6 Ways to Help Juggle Working from Home While Parenting Little Ones
Parents are finding themselves having to reinvent a new normal for their families. Working from home, learning from home, and many cut off from extended family—we are facing a lot of challenging changes. There is no denying it—COVID-19 has been extra hard on parents.
Everyone is feeling the burden of the pandemic, and working parents know this better than anyone, especially those with restless toddlers and babies. Here are six ways to balance working from home with the needs of your toddler or infant.
Wearing your baby in a wrap or a sling while working at a standing desk is a great way to get two to three hours of uninterrupted work in. Nursing mothers can even offer a quick snack without needing to do more than just a few little adjustments. Slings are an easy way to slide a baby on and off, while wraps create a safe, gentle, warm, and snug environment.
Conference Call Walks
Family walks are known to be a great relaxation and bonding tool, but for work-from-home parents, conference calls can be paired with a stroller walk. Most kids find the comfort of the stroller and the fresh air to be captivating, which leaves you free for calls.
Safety is key, so be sure to check reviews online before buying a new stroller. If you have rocky sidewalks, uneven terrain, or elevation changes, consider a jogging stroller. And if you have smooth sidewalks or just need to take a quick stroll or run to the store, umbrella strollers are lightweight and compact. Also remember to keep weather in mind and bundle up your little ones with a comfy sweater or hoodie from Jamison & Bexley if the weather is poor!
Improving Career Prospects
Ever consider going back to school? This may seem impossible while you’re at home juggling work and parenting, but earning an online degree makes this a realistic option. Online programs offer flexible and affordable options. For example, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, you could give your business acumen a boost through earning a business degree where you’ll learn about marketing, accounting, and management.
When you’re on deadline and you have a fussy toddler in tow, making lunch is tough. To ward off stressful mealtimes, work ahead on the weekends to plan out and cook meals. You can prep snacks and lunches for you and your kiddos in small containers so they’re always at the ready. For kiddos, throw together snack packs with cheese sticks, raw vegetables or fruit, and make ahead PB&J or turkey sandwiches. For yourself, consider hard-boiled eggs, tuna wraps, or avocado toast.
Creating a Routine
As soon as you can, create and stick to a daily routine that balances time to focus on the kids and time to focus on work. If you carve out time to focus entirely on the little ones with quality interactions, you can usually follow it up with solo play during dedicated work time. Once they start to understand that work will happen during certain times of the day but that they will also get your undivided attention at times, their disruptions will be less frequent.
Piquing Curiosity and Keeping Hands Busy
Create activities that pique your child’s curiosity, while also keeping their hands busy. Create little treasure boxes with baggies of interesting things. Make sure the items aren’t choking hazards and place the box in front of your toddler. Get their imagination going by saying they are archeologists searching for treasure. Have them dig through the box, open the baggies, and examine the items. Watch the clock spin as they get lost in these discoveries. For kids that want more of a challenge, turn it into a sorting activity—by amount, color, size, etc. There are thousands of quiet time activities you can explore to keep your kiddo busy while you focus on work.
Working from home while managing a demanding, restless toddler or infant can be a huge strain on both your professional and personal life. These suggestions won’t solve the problem overnight, but they can help you find some balance in your day.
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Written by: Christopher Haymon