The opportunity to work from home is an absolute blessing, but it creates a demanding situation that pushes your organizational, timing and parenting skills to the test. The challenge is beyond balancing deadlines and emails with dishes and dinnertime; in our media saturated society, this modern scenario literally we’re drawn to lap tops, tablets and cellphones for work and leisure. This dedication to devices can make you feel a bit guilty for your baby staring at you while you’re two paragraphs deep in an important email.
It’s a part of the everyday in my home: a few peeks away from my screen to make sure my daughter is playing soundly, or to catch her curiosity from getting the best of her, then back to the screen. It can make you feel numb in the situation, but you assure yourself it’s the best for both of you, and for myself, it truly is.
How do I balance not only my time with media, but also hers? Occupying her with a screen while I stare into the abyss of my own seems too disconnected from each other. So I often find myself thinking, how can I get some work done and remain consistently distracted on typing the hours away. Other than making the most of bedtime, there are a few tricks I’ve tried that encourage a silver of sanity during work time.
I recommend setting aside time that’s strictly for baby – whether it’s 9:00am or 4:00pm, ensure there is time dedicated to talking, playing, cuddling and bonding with your child. Time is fleeting. If an email can’t wait for a little bonding time with baby, it’s not worth answering anyway.
Working from home can be a laid-back situation, allowing the productivity to be organized as you please. Setting a schedule for dedicated work time (i.e., during a typical 2:30pm nap) allows for you to take control of your schedule and hold yourself accountable for the daily work load.
A simple yet effective tip is to start a planner! and write on a calendar. And most importantly, keep up with it. Not only does this allow you to optimize free-time, but the feeling of scratching off a goal, appointment or deadline is simply rewarding; don’t keep yourself from experiencing it.
Set aside time for yourself – even if it’s a 30 minute shower or run to a juice bar alone. It’s important to get zen with yourself to maintain patience with others.
When media is a quick solution; go for it (shame-free, of course) opt for educational themes so at the very least they’re exercising their imagination and intellect.
Do you have any tips to balance working from home and taking care of your children? Please share below!