Although I am not working in any organization on a full-time job, I still can understand how challenging it is to work from home when you have toddlers or young kids at home. Since I am freelancing and have to work 4 to 5 hours daily, I, myself find it difficult to work when Hitarth is around. But somehow, I manage to do it & I believe, it is possible to find solutions to any such task, even when it involves the kids.
Ways to Manage Toddlers While Working from Home
One of the easiest ways to reduce distractions is to designate a separate space from your child’s play area where you can set up your workplace; however, this is not always possible, right? So, here’s a guide for parents who work from home and have young children at home. This article is based on some research & my own experiences.
Make A Schedule or Set A Routine
Make a timetable for your work and your child’s activities, such as playtime, meals, and nap time. This will assist you in staying organized and managing your time more successfully. At the same time, this will assist them in understanding what to expect during the day and allow them to focus on your task. If in case you have an important call scheduled, try to arrange for someone to watch your toddler or plan activities to keep them occupied during the call.
If possible, take the call in a room where your toddler can’t overhear you or interrupt. In case of emergency calls, have activities or toys ready for your toddler to keep them occupied while you’re on it. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and your toddler may need your attention during the call. In that case, be prepared to reschedule the call if necessary and try to stay calm and handle the situation patiently.
Set Up A Designated Workspace
Setting up a designated workspace can help create a more productive environment for both you and your child. Make sure you have a dedicated space in your house to work and keep your work supplies. If possible, choose a room that is separate from your child’s play area and has a door that can be closed for privacy. As a result, your kid will better understand why they aren’t allowed to visit that room while you’re at work. Also, you can keep some of the toddler’s toys, books, and other activities in your workspace so they can play while you work in case of an emergency.
Involve Your Toddler in Your Work
Involving your toddler in your work can be a great way to spend quality time together while also teaching them important skills. Let your toddler watch you work and explain to them what you’re doing. This can help them understand the importance of work and its role in providing for the family.
Give your toddler simple tasks related to your work that they can do, such as sorting papers, delivering messages, or helping to organize your workspace. You can give them materials, such as paper, markers, and crayons, to create their own “work.” This can encourage their creativity and imagination.
It is essential that when you are working, you make sure that your child is aware of the rules and the boundaries that apply to them. For instance, you may use visual cues to let him know that you are preoccupied with something else, such as a sign that says “working” or ”silence” that you can show him when you are on a conference call or in an important meeting to let him know that you are engaged in something else.
Establish clear boundaries between the time you spend working and the time your child spends playing so that there is no confusion between the two. This may involve setting up a certain area of your home for your small kid to play in or allocating a specific amount of time during the day when you won’t be available to engage in playful activities with your toddler.
Make sure to take regular breaks to play and interact with your toddler throughout the day. This will help you stay refreshed and energized and also strengthen your bond with your child. It’s also important to schedule regular breaks throughout the day to spend time with your child and give them your attention. This can be used to play, read, or have a snack together.
Taking care of yourself is crucial, especially when working with a toddler from home. Taking regular breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge could be a great opportunity to spend time with your toddler. You can incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. This can help you stay energized and reduce stress. Setting aside time each day to do something you enjoy, such as reading, meditating, or taking a relaxing bath, is good.
You may also ask your family, friends, or a caretaker to help you out with your child during the day so that you can take a break or get some help with them. If you are a parent, you have the choice to go with this particular alternative. It is crucial to schedule time for yourself to prevent yourself from becoming overworked. If both parents are working from homes, you can take turns easily.
Be prepared to adjust your schedule and expectations as needed. Remember that working with a toddler at home can be challenging, and be flexible with yourself and your child. Flexibility can help you navigate the ups and downs of this unique situation. Create a schedule that allows flexibility and adapts to your toddler’s needs. For example, you can schedule your most important tasks during your toddler’s nap time or when they are occupied with a different activity.
You can use technology like making a video call to talk to your child’s grandparents, relatives or friends. This will keep your child entertained and engaged while you are working. When I need to work without interruptions, I play the TV on with some Youtube educational channels and keep him engaged there. There are many educational/story-reading apps you can download which are available for toddlers that can help them learn basic skills such as counting, colours, and shapes. Not to mention that it’s important to supervise your toddler’s phone usage and to set limits on their screen time. And I know you would do that for sure!
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
You can’t expect to work at the same level of productivity as you would in a work environment without interruptions. Be realistic about what you can accomplish, and don’t be hard on yourself for not being able to achieve as much as you would like. Lastly, try to be flexible and realistic about your work goals and adjust your expectations as needed. Working for long, uninterrupted periods of time with a toddler at home may not be possible, so it’s important to be flexible and adjust your goals accordingly.
Remember that your toddler is still learning and developing. Be patient with them and try to understand their perspective. Remember, working from home with a toddler is not easy; you might need to give yourself grace and patience and try to be present with your child when you can.
Working from home with a toddler can be challenging, but following the tips mentioned above can make it a more manageable and enjoyable experience for you and your child. Remember to be flexible and take each day as it comes. It’s also important to recognize that it’s okay to ask for help if you need it and to make time for self-care; it will help to reduce stress and make the situation more manageable.