I know lots of you are finding out about the joys of working from home when you have kids. I have been working predominantly from home for a few years now. Term times are ok, I’ve got a good routine going and it’s fine. Holidays and let’s be honest that can apply to the current situation are really interesting and I have to completely change my routine.
At the moment, many of us have been focused on how the kids are struggling with the change in routine but I’m struggling just as much as my son. We need to give ourselves a bit of leeway too. Know that it’s ok to be finding it hard sometimes. Your own routine is totally gone. We have to think logically about how this can work and sometimes be quite creative.
Change your routine
If you’re used to working in an office, having your kids running around, making a noise when you’re on a phone call or suddenly needing your full attention the second a conference call starts can get frustrating. Try not to worry too much. These are strange times; I think everyone’s very accepting if they do hear kids in the background.
Work around your child. You need to spend time with them but build a routine with your child. If you’ve got teenagers and you know they’re not going to be waking up until 11 am. Try to get work done before they get up. Accept in the afternoon you might not get as much done.
If you’re a single parent, you might need to work while your child is asleep or sit them down with something to keep them occupied for half an hour. Then spend time with them for half an hour, rotate your day like that. That’s assuming your kids can keep themselves occupied for half an hour, not all kids can.
If you’ve got your other half at home rotate the childcare. Take it in hour shifts, one works, and one spends time with the children.
I know everything’s new, it’s hard not being able to get outside as much, it’s hard having to think about teaching the kids at the same time. Simplify things, create a routine around your child’s sleeping times and around what works for you. If you usually get up around 6 am, get ready and leave for the office around 8 pm. Get up at your usual time but start working straight away in your PJ’s. It’s amazing how much you can get done before everyone else gets up.
Find what works for you
During the holidays, when my son was younger, I’d get a couple of hours done in the morning. Spend the day with my son because he needed me then I’d work in the evening when he was in bed. Adapt your structure to meet your needs and your family’s needs. Give yourself some breathing space. You might not get everything done but if you were in the office from 9 am – 5 pm, think about how many times you would be interrupted. You might be able to get as much done in 5 hours at home as you would in 8 hours at the office.
This could be a brilliant opportunity to help children learn how to play by themselves. There’s lots of fantastic educational programmes like Blue Planet that can help your children learn. It might not be a traditional way of teaching but if they watch something that engages them, they’ll learn a lot from it. It’s just as valuable as reading a book about the planet.
You can work at the same time. Sit them at the table with their schoolwork or an activity and join them with your laptop so you’re working together. Create a sense of togetherness.
There’s not a one size fits all every family is different, go with what works with you, trial it and change it if you need too. You will get through this and I’ll be here with you the whole time also trying to get it right.
Use my free Facebook group if you need support. We have a non-judgemental environment and ethos within the group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/connectiveparentingusingNVR/
If you need a bit of extra support come and join my membership group, you’ll find lots of resources to help. www.sarahpfisher.com/connectiveparentinghub.
I’ve also come together with colleagues to offer a selection of workshops for parents and children. All the workshops will take place via video conference, using Zoom. For more details and to book your free space https://connectivefamily.com/connectiveparentingworkshops/