Working from home is challenging for many adults. Even harder if you have little ones that need to be fed, entertained, and cared for. Yes, it’s possible to manage a work-life balance while working from home with toddlers and babies, but it does take some time (and trial and error) to find what works best for you.
These three tips presented by Carrie Spencer will help you to find the balance you need while juggling remote work with parenting-all while staying (mostly) sane in the process!
WORK WHILE BREASTFEEDING
If you have a baby at home, around three hours of your day is spent breastfeeding, according to Kelly Mullen-McWilliams of Romper. While the actual amount of time you spend breastfeeding will depend on your baby’s needs, you could turn some of this quiet time into an opportunity to get work done.
By using an age-appropriate wrap or sling (following the manufacturer's instructions carefully) as you work, keeping all your essential supplies close by (like your computer, smartphone, notebook, planner, and a large glass of water), you can feed your little one while checking some work tasks off your to-do list.
Or, if you’ll be pumping milk during the workday, you could use a hands-free pump while typing away on your computer or taking work-related phone calls. Just be ready to mute yourself at any given time, especially if your baby is in the same room as you.
KEEP YOUR TODDLER ENTERTAINED
If you’re working from home with one or more toddlers, you could tackle some work while they are still sleeping in the morning or napping during the day. Try to keep them entertained with toys, games, food, and activities whenever they are awake. You can encourage independent play as you work from home, but there will likely come a time when your child wants and needs only you.
Fortunately, now that the holidays are right around the corner, there are so many toddler-friendly activities to keep your little ones busy as you focus on your work during the week. A few of our recommendations include:
Virtual field trips of holiday celebrations and traditions around the world.
Arts and crafts, such as making ing snow angels, snowmen, and DIY snow cones (depending on where you live).
Educational websites. Bitesize, phonics play and top marks are great for young children.
TAKE SOME TIME FOR YOURSELF
As a busy work-from-home parent, you may not have a whole lot of time to devote to self-care, but it’s important to do some things for yourself, even if you only have a few minutes to spare each day.
If you have a partner at home, try dividing your childcare and household responsibilities between you both so you can take a hot bubble bath, enjoy a 30-minute yoga practice, or catch up on some much-needed sleep. Believe it or not, working as a family to keep the household tidy can have profound effects on everyone under your roof.
But even if self-care isn’t possible, make sure all your basic needs are being met by nourishing your body with quick and healthy dinners, sleeping whenever you can, getting dressed each day, and treating yourself to a few new wardrobe-essentials.
Working from home with toddlers and babies is hard, but you can make it work if you take advantage of naps, breastfeeding sessions, entertain toddlers with crafts, and other fun activities.
If you're still struggling, talk to your boss about the possibility of working different hours. Whether it’s early mornings, late nights, or weekends. With a bit of trial and error, you’ll get into the swing of things and find a routine that works for you and your little ones!
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