day on the right foot, and take regular breaks to recharge your energy. Be sure to agree with your boss on what productivity looks like (vs putting on a show of sitting in front of your computer all day!).
Taking Care of Yourself
Finally, one of the most critical challenges of working from home as a parent is taking care of yourself. With so much to juggle, it can be easy to put your own needs last. However, neglecting your own wellbeing can lead to burnout, stress, and fatigue.
To take care of yourself, it’s essential to prioritize self-care activities, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies. You can also hire a coach to ensure you’re taking time for yourself and moving towards your bigger life goals. Taking care of your physical and mental health will help you be more resilient and better equipped to handle the challenges of working from home.
Challenging? Maybe. Impossible? No.
Working from home as a parent can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By setting clear boundaries, communicating effectively, establishing a routine, and taking care of yourself, you can thrive as a remote worker and a parent. The key is to be flexible, patient, and compassionate with yourself and your children, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.