While trying to balance work and parenting can be hard, it’s not impossible. However, if you don’t plan and prepare, it can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety. Here are three tried and true techniques to survive working from home with infants and toddlers.
Work an alternate schedule.
If you know your kids need more attention during the day, make early mornings or late evenings your time to focus on work. Many working moms need a lot of sleep, especially if your baby still needs night feedings. Schedule a rotation with your partner that allows you to share the load, so you’ll be more productive the next day.
Consider scheduling conference calls during times when your infant or toddler is napping or engaged in independent play. This might mean asking your colleagues to talk during traditional lunch or after-work hours. It might seem inconvenient, but the worst they can say is “no,” so don’t be intimidated to ask.
For little babies, babyonmybrain.com recommends getting on an EASY schedule — eat, activity, sleep, you. Use that sleep time for maximum work productivity. There are a lot of free online resources to help you establish and sustain a baby schedule that blends well with your work schedule.
Earn a degree online.
Nothing brings about perspective like straddling two worlds at once: working and parenting. Now might be the time for that new direction you’ve been craving. If your remote and parental jobs just aren’t a good combo, think about using this time to go back to college and earn an online degree.
For instance, if you work toward an online business degree, you can specialize in paths like marketing, accounting, and administration, which are fields necessary in every industry. For those who want to climb the career ladder, a degree in business management can carve a great path for leaders and innovators.
Babyproof your home.
Ensure your home office is a place where your kids feel comfortable playing and you feel comfortable working. Make it safe for your baby or toddler to explore while you multitask on emails, proofreading, data entry, or other daily admin tasks. A crawling infant or a curious toddler will need more supervision, but in a thoroughly babyproofed office, you can prioritize work a bit more.
Babygatesexpert.com says that not only should all outlets be covered, but all furniture should be securely bolted to the wall. Put baby locks on anything that can be opened like doors and drawers, and consider installing corner guards to the edges of furniture. Make sure the room has a nice, padded floor or carpeting and that nothing — absolutely nothing — in the room is a potential choking hazard.
If you make sure your office is thoroughly baby-proofed, let your work schedule follow your baby schedule and use this time to follow a passion — you may find that working remotely and parenting can be a very doable scenario. Like all things with young children, routine is king — but, at the same time, flexibility reigns. If something doesn’t work at first, give it some time. You’ll get there sooner than you think.
This article was submitted by Janice Russell of Parentingdisasters.com. To submit your own guest article, email Chantal@Growinggirlswithcurls.com