I’ve was working from home for almost 4 years before my son was born. He was with me a lot until he started to crawl then we found part-time daycare, mostly because I felt like I was ignoring him and felt bad. As I write this post is now 20 years old!
As the kids got to be school age that made a new schedule to adjust too when school was out or on vacation. And not to mention sick days!
I need to find a balance of work and being a mom. I found a few ways to interact while being productive at my work. It’s not a great job if you work every time they napped, before they woke and after they went down for the day. I know.
I tried that all too! It leads to my cup not being full – and mom can’t pour from an empty cup!
Trial and error lead me to a few tried and true ways for a more balanced home.
One thing to keep in mind if you have school-age kids home now. They are run on a tight ship at school. They sometimes find it odd when they have so much freedom. So be gentle and take some extra time to get them going.
Finding things to do that are not watching tv or on screens.
- Many virtual tours are fun experiences and not so much like watching TV. https://bit.ly/3aXzaBn
- Workstation for kids, only to use this while you work. Make it special, fun, and not very often so they are entertained by it when they do get a chance.
- Get an end roll of paper from your local newspaper for activities.
- Work-out videos (Wii games were great!) – you can even do this with them or use it in place of gym time.
- Have a system for when you are on the phone or need to work without interruption. We had a hand gesture that meant, I’ll come and find you as soon as I’m done.
- Make a schedule, and be sure mom/dad are present for fun and not just parenting schedule tasks. I use my planner to map out my to-do list and give them ideas for my day. I would often say, “when my work list is done we’ll go rollerblading.” So they were inclined to leave me alone so we could go play sooner.
- Costume play. This is very entertaining for the kids. Prepare yourself for lots of laughter after you drag out the tote with Halloween type costumes.
- Scavenger Hunts: fun things, outside items, chores, exercise tasks or all of these ideas. Order fun sticker books off Amazon for rewards (and new things for kids to do).
- Have quiet hour: fun snack, new books (kindle/library = free), screen time
Give it time.
It wasn’t always perfect. But being open with them on what I needed to do today helped. So many times they played great together. But I had to coach them to this. Some days it was beyond what my heart could handle (both good and bad). Here the little stinkers were playing ninja and decided it was time to steal my computer so we could all go play…. be still my heart as they will be 17 & 19 next month!
This is a trying time for so many and I hope these tips bring some parents a sense of normalcy during this time. Stay safe!