With most schools and nurseries closed in the UK, more and more parents are finding themselves facing the ultimate challenge: working from home with kids - not to mention home-schooling them too.
Trying to get your day job done around a very active young child can be challenging at the best of times, not to mention when they’re entering the terrible twos. Meltdowns can occur during an important conference call with the whole sales team, or while your mid-presenting the latest product developments.
Working parents are now being given the ultimate opportunity that might not come around again, the opportunity to truly test all levels of multi-tasking to focus on cherishing what you have, in both work and home life.
Some helpful tips I have discovered in week 2 of social distancing/self-isolation:
- Your schedule is key. If your child is used to nursery or school, they’ll be used to the routine, so try to plan your day around that. Make sure that nap times (if they have any) are not at the time you are due to check-in with your manager. Schedule calls and meetings around your child’s schedule.
- Start your day early. Wake up before your children so you can plan your day with the tasks you need to achieve and prioritise. Use this as your core working time, put your headphones in and get stuck in.
- Try to involve your little one in as much as you can - I’ve moved my ‘desk’ into the playroom so that we are in the same room and can focus on our activities together.
- Nursery rhymes can be a big life-saver.- In your daily plan, schedule some time for you both to cut loose, sing some songs, do a little dance. You’re never too old for Old McDonald.
- Activities… Being isolated and stuck indoors all day will affect children too, so have plenty of activities ready that they can do. My daughter really enjoys ‘drawing’ and Marketing is all about colouring in, right? We both get our notebooks out and I write product launch plans while she practices drawing lines and circles. Messy play, teddy bear picnics and baking cakes are all fun engaging activities for your lunch break.
- Give your toddler undivided attention. Ensure that you do take some time out to cherish this precious time you have with your children. Where you are normally fined for taking them out of school during term time, you now get to see them grow day in, day out.
- If things don’t work out as well as you’d planned during the day, plan to pick things up in the evening once the children are in bed or postpone it until tomorrow. Your mental wellbeing is going to be critical to getting through this crazy time.
- And if all else fails, get the snacks out and build a den.
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