How to juggle working from home and parenting

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We find ourselves in a unique time where we are working from home and trying to juggle parenting as well.

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These tough times that we are living in have an impact on all our lives. One of the most significant changes was having to work from home. Typically, you could say it was anyone’s dream to have a work-from-home job. But not in the current circumstances. Many parents find themselves having to learn how to juggle working from home and parenting.

It’s not easy to have a job and take care of kids at the same time. Now, when having to do both in the same place, things can get a bit complicated. Working in an in-home office and keeping the little ones entertained can become tiring and frustrating. But it’s not impossible. We have some ideas on how to help you cope with this situation.

Organizing your home office

Most of us have a small working space in our homes, and the moving crew from has seen many people struggle to find the right spot to set up their offices. Sure, we never thought it would become our office one day, but it did. Being the place where you will spend half of your day, you should try to make it as cozy as possible.

Analyze the placement of your work desk. Having to work in the bedroom, for example, is not a good idea. Bedrooms should only be used for relaxation and sleeping. Try to pick a bigger room for your desk and avoid cramped corners. If you can, position it by the window. You need fresh air and plenty of light when you work. Maintain your workspace as clean as possible. Keep only what you need for work in that space, but make it look pleasant. Add some pictures or artwork to the wall or put a plant near you. Don’t forget that you are at home, and comfort should come first.

Desk and computer used for working from home.

Trying to balance work and parenthood

Having to work at home with kids roaming around is no easy task. Trying to be productive but also spending quality time with your children sometimes seems hard to achieve. It might be hard for kids to understand that you have other obligations during the day. They only see you as their parent, and they want all your time and attention.

But don’t worry. You can learn how to juggle working from home and parenting and make the best out of both. Following some steps in your day-to-day activities can help lower your stress level. Here are some tips on how you can organize and get things done:

  • Make a daily plan.
  • Keep your kids occupied.
  • Separate work from your personal life.
  • Ask for help if needed.

How to organize your day

All tasks have a better chance of success if they are well organized. Making a schedule for each day can help you get things done easily. Try to plan all the important moments of the day, and you should schedule mealtimes, breaks, and bedtime. Go over the timetable with your kids a day before or during breakfast. Keeping your family organized will have its benefits in the long term.

Having activities planned for the day ahead will help you organize your work as well. If you know that lunchtime is at 1 p.m., you will know not to schedule a meeting at that time. Also, planning your kids’ naps will give you a bit of precious time to get some work done.

A notebook for making schedules.

Finding activities for your kids

Keeping kids occupied all the time requires a bit of ingenuity. You can have repetitive activities for them and new ones as well. Make everything sound interesting so that you raise their interest. For example, schedule a special movie watching time so that they have something to look forward to. Choose the timing so that it synchronizes with your busiest moments of the day.

Improvise a work desk for your kids. Have them do some projects while you work. That will give the impression that they are also doing something meaningful while their parents are working.

You can also engage them in tasks that have to be done around the house. For instance, get kids to help you with cleaning. You get a cleaner house, and the children are occupied for a while. If the weather is nice, find outdoor activities. Organize outside playdates. If kids have friends to play with, they will want to spend more time outside. On the other hand, some “screen time” can also be productive. They can watch educational channels, documentaries, or programs for learning.

A child engaged in drawing activities.

Keeping your life and your work separated

It’s not easy; we all know that. If it is only for a short period, it can be managed. But doing it for weeks or months requires time to adapt. You can learn how to juggle working from home and parenting one step at a time. With a bit of patience, you can achieve anything.

Even if you plan your day and manage to distract the kids, always expect the unexpected. Having interruptions during work can happen when your office is at home. Be as prepared as you can be for such moments, and try to prevent them from happening. Explain to your children what work time means and that you can be interrupted only in case of emergencies. If you have a door to the room you work in, put a “do not disturb” sign on it. Mute your call and try to reschedule it if a child decides to pop in unexpectedly. Use clothing or accessories when you are working. If kids see you in pajamas all the time, they won’t know the difference.

Woman working while parenting.

Ask for help when things get rough

Whether it’s your partner, your parents, or a friend, don’t hesitate to ask for help if you feel overwhelmed. If your partner is also working from home, try to share your chores. Take turns looking after the children and preparing meals. Give one another the time you need to get your work done.

Hired help can also be a good solution. Having a babysitter in the house can give you a couple of quiet working hours.

Things to do after finishing work

At the end of your workday, start preparing for the next one. Clean and declutter your home office to create more space for work if you need to. Keeping things tidy will help you save time in the long run. Prepare the schedule for the days to come and try to spend some quality time with your loved ones. Prepare and eat dinner with your kids, watch a movie or go out for a walk. Make the most of the time you have to spend together.

You are as important as your children or your job

When trying to juggle working from home and parenting, don’t forget about your alone time. Try to take 5 to 10-minute breaks each day. From your work and your children as well. Don’t be too harsh on yourself for doing so. Being an exemplary parent and a perfect employee is not easy. Try to cut yourself some slack.