As families figure out how to handle working from home and the stress that comes with watching kids at the same time, we’ve summarized some helpful tips and resources that may be useful when it comes to tackling it all. Maintaining a peaceful coexistence can be difficult at times, but it’s not impossible.
1. Designate your work area
You definitely don’t want to completely isolate yourself from your children if no one else is around to take care of them but the kitchen table won’t work as the best workspace either due to so many distractions. Search for a well-lit area in your home, preferably a spare room with a door or room next to a window, that will enable you to stay organized, on task, and minimize interruptions.
2. Work the late-night shift or become an early riser
Some parents feel regret when they can’t give their kids the attention they deserve or have too many things to do during the day. Parents have found using the hours their kids go to sleep as prime work hours or they start work before the kids wake up. You need sleep at one point, so maybe one of these options might work for you if you’d like to make everyone happy!
3. Be realistic
They are kids and they demand attention because they love you. They can’t be expected to sit for hours at a time while you work. Assign time to be with them, even if it’s a nice long lunch.
4. Plan ahead
If it’s possible, take control of your schedule by making your own internal deadlines, because you never know what each day will bring when you have kids in the house. Someone may get hurt and a last-minute hospital trip may set you back with work.
5. Create a to-do/activity list
Some structure and a routine are what kids need and crave. Provide them with a schedule much like the ones they have at school. Ideally, it’s a daily ritual that combines educational activities and tasks. This could range from breakfast at a certain time followed by either their school work or if they’re too young, arts and crafts or something that will keep them busy for an hour or so until their next scheduled activity.
6. Offer incentives
Set goals for your children to keep them occupied. If they successfully meet the target, offer them a reward of whatever you feel is appropriate.
7. Give it a rest
Are your kids still driving you mad? Get rid of any internal guilt and take a break. Take them on a bike ride, have a fitness competition, watch a movie, bake cookies, go for a walk, or simply play a game. All kids crave is your attention, which should be a compliment.
8. Pat yourself on the back
Balancing children and a full-fledged workload is beyond difficult. Regardless of how you wind down, make time to pamper yourself on occasion to avoid burning out and crashing into a mental brick wall from work overload. Maybe play some of your favorite music while you work or wake up early just so you have time for yourself and your cup of coffee. Making time to do what you like to do is essential! Journaling is also an amazing way to let off some steam.
These activities offer amazing engagement opportunities for children as they hang at home.
Museums, zoos, and aquariums
Google Earth: Now offering virtual tours of 31 national parks.
Google Arts & Culture: Extensive selection of virtual tours of the world’s greatest museums and heritage sites.
National Gallery of Art: American art museum.
British Museum: Iconic museum located in the heart of London.
Musée D’Orsay: Virtually walk through this popular Paris gallery.
Cincinnati Zoo: Home safari on Facebook Live.
San Diego Zoo: Live look at the animals.
Georgia Aquarium: Check out the Atlanta facility.
Houston Zoo: Big and small cams.
Monterey Bay Aquarium: Ten live-streaming cameras.
Zoo Atlanta: Watch the roly-poly pandas.
Learning and activities
Scholastic Online offers online reading resources by grade.
Smithsonian Online for science and social studies online resources.
ABC Mouse is a great resource for learning and adventure academies; free access here.
Go Noodle for your favorite dance break.
BrainPOP for various stages of learning and activities.
Cosmic Kids Yoga for a much-needed stretch and break.
StoryLine Online for stories read by some famous actors.
Vooks offers children’s books digitally presented.
PBS Kids for videos, games, and learning activities.
Mo Willems Lunch Doodles for your little artists.
For more free access, please visit this growing list of resources.
We hope this helps you on your journey of doing it all because you really can! It definitely takes a village but with these tips in mind, you may be able to dedicate more time to getting work done more efficiently so that you have more time with your family.