WOW! What a difference one week can make. Like many of you my March calender was filled with fun and exciting activities, including a lot of birthday party celebrations. Then just like that March was CANCELLED.
In many ways, the Corona Virus has flipped our world upside down. In just a few short months, a virus that originated across the world now fills the airwaves, social media platforms and news cycles all over the United States. It is the Goliath of our time, standing tall, shouting, pointing at us and attempting to create fear, havoc and panic in the lives of all.
Stores are out of stock, schools are closed, professional events cancelled, extra-curricular events cancelled and many businesses are asking their employees to work from home. Even churches are prompting attendees to watch online.
For many parents, this is the first time working from home and homeschooling children. A task not for the faint of heart. I began my work from home journey a few years ago when my children were toddlers. I felt so blessed to continue with the work that I love and avoid traffic, while being present with my children.
I am hoping that my experience and tips will provide you some peace and encouragement. You GOT THIS! You CAN be a productive team member and an intentional parent all at once – with the right preparation.
Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.Colossians 3:23 TPT
7 Tips For Working at Home with Children
Here are my tips for working at home with children and remaining a productive team member at work.
- Create a dedicated workspace away from your main living space or living room. This will provide you a mental seperation from your place of relaxation or your place of personal to-do reminders.
- SET GOALS. Even before reviewing your work emails. Set goals. What is it that you want to accomplish today. Stay focused on these tasks and committed to getting them done. Working from home can make it easy to work too much or to procrastinate. Be diligent to remain focused on the correct tasks, at the right time.
- Balance . Step away for your dedicated work space for lunch and breaks. Don’t forget to enjoy some fresh air. Now is a great time to enjoy coffee or lunch on your porch or in your backyard – a work from home perk 🙂
- Turn off post notifications for all social media sites, news sites and personal email platforms. We all know how easy it is to get caught up in the endless cycle of scrolling. When working from home, we don’t have the walker-byer to stop us in our tracks and refocus us. This is a self-discipline must, if we plan to stay on track.
- FOCUSING WHILE PARENTING! Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Have a simple snacks station with a variety of items you can offer children . I do not give my children access to the snacks, otherwise they’d be gone in a flash. But I do have ready to go snacks that I can quickly offer, minimizing the break time needed to meet their needs.
- Busy Box. Create a “busy” box with activities tailored to each child’s interest. This can include craft supplies, legos, coloring pages, puzzles, etc. This comes in handy when a child says, “I am bored”. I have an age approrpiate box for each child where they can do self-guided activities while I work. You can search pinterst for endless ideas based on your child’s interest.
- Schedules. Each morning when my child wakes-up, I provide them the daily schedule. This allows them to mentally prepare and puts the entire family on the same page. My children are preschoolers but they still have a task / chores (with pictures). Some are self-guided chores and others are family items. This allows my children to earn stickers, feel productive and have expectations for the day. It works well for our family. You can search pinterst for several ideas and printables. Our chart is nothing fancy. I used some plain paper and added lines with a ruler and tasks that worked for us.
I hope these tips help you and provide a sense of peace. Working from home is a blessing and having the children home at the same time is both a challenge and a blessing. With a little preparation you can get it all done.