6 Tips On How To Juggle WFH and Child Care Like a Supermom
No one said it would be easy, but it can be better!
How To Juggle WFH and Child Care Like a Supermom
Covid-19 has made working from home the new norm in many households. With kids being home from school as well, parents are facing new obstacles. We don't have to tell you that simply being a mother is a job in itself, you already know that. What we can tell you is that there are ways to handle working from home and being the best parent you can be to your kids.
It's important to remember through all this that you're not alone. In a survey recorded by Fishbowl, parents across America were asked this question,"While working from home, have you been able to effectively manage your workload while taking care of your children?"
The study found that 62% of survey participants answered "No" to this question. It's safe to say you're far from only one facing these new pressures. Working from home and taking care of your children won't be an easy task, but it can surely be more manageable with these simple lifestyle changes.
1. Set Boundaries
In a household where everyone is constantly around, it can be easy to lose sight of boundaries. If you've had your kids barge in during a conference call, you know what I mean. This is as new for them as it is to you, so they're going to need some boundaries to understand how to behave while you work. Whether you're working in a home office or your bedroom, make it known. Try making a cute little sign that can hang on your doorknob. Write "Mom's In A Meeting" or "Mom's Busy" on it and hang it up when you cannot be disturbed. Make sure your children understand ahead of time what the sign means. Since you obviously can't be unavailable to your kids all day, only hang the sign when necessary.
2. Make A Schedule
Just as your work priorities give you some structure, extend that need for structure into your children's lives. While you plan out your own daily or weekly schedule for work, consider what you could have your kids doing during that time. Perhaps you set them up to read for 30 minutes or tune into their favorite TV show in the next room if you need more alone time.
Whatever it is, it may be helpful to let your kids know they're adhering to a schedule as well. This will reinforce the sense of structure that everyone's been lacking. If you want to get really organized, write up an hourly schedule for your family to follow. Include time for school work, meals, electronics, and play time.
3. Share Responsibilities
If you're living with your partner or spouse, make sure the two of you are sharing the responsibility of childcare. It's a conversation you might have never expected to have, but it's important to have an open discussion if you feel there's an issue. If both of you are in a situation where you must work from home, then it's only fair that you put in equal work with the kids.
According to a Fishbowl, one survey concluded, "When separating by gender, 46.23% of men responded that they are able to juggle work and watching children, while only 25.14% of women answered the same way. This stark contrast in responses by gender could be evidence that an unequal divide of household labor still continues today, even when both parents are at home."
It may feel natural for a woman to assume more responsibility of child care, but we've been presented with a special circumstance. Be mindful of how responsibilities are being divided in your household. And if you have an older child, now's the time to ask them to help out a bit too.
4. Have Activities Ready
If it was up to your children, they may just want to play with their electronics all day. Although they're probably more creative than you are, they might still need your help in this area. Having fun things to do will hopefully deter them from stirring up mischief with themselves or with you. try to plan activities that don't require your supervision, otherwise you'll have trouble getting work done.
Get out all the crafts you've been stashing for a rainy day or buy educational books to keep them occupied. Gather all your hula hoops, jump ropes, and other toys that will keep them active. Limit time with electronics and promote healthy and fun activities to keep them occupied instead. You'll be busy and so will they, making it a win-win for everyone.
5. Have An "Office"
This is for anyone who might not have a room designated as an office in their home. Even those that do, you may now have to share it with your spouse or partner. If you're in need of a new "office" for whatever reason, it's time to get creative. When it comes to making phone calls to clients or participating in a virtual meeting, you will need somewhere quiet and free of distractions. Consider using your basement, a large closet, your front porch or back patio, and even your car. Any place with an internet connection will suffice for the time being.
6. Don't Forget To Relax
Your own personal needs should be met just as much as anyone else's in your household. You need time to unwind after a long day of working and taking care of the kids. If you're able to spend 30 minutes or an hour alone, take the time to read, take a bath, do yoga, or however else you like to destress in your normal life. It's important that your children's caretaker is healthy and happy in order to provide the best experience for them.
Be flexible, but don't put your needs on the back burner. If you can't get any solo time, you can relax with your family by something as simple as watching TV together. Take a deep breath, you're doing great!
Let's Keep the Conversation Going
How will you manage working from home and child care? We want to know!