Mastering Working From Home As A Parent

Today's pandemic, the coronavirus, is affecting us physically and mentally. It is also affecting the systems around us. Systems like the economy, education, health-care, and the government are affected.

Most people aspire work from home jobs. It's cost-efficient, it's energy-efficient. For businesses to exist during today's pandemic, as a way to adjust, an increase in the work from home statistics appeared.

When your kids follow you around and throw tantrums, to aspire work from home settings is a debate and may be considered by some as crazy-talk. Parents are a large part of the work from home statistics. If you're a parent working from home, it can be hard.

Juggling work calls, work tasks, and parent duties can be frustrating. Mastering the balance of being a parent working from home may feel impossible. But, it isn't. Here are steps you must check out if you want to master working from home as a parent:

AS YOU WAKE UP, CREATE A MENTAL CHECKLIST

Parents are caregivers for a reason. While your kids are too young to be responsible individuals, you carry their load for them. You're the stuck-on-repeat playlist, you're the sponge-- the absorber of your kid's outbursts, and, most importantly, you're their safe space. Great is the burden a parent carries and with that, you are awesome!

As you wake up, take all the silence you can get and take the time to create a checklist in your head. It's important to create a checklist to prioritize your tasks for that specific day.

Parents are like computers, sometimes. Fifty tabs are open, you don't know where the music is coming from, and you feel like you're overheating. As a work at home parent, it's important to be intentional with your actions. Create a mental checklist for the tasks ahead of you so you won't burn out.

BEFORE WORK, SECURE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Before you engage with your work calls and tasks, make sure your environment is stable.

Kids have unstable moods so it's important to give them a comfortable environment as much as you can. Make sure they have food nearby, they have toys, and they are in a positive mood. There is a possibility that they will interrupt you during work and you don't want that.

It's important to set a plan. Create signs or non-verbal cues that can help your child distinguish that 'now is mommy or daddy's quiet time'. Put a sign that says 'do not disturb', explain that if you're wearing your headphones it means it's 'quiet time', or give them a reward whenever your kid was able to keep quiet during your quiet time.

Another environment you have to secure is your work area. Your productivity can be affected if you have a messy workspace. Create an intentional space for work -- one where you won't be tempted to fold the laundry, clean up the mess, or wash the dishes.

DURING WORK, USE THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE

The Pomodoro technique is an effective technique.

It is being wise of your time by setting intervals between laser-focused work and breaks. Time your work for 25-minutes and focus on it. After 25 minutes, use your 5-minute break time to check on your kids and for personal stuff.

ACKNOWLEDGE HELP IF YOU NEED IT

When you're a work from home parent, you'll be faced by the fact that you can't do it alone. So, seek help when you need it.

While the pandemic is happening, it's important to keep safe. When you're asking for support, make sure that you're not endangering your life and the life of your little ones. Keep a close-knit number of people who you know can help and are willing.

If you have a partner, scheduling intervals about who's going to take care of your kids can be helpful. You can also ask a family member staying with you to help out. Pay a neighbor to babysit your kids.

As a parent, you're parenting through tough times. You've managed to stabilize yourself and your little ones and that is superb. You're doing great.

As someone who has work during the pandemic, you are privileged. Most individuals have been affected by lay-offs and business closures. You are part of the work from home statistics who endured the economical crisis brought by the coronavirus. These perspectives help you see your situation in a positive light.

References:

  • Burka, J. B. and L. M. Yuen (2008). Procrastination: Why you do it, what to do about it now. Da Capo Press.
  • Cirillo, F. (2006). The Pomodoro Technique (The Pomodoro). Agile Processes in Software Engineering and, 54(2).
  • Krause, K. and A. M. Freund (2013). How to Beat Procrastination The Role of Goal Focus.
  • Feng, J. (2019). An evaluation of the Pomodoro Technique for stopping procrastination and behaviour change. Human Computer Interaction.
  • Global Workplace Analytics (2020). Work-At-Home After Covid-19—Our Forecast. Retrieved from https://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/work-at-home-after-covid-19-our-forecast.

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