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I have always believed one can only share their experiences as tips, hoping it would help someone – so here are mine.
If work-life balance means missing on some small family things while I juggle work and other home chores, then yes, that is something I have been doing for a while now. We all have either skipped a meal, slept less or missed out on something that our little ones did while we tried to cook, clean, wash and even complete guidelines.
If I had to say it’s chaotic at times, it would indeed be an understatement. Especially now with all of us being confined to our homes and being asked to social distance from strangers, it seems harder. We all are trying to be sane versions of ourselves while we try to work and meet the increased demands of food and supply.
I have been a working parent and a stay at home parent both, at different times, and I know the struggle for both of them. I am currently a freelancer and believe me these quarantined times are tough for everyone else. I definitely understand the hustle of working parents because this time is not just they working from home, instead they are working and being care givers at the same time.
I have always believed one can only share their experiences as tips, hoping it would help someone. So here are a few tips that may make working from home a little easy.
“You need to understand that you cannot excel at everything and shouldn’t let the guilt of a small slip-up here and there eat you up.”
I’m sure with years of work experience as either a parent or a working parent, we all know how to be on top of our schedules for the most time. These times are indeed different considering everyone’s schedule may cross paths with yours.
I think my best bet has been to stick to my children’s original schedule before the lockdown, allowing some buffer time here and there. You will definitely need to start your day early to prep for home chores before you begin official work. You need to understand that you cannot excel at everything and shouldn’t let the guilt of a small slip up here and there eat you up.
Discuss at length your working schedule with your employer and family, so you can plan things easily. I am sure some changes to the flex work schedule will be allowed in these times. Also if both partners are working, you need to discuss and plan around each other’s schedule too.
“You could also have a dress code for work and let your kids know that mommy/daddy are working and shouldn’t be disturbed.”
While we all love lounging in pajamas and using the sofa as work station, it’s best to keep a separate work corner, for kids will consider you lounging on the sofa as relaxation time.
Keep your work space separate. You could use some fun “do not disturb” signs whilst you are cracking those codes and attending conferences. Also it’s advisable to use the “mute” button when you are on a phone call so that you don’t have other people hear the wails and screams of your toddler. You could also have a dress code for work and let your kids know that mommy/daddy are working and shouldn’t be disturbed.
If you want you can set up your work corner at a place from where keeping a watch on kids could be easy.
You could set up some fun signs to be put around your child’s play area, and encourage them to use these signs when he/ she doesn’t want to be disturbed.
This may require some strategy and time, however if you are able to create a separate play corner for kids while you work, it would be helpful.
You could set up some fun signs to be put around your child’s play area, and encourage them to use these signs when he/ she doesn’t want to be disturbed. You could even arrange for special movie screenings or keep some games aside when you want some uninterrupted time at work. There are chances when you may need to resort to screen time during this pandemic, which should be allowed for now.
“Plan your weekly meals over the weekend to make your work easier.”
Even though we are working from home and are locked down in our houses, we still have home chores to take care of. We all need to be fed and may be more times than usual.
Prepping for food in advance may make cooking less time consuming. You can cut veggies and store them in air tight boxes. You can get kids and family to help you to wash and cut veggies. You can roll out chapattis and freeze them for later. You can make masalas and purees that can be used in most of food preps.
Plan your weekly meals over the weekend to make your work easier. You can even par boil rice and cool it and keep it in fridge. It can be used for any rice preparations. Opt for one pot meals. Make and freeze cookie dough to help you make cookies when kids demand it. A baked cake stays good in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
“If it’s just you and your spouse, you need to be each other’s rock in these times. Divide and alternate chores between yourselves to make working easier for the both of you.”
As much as you would like to seek help from someone outside the house in these times, you cannot. Hence you and your family needs to come together to take care of the kids. If it’s just you and your spouse, you need to be each other’s rock in these times. Divide and alternate chores between yourselves to make working easier for the both of you.
You can enroll your kids for online classes which will keep them busy while you work. You can prepare for some sorting and coloring activities beforehand that will keep the kids busy. Setting up small obstacle courses can be fun for kids too.
You need to spend some special times with kids before you start work which will make them happy and keep them like that for a good amount of time while you work. Look for apps that can help you organize and plan your day better.
If you have little kids at home, you need to communicate that to your employer. Let you colleagues and bosses know that there are chances a meeting could be crashed by a toddler.
“Reward them for the work you assigned.”
If you have more than one kids, try instilling some responsibility in the elder kid. Make him in charge of the house while you are working.
Reward them for the work you assigned. Encourage your kids to share their toys and play together. Ensure both you and your partner take breaks and communicate with each other. Check on each other and the kids too. Try and squeeze in some time for yourself too so that you can give your mind a healthy break too.
It is all very challenging but remember, this too shall pass and begin everyday again.
Image source: shutterstock
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