Since the pandemic hit, more and more people have embraced the working from home lifestyle. In many cases, schools are closed or operating from home too. Whatever the reason, you may at some point be faced with sharing your workspace with a few rambunctious kids. And while nobody would call it easy, there are ways to make the situation more bearable and even (dare we say it?) fulfilling.
- Make your own workspace
If you have an extra room, make that your office space. Kids have to knock if they want to come in. Put up a Do Not Disturb sign (it could just be a red ribbon!) for when you have meetings or important tasks, and make clear that when the sign is up, they can only disturb you for emergencies. Even if you don’t have a separate room, create a designated workspace in the sitting room or your bedroom where you can’t see the parent-related tasks you have to do, so that you can focus on work.
- Allot your time wisely
If you have a small space and / or noisy kids, it might be best for you to do as much work as possible while they are asleep. If you are an early bird, let the kids sleep in and do as much as you can before they wake up. If they can’t sleep past 7 am, maybe you’d rather get them in bed early and do your most focus-intensive work in the evening instead of having fun with free entertainment. If your children take daytime naps, that’s the perfect time to get some focused work done.
- Have a routine
Kids may think they want to have absolute freedom, but in fact they thrive on routine. Lay out your daily schedule in advance or write down the day’s timetable each morning on a mini blackboard. Have regular mealtimes, allocate a certain amount of time for homework, exercise, playtime, chores, and whatever else you want. This will help keep you sane and will also give the children a sense of order, knowing what the future holds, and familiarity.
- Don’t skimp on quality time
Kids want to spend time with their parents, and a little quality time can go a long way. If you set aside some family time before starting work, children will be less likely to whine and interrupt in the few hours following. Why not kill two birds with one stone and do something active in your quality time? Play some soccer in the garden, put some music on and jive, or do a kids’ exercise routine on YouTube. Both adults and children need daily exercise, and it has the added benefit of ridding the little ones of excess energy to keep them from bouncing off the walls.
- Be kind to yourself
Working and looking after kids is stressful at the best of times. When you have to do both all day in the same space, it’s understandable if you want to scream every now and again. Don’t beat yourself up if your routine falls through, or if the kids spend too much time in front of the TV occasionally. Accept it, move on, have some fun at online Bingo sites and try again tomorrow. Who knows, you might even miss having the critters around all day when school starts again.