Every working mom and dad knows the challenges of managing work and kids together and the best part is that a majority of us do pretty well. But the sudden outbreak of coronavirus has made us question our capabilities as we struggle to align the work-at-home culture with unexpected school breaks. So the concern that almost every parent shares today relates to managing work and kids together as we get quarantined for at least a few weeks or even months ahead.
Here are some suggestions I have for work-at-home parents with kids of all ages.
Create and maintain schedules- It will keep you productive and sane and the kids will feel comfortable and normal as well.
Build a strategy with your partner- Don’t expect to handle the crisis by yourself, rather create a strategy with your partner. Consider working in shifts so that you can balance things as a team.
Communicate- You may be super-busy while working remotely but don’t miss out on communication with the children. Let them know you are always there for them, even when working on your full-time job.
Keep the kiddos engaged– Art and craft makes an ideal pastime for the younger ones, while you can find some good apps and games for the older children. Still, keep a check on their screen time.
Delegate- You can delegate the household chores to keep the kids busy and reduce your workload. Rewarding them for helping is a good way to keep them positive and motivated.
Find activities you can do together- Fun family activities like indoor games, preparing dinner together and yoga sessions every evening make a good idea.
Set boundaries- Set clear boundaries for your children and let them know you will be working from home just like you did from the office.
Try to have a separate work area- It would be great if you can allocate a work area away from where the kids spend most of their time. Ask them to stay out when you have a virtual meeting or conference call.
Take breaks and pamper yourself- Be sure to get breaks and spend time pampering yourself because you will need to recharge once in a while
Take one day as it comes- You will not feel stressed about the future as it is hard to predict how long it will last.
Most importantly, my advice is to be flexible and realize that you cannot be perfect in such an imperfect situation!