Since I'm now getting ready to balance both a newborn and a toddler, I thought it was a good time to go back and reflect on what I wrote in April of 2020. I hope this helps you too!
Balancing meetings and changing diapers is no simple task. Like many others, I’ve found myself working from home and taking care of my son at the same time. After hearing many other people’s stories during the Coronavirus pandemic, I know that I am very fortunate and privileged. How lucky am I that my husband and I still have our jobs? And that my now two year old son is safe at home? And all three of us get to spend much more time together under one roof. That being said, it doesn’t mean working and “mom-ing” at the same time is easy. As I’ve been navigating this new “normal,” I’ve come across a few tips and tricks that have helped me and my family during these uncertain times…maybe they will help you too.
1. Family Huddle – Communicate with your family. Each night, my husband and I have a quick meeting. We briefly plan for the next day. We let each other know when our important Zoom calls are so that the other can take care of our son during that time. These family meetings help us stay on the same page.
2. Set a Schedule – Set a schedule for yourself and your child. We have multiple schedules over here. We try to have my son follow a similar schedule to his daycare. We also schedule out who is watching our son and when. It helps us stay on track and in a somewhat normal routine. Here’s an example of some of my family’s schedules. Although we try to stick to our schedules, we also know it’s important to also be flexible.
3. Prioritize – Try to schedule meetings or accomplish difficult tasks when you know your child will be occupied. I know this is easier said than done! For me… my golden hour is usually around 1:00 pm (when my son takes his nap). During this quiet time, my husband and I are both able to get important work tasks done.
4. Create a Work Space – Find a space that is devoted to work. I use a desk in our finished basement when I’m working. Usually my husband and I take turns watching our son upstairs, while one of us works downstairs. My two year old knows when one of us heads downstairs, we are working. This designated "somewhat more quiet" space downstairs helps me stay focused.
5. Unplug – When you’re done with your work, try to unplug. When I’m done working, I turn off my computer and go on a quick walk around the block (my commute). (I still do this every day now at 9 months pregnant) This signals that I’m done for the day and it helps me transition into paying more attention to my family.
6. Don’t Be Hard On Yourself – I know I tend to be my worst critic. It’s important to remember that you are doing multiple things at once. I often have to remind myself that these are unique times. It’s okay if things don’t go according to plan. If my son is watching more Paw Patrol than normal - that’s OK! If I don’t answer an email as quick as I used to - that’s OK too. Give yourself some grace.
We're all still navigating this new way of life… I'm balancing meetings and diapers. Some days go smooth and I get to experience little joys with my family that I wouldn’t have had otherwise (like watching my son giggle as we made Jell-O during lunch time). Other days everything seems to be falling apart and it seems so hard to juggle everything. But that’s OK! This is a different time. This is still new and we are all still learning different tips and tricks to live a better life. One thing is for sure… We are all in this together and we will get through it!
Do you have any tips or tricks for working from home with kids? I’d really love to hear them!
Share them with us! (I’ll use any tips I can get!)
*Updated from April 2020
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