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Working from home full-time while managing toddlers isn’t easy. But here are 8 steps that helped me be a better mommy while working!
During the covid-19 crisis, I’m sure a lot of you must have felt incompetent, overwhelmed and even like a failure while trying to balance everything. I am sure you felt like you were losing your sanity while playing the different roles you do at work in addition to being a loving and caring mother.
So when I started to feel extremely incompetent and found ‘work from home’ while managing my kids not working for me, here’s what I did.
Applying the following strategies helped me change my perspective and gave me some visible results. And I am happy to share all of these with all the moms who are working full time from home.
Though the coronavirus pandemic has turned our lives and the world upside down, it has given us a number of opportunities. It gave us the chance to explore and understand our family and relationships in a whole new way.
Be thankful for that and use it as best as you can for this time with your kids will not come back when the world goes back to its mad rush.
So, make a list of all the things you are grateful for and give yourself that emotional lift.
Routines always offer a way to promote wellness and health through structure and organisation. They make not only us but children too feel safe, comfortable and secured by predicting what to expect next.
Establish a routine keeping in mind your working hours, and the age group and needs of your kids.
Designate a separate “office” hours for yourself during the day. Work smarter not harder. And this needs careful planning of the most important tasks either before starting your day or planning in advance a night before.
Do not linger on with the office work beyond the time you’ve set aside for the same. And when it is Mommy time, make sure that just you and the kids.
Do not mix it up with other household tasks like managing groceries or ordering veggies. All this needs to have a separate allocation in your daily/ weekly schedule.
Allocate a separate area for your work in your home. Even if a proper office-like workstation is not available, a dining table, an ironing slab or even a corner at the bedside can be constructively be utilised as one.
This helps you focus on the important tasks and even make the kids aware that Mommy need not be disturbed now. While this may need some time and other strategies to explain to your toddlers and adopt it, it is still doable.
You may have a special dress-code/ wear a simple tiara or keep a signboard when you need to not be disturbed. Take short breaks to take a deep breath, stretch and check on your kids every 45-60 mins.
When you take a break and leave your work station, you are not only physically but also mentally away from a particular task. This helps energise you and concentrate better.
Develop and set-up independent activities to keep your kids constructively occupied. This could include colouring for toddlers, making blocks, painting, using chalk and duster to show their creativity, and much more.
Introduce your child to the world of books. Reading holds immense benefits that can last a lifetime. What can be a safer and more creative way of keeping your little one occupied while you manage your office projects and meetings!
For children, the definition of love is the time spent with them. Attempt to achieve quality over quantity. Keep your phone, laptop, files away when you give them the most precious time of the day of you being with them.
Use this time to crack jokes, do funny dances, make weird sounds and gestures, sing aloud, play with their dolls, cars, and guns. Let them know that these little angels are the most prized possessions that you have!
Also, give your kids a bit of this quality time before they start their day. If you show interest in what they are doing, they will give you more time to catch up on those mails by staying engrossed in those activities.
Despite your intelligent planning and multi-tasking, there will be days when you will just not be able to get the desired output. Be prepared for such unavoidable situations.
Your priority needs to be your sick, crying, needing to be comforted kid if the situation demands so. So take your boss and colleagues into confidence, and just fulfil your parental role.
Look for options of safe, reliable and supportive adults that can help you for sometime of the day by keeping your kids occupied and involved.
It could be anyone – the other parent, a compassionate grandparent with their stories and wisdom, a paid helper or even the older sibling. (though a lot of sibling bonding needs to be developed to be able to utilise this as a resource and not as a cause of a bigger problem.)
The early bird catches the worm and this absolutely works with me. Most of my challenging tasks – planning lessons, preparing breakfast and lunch and getting ready (yes, it’s a challenge when you have a toddler who needs constant attention and supervision) are done even before my kids are up.
You may capitalise upon the nap-time/quiet time activity time (which is religiously followed at my home) to catch-up on the important tasks if your kids are early risers.
So these are some of the ways that help me to navigate life at the intersection of working at home and Mom-ing. What are yours? Do share in the comments below.
Picture credits: DragonImages via Canva Pro
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Professionally, I am an elementary school teacher working in a reputed school of Delhi. A
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