The pandemic has changed work life for many of us. This is the first time many are working in pajamas from home. Most of us were unprepared for the changes that working from home entailed. Working parents especially have it more challenging in the pandemic. At a time when they need to support the emotional needs of their children, they also need to balance a hectic workday from home.
This is a sponsored post, but all opinions expressed are my own.
How then can we work from home and balance all of these responsibilities as a parent?
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER AS YOU START WORK FROM HOME
Working in pajamas is made to sound like a romantic version of work-life. People imagine sitting on a beach somewhere with a laptop. Reality does not look like that, especially for working parents.
It would help if you considered the following:
If you are working for an employer, discuss your schedule before you start work from home. Can you get a flexible schedule? Or do you need to be at your laptop for a big block of time?
Setting the right expectations with your employer can help you have a stress-free work life with children around. With little to no child support working parents have it harder during this Pandemic. Speak with your employer about flexible schedules and work out a plan with your partner on how both of you can manage this new routine.
Most probably, you may need to tag in and out with your partner as you navigate the workday from home.
In case you are a work from home mother who runs her own business or blog, you may find these productivity tips useful.
Good internet connection
Your work depends on your internet connection. It is essential to have a reliable and high-speed internet connection. Contact your local Internet Service Providers to get a good plan before you start working from home. Discuss all the options available, get reviews if possible, and then make a choice.
A work in pajamas lifestyle does not mean you wear frumpy home clothes. Our clothes also add to our mind space as we work. If you aren’t in a front-facing job that involves work meetings on Zoom, you can choose comfy yet stylish satin pajamas or loungewear like kaftans. These options are comfortable and ideal when working from home as a mother. Here is where you can find stylish pajamas online.
Have a dedicated workspace for you to work in peace. Your workspace brings you a sense of calm during the hectic day. You don’t want to be juggling with new challenges that come up because you don’t have a work station of your own.
Children also understand space and limit better when they associate your workspace with you working. They are more likely to wait before interrupting your work because they know, “mommy is at work”.
Plan to keep kids busy
Plan the night before how you will keep your child busy in different activities in your work time slots. I write out a plan for our son to see on his easel board. Even though he cannot read as yet, he knows this is his daily schedule and asks for what’s next on the list and happily gets to work on his tasks for the day.
I add a mix of activities that require minimal parental guidance. Activities like colouring, activity sheets, play-doh, puzzles, blocks and magnetic tiles are what you will find our son playing with as I work.
If you have not yet started work on encouraging independent play, start now, the earlier, the better. Young children do not need many structured activities, and in fact, they do well playing by themselves in pretend games. This type of free play boosts their creativity and language skills.
Buy age-appropriate open-ended toys and give your child the chance to be in charge of his play. This independence will help you as a working parent.
Meal plan on weekends
Plan your meals for the week. Prepare big batches of food or prep vegetables that help you build quick lunches in the workweek. Grain bowls, burritos, loaded potatoes with toppings are all examples of quick to prepare meals that can help you on weekdays. Another idea is to cook a large batch of food each night for dinner and use leftovers for lunch. Whatever you choose to do, have a plan for what you will be doing for meals and snacks so that you stay focused on work and don’t end up spending too much time in the kitchen in the middle of a workday.
It’s okay to give a little screen time to kids.
While we all know screen time kept to a minimum, especially for younger children is better for their overall development. In times like these, many of these screen time guidelines may not work for many families.
In nuclear families with young children and both remote working parents, there may be a time of the day when both parents need to work on something urgent or attend meetings.
These require zero interruptions, and strategic screen time can help in such situations. Do what feels right to you, and don’t go on a guilt trip for starting on habits you didn’t prescribe to before.
Monitor and select the content and set a healthy routine around screen time and then get to work.
Once you have more support in the form of child care or schools re-opening etc. you can bring back older routines with none or minimal screen time.
Schedule 20-30 minutes a day of downtime. A scheduled break can include anything that helps you relax, time to pray or write in your journal or listen to music. Whatever works for you, but allow yourself this short amount of time to de-stress from the day.
Make sure to communicate your needs with your employer.
If you feel isolated as a remote worker and miss the face to face interactions you had with your colleagues ask for a once a week meeting with a colleague or work mentor. Be open about your needs; these types of conversations help employers make better decisions for everyone. You never know how you are voicing your needs can help others around you too.
How has life been for you working from home in this Pandemic? What are some of the challenges you face as a working parent with little/no support? How has family life changed for you?
Let’s discuss below in the comments; I would love to hear. I genuinely feel parents are having a more challenging time, especially since we not only need to accommodate our work life but balance and accommodate our children’s well-being as we work.