The kids are growing up, and it’s time to think about heading back to work. Great! Only you don’t want to miss out on all that family time? Have you thought of looking to work from home and parent at the same time? Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems.
Create a plan
When working from home, it can be hard to set yourself office hours. After all, you never truly leave for work. What are you to do? One great reason to work from home is the flexibility, but it’s vital to set times that you will take yourself to your office. They may change every day as your child’s routine differs. However, knowing that you need to get x number of hours work completed that day will give you an idea of the free time you have left to spare.
Plan in interruptions
As much as we love to pretend we have everything mapped out, kids are unpredictable. The TV may not be showing their favorite show anymore, or they could be going through a phase. Allowing for interruptions should help prevent giving yourself too much work. The last thing you need to do is overload yourself at work only to fall behind. Plus, if everything goes to plan you may end up with even more free time than you thought.
Utilize nap times
Nap times are fantastic inventions, aren’t they? At last, you have a few hours of quiet to catch up on all those jobs you’ve been trying to get done. No matter how long your little ones nap for, you should – hopefully – get a chunk of uninterrupted time to yourself. Rather than trying to do everything at once while you’re hands are free, focus on getting the necessary bits done such as finishing up the work due the soonest or tying up a project.
If you have older children, you may find they begin to push the boundaries of what is acceptable when you’re working. It is important to make the rules clear from day one to ensure there is no confusion on the kind of behavior you will accept. This could be by not letting the children into your office while there is something on the door, or they know not to disturb if you are dressed for work. This should give you the time you need to focus on your career.
Of course, spending time with your loved ones is always important. However, so is giving them a chance to find their own entertainment. Perhaps you have crayons and a huge roll of paper lying around the house? Why not combine your work time with a chance for them to create their own tapestry? This way you can both put your time towards something creative as well as working towards a goal. You could also set out a selection of toys and let your children make the decision. At least then you know it will be something they enjoy!
The idea or working from home and parenting at the same time may seem tricky, but these simple steps should help create a stress-free atmosphere. Now you can enjoy the wonders of watching your little ones grow up in addition to building your career. Could life get much better?