WORKING FROM HOME: 5 STEPS TO JUGGLE CHILDCARE AND WORK IN YOUR NEW NORMAL
In recent months the lives parents have changed radically and a magic word has come into our daily lives: smart-working. The line of time and space that divided work from family life has thinned out to the point that our homes are now the place where we answer e-mails or call the boss while coping with quarrels between siblings or tantrums. So how do we juggle it all without forgetting anything or getting into difficulty? These five steps will make a big difference to your day!
1. Build a new routine
Children keep to the routine they are used to and that suits you. For example, some kids know that in the morning they go to their grandparents because Mom and Dad go to work or that if their parents are at home it means they can spend time together or that there is time for a cuddle before going to bed. With the lockdown, our routine has been turned upside down, above all for children; and to balance work and family time, we need to have a new routine, starting from breakfast, that we can perhaps have together. It is important for your kids to know that there are times when parents work and there are times when parents can play with them, even when they are home all day.
2. Create a schedule
To build a new routine, you need to create schedules. That way, your kids will know when Mummy is going to be working, when she finishes or has a break to take a look at that lovely drawing they have done for her. That way they will get used to their new routine.
3. Create a designated workstation that works for you and your kids
The most difficult part of the whole Smart Working process is keeping everything under control. You need to be productive while knowing that your kids are happy and not getting into mischief. That is why you need to set up a designated workstation for you and one for your kids, even next to each other, to keep everything under control more easily. Your kids can play at pretending they are working, just like Mummy or Daddy.
4. Explain to them what working means
Even if your children are very small, you can make a game out of explaining to your kids what it means to work, and what it requires. With things you have at home and a little imagination you can create tailor-made activities or keep them busy with games for as long you need to. Kids have so much imagination and may even get passionate about the work you do, and try imitate you. A beautiful drawing of you and your child side by side could be a sign that you are balancing things perfectly.
5. Learning to help out
Of course that doesn’t mean that only Mom has to learn to cope; Dad and older siblings will be helping out too. If both parents are working from home discuss your workload to create a routine, letting one parent work freely in morning and the other in the afternoon. If only Mom is working from home and there are two children, you can explain to one or the other what you are doing and ask him or her to help.
Keep calm! It may seem to be impossible right now and it may even take a little time but your new routine will soon let you balance work and family life with no problem at all.