Becoming a stay at home mom or dad seems like a great idea. The commute is a simple stroll into your office; you’ll be able to be on hand should your kids need anything, and you’ll save a bundle on daycare. After the first few screaming fits that only happen during conference calls, that commute might start to sound like a dream vacation. If you’ve decided to work from home but are worried about how to handle it with kids, here are 3 great tips to achieve a good work/life balance.
If the kids are old enough, talk about what you expect from them in advance
This is more than just a simple, “I may be here, but I’m very busy and need to keep my attention on work,” talk. It’s helpful to explain to your kids what specifically you want. Go over common situations such as, “If you come into the office and I’m on the phone, do you scream at the top of your lungs that you need a Popsicle? Or do you wait until I am off the phone?”
Going over the most common scenarios will help you get the response you need from your child, and also help your child understand how to behave when they find you in these situations.
Is your child too young for that talk? Use the “Nap Time” list
Truth be told, nap time is as much for the parents as it is for the kids. While you may find handling work time almost impossible for a rampaging toddler or a fussy newborn, you can still get plenty of work done during nap time if you plan for it.
Create a list of things you need to get done during that distraction free time, and start working on it as soon as your youngsters are down. It may surprise you just how much you can get done in an hour or two of focused work.
Don’t need to communicate with the team? Go nights.
Night time is often the most peaceful time to get work done. If you don’t need to call your coworkers or clients, and just need to get work done, night time is perfect for it. Not only are the kids safe in bed and not likely to come flying in every three seconds to ask you to wash their favorite shirt or examine a non-existent cut, you’ll also benefit from the silence created by pets and co-parents asleep as well.
Some kids are good at respecting your work time. Some kids aren’t so good at it. If your kids are a little needier than most, it helps to have a game plan in place to assist you. These options include asking a friend or family member to help watch the kids when you have an important deadline to make, to setting aside an irresistible distraction for your kid specifically for those times. Whatever works for you, it is good to have a safety net if you need a distraction-free moment, and your kids are reluctant to give it to you.
Working from home can be tricky if you have kids, but it doesn’t have to be difficult if you use a few smart tricks to help you get things done. Working from home has a range of benefits, such as being more available for your children and cutting down on costs. If you can handle the challenges, it offers a great deal of opportunity for your work, your children, and you.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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