It can be said that this year started pretty normally. However, soon the world faced something unimaginable that would soon become a new reality for all of us. What seemed like a local epidemic soon turned into a worldwide fight against coronavirus. As social distance along with masks has become a primary weapon against the virus, the traditional ways of schools and workplaces have faced drastic changes.
Adapting to online classes wasn’t easy for both parents and children, especially not for parents who need to work remotely.
Juggling work and parenthood is always challenging, but with this pandemic, the challenge has become even harder. Finding a balance between doing your job, helping your kid with school, maintaining a somehow normal life routine and, trying to survive a pandemic sound almost impossible. Adjustment can’t happen overnight.
A Good Organization Is a Key
If you are forced to work from home, it’s easy to fall into the temptation of doing a bare minimum. Staying all day in pajamas, eating irregularly, and having no schedule sounds like an easier solution. However, this will not work in the long run. Having a fixed schedule that imitates a normal school day helped many working parents. This way, your kids will have their routine to follow while you are busy with work.
Having a schedule doesn’t only apply to your kids. For each day, make yourself a schedule that includes how long you will work, when the break time is, what you need to accomplish that day, etc. If you are your boss, your schedule can be a little more flexible. If your child needs attention, you can take a small break to spend time with them. Just make sure taking breaks too often doesn’t become a habit that will interfere with your work.
Good Communication with Your Colleagues
Since the pandemic happened unexpectedly, no one was prepared for lockdowns and working from home. Mistakes like kids barging into the meeting, happened regularly, even before the pandemic. This can be easily solved with good communication with your colleagues. It’s not wrong to say to your colleagues that you have kids at home and, that sometimes these incidents can happen. You will see that everyone will understand as many of your colleagues are in the same situation too.
In this situation, an employee app can be of great help. With this app, you can be up to date and stay connected. In one place, you can share or access all pre-planned meetings, shared files, and ideas without using an email. It’s easier to adjust to a new situation with modern apps as an ally.
Don’t Forget to Communicate with Your Children
Kids are very smart, and they will understand the situation if you explain it to them clearly. Talk to them about the importance of your work, and make a deal to be calm during the meeting. If you have older kids, they will be busy with their school responsibilities, so you will have an easier time juggling work and parenting. However, if you have a preschooler and younger kids, instead of communication, use routine to your advantage. Try scheduling an important meeting during a time of your child’s naptime, or use that time to do an important task. If it’s not up to you to decide on the time of the meeting, play a favorite cartoon to keep your child entertained. Also, try having the same routine every day , so you can make your schedule around the kid’s routine.
Get Help from Your Family
If you are in a situation to get help, use it as much as you can. If your spouse is also working remotely, you can alternate shifts. One of you can work in the mornings and the other in the evenings, so your kids will be under constant supervision. Another possibility is to alternate shifts every 4 hours.
If this is not possible in your situation, have your older kids to watch over the younger ones. Also, if you live with parents or relatives, they can watch after kids for a couple of hours.
Make Space in Your Home Just for Work
To successfully juggle work and parenting, you must try to separate these two at home. It might sound impossible as both are happing at the same place, but it’s imperative. Find a comfortable and possibly quiet place. It would be ideal to turn one room into an office. But if you can’t, find a corner of a room or a table to serve as your office. Try to avoid using a couch or a bed as a working place, as these places are associated with relaxing.