Tips for Working From Home W/ Kids
Updated: Jan 13
A couple weeks ago I jumped on a Live Chat over at @digicelbermuda to share some Work From Home Tips, especially for parents juggling work, kids, homeschool, etc. This is all new to us and what is working now, may not work tomorrow, but we are all trying to make the best of this time!
1. Routine not schedule. For us, having a routine in place works great as the kids know what to expect and when. We avoid a rigid schedule because I feel it introduces a lot of anxiety around sticking to the times. This is a unique time and I’m allowing our family to go with the flow and to be flexible while still trying to have some sort of order!
2. Stick to your old routine as much as possible. We try to get up, get dressed, get moving every day so that we don’t end up in this blur of pyjamas and laptops for days on end. Its been really great for my mental space to get up and get myself together every morning before starting my day. We do the same with the kids as well and get them up, dressed for the day and fed breakfast. While trying to keep as many “normal” aspects as we can, we hope will make this time easier on us and them!
3. Allocate the snacks! I notice the kids eat ALL DAY LONG, and while I love that they are snacking and fueling themselves, they will eat NON STOP. We’ve set aside a bin in the fridge with snacks that they can help themselves to. They are self service and easy for them to grab but we also set aside snacks and lunch as if they are in school so that they don’t just graze all day!
4. Designate a quiet zone. We designated a spot for the kids where they can be comfortable when we are on calls. We make sure it has enough activities/puzzles/crafts to keep them busy so that they are out of the way and entertained when we are on a call. Now they know when they see us on a call they can hang out in their spot until we are done!
5. Set boundaries for work. We have set up work stations for ourselves and the kids. When we are in front of those stations; its time to work. When we are away from those stations we are “switched off”. Its important to designate a space so that we don’t interrupt our safe space. Home is a place of family and rest for many of us and I want to be conscious not to disrupt that too much. I don’t take my laptop to the bedroom or on the couch and try to mimic my work day as much as possible.
6. Remember to switch off. At the end of the day, we shut down the laptops and don’t reopen them until the next work day. That has been super important for us, because it is easy to continue working all day long when its right there!
7. Set a clean up time. At the end of the day when we shut down, the whole family pitches in to clean up after the days activities. Toys are put away, dishes in the sink, arts and crafts cleaned, sorted and packed away and then we move into wind down mode. We have dinner together, dessert and watch a movie together. The together time is so important because although we are occupying the same square footage each day, its easy not to interact as much as everyone has their own things going on.
8. Switch up school with some practical lessons. The kids have been helping to make breakfast and dinner, baking, washing dishes, cleaning more. It’s a great time to teach and practice life skills while we are all at home!
9. Break some rules! The best part of this is being able to allow the kids to break some rules. Extra screen time, face-timing friends, staying up late, dessert every night, having a couple of pyjama days on the weekends, eating sweets. I want the kids to look back on this time and remember as many good times as possible since their routines have been SO disrupted. Also breaking the rules eases me up a bit! Pancakes for breakfast has been a favorite!