Just like that, we began to work from home and home school all at the same time. This global Covid-19 pandemic is scary and stressful and we are all trying to find our way. For many, we are just trying to figure out how we are going to work from home with toddlers. Those of us fortunate to still work are busy with their work schedule as well as their kid’s school schedule. Moms are taking on three jobs all at once; employee, teacher, and mom. Tips on working from home with toddlers is very needed now.
You can find schedules online to help you create a routine for your kids but it is still not easy. Through the family network at my company, I’ve received links for different learning sites and printouts for kids. These are very helpful but finding the time to organize it all is the issue. I am also using a few online learning apps with Chloe. You can find a full list of online resources on my blog post here. I am really trying to create a schedule for my girls and be available for work at the same time. Chloe and Celine are young, 3 years and 17 months respectively, so it is hard to get them to sit still and work on one project for long periods of time. Celine wants to sit in my work chair with me and Chloe wants me to play with her. There are times when my attention has to be split between a work call and my girls.
Many people are against screen time but this working Mama has to do what she has to do. When I need to get on a conference call without interruption, there will be screen time. They watched Aladdin more in the first week of me working from home than basically ever! Secretly, I put it on so I can hear it in the background too! I do step away at times and go over the alphabet or numbers with Chloe. In addition, I am also using this time to teach Chloe to make her bed in the morning, properly wash her hands and how to help clean up. She is very enthusiastic about all of them surprisingly. She’s watching and helping me cook and we are really getting so much time together and I am loving it.
Before this global pandemic, I barely got to see my girls during the week. Ricardo would get home with them by 8pm and Chloe was usually already asleep. I am soaking up this time with them and enjoying every minute with them. Don’t get me wrong, it is difficult at times. When everyone at work is sending emails, deadlines approach, or your kids just don’t want to play with the same toys anymore, it can become very hard to stay sane but I power through.
Here are some tips for working home with toddler. These are helping me to handle our current situation of being home with my girls:
- Take a breathe, relax, and know that everyone is in the same situation. – Everyone is home, your coworkers, your friends, your family, so everyone understands (hopefully) how hard this is for you. I was on a work conference call and as I came off of mute, Chloe asked for chocolate milk. Fortunately, someone responded that we are all in the same situation. They are very understanding. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Everything will get done. You don’t have to do that hamper full of laundry right away. Relax and breathe.
- Create shifts or schedules with your partner. – If you have a partner who is at home as well, it helps to delegate specific items to each other based on your busiest work time. I have more meetings in the morning, so on the days that Ricardo is able to work from home, he takes care of breakfast for the girls. Usually by lunch, I have more down time and can step in to help more. It is not a set in stone schedule. We usually go through our daily calendar to see where we are going to be the busiest and have the other one help out during those times.
- Stick to a routine, even if its a loose one. – When I say routine, I really mean a loose one but at least have one. Mine is pretty simple; breakfast, free play time, snack, “school time” on the iPad, lunch, and then it’s movie time. When I can get away from work, I try to play with them or pull out a book and have story time. Your routine does not have to be set in stone but its good to have a template to work with.
- Eat – this is so important. Even without having kids at home, when I work from home, it is so easy for me to get stuck to my computer. You have to take breaks, walk around, get your body moving and make sure to eat. You need all your energy now and you need to stay healthy to get through. Even if you have to set time in your calendar, do that. Block out time for lunch, whatever gets you to take that time for yourself to have a proper meal. Its easy to get busy with work and your children. That alone is more than most of us can handle but we have to remember to take care of ourselves too!
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I hope these tips for working from home with toddlers help you to manage. It is a difficult time right now and the last thing we need is more stress on our plate. Relax and know that you are doing an amazing job.
Thank you for reading,