How to Work From Home While Managing Kids, College Students
It sounds impossible, right? Working from home represents a significant adjustment on its own if you’re used to life on the road or in the office. Adding kids into the equation with many schools opting for remote-based learning environments though?
That’s a new level of stress!
But it’s possible to overcome this challenge with some proper planning and strategy. In fact, you might find that it helps you manage your household even better than before.
- Understand you’re not alone
This is probably the easiest point to overlook, but it’s also perhaps the most important.
Breathe in. Exhale. Understand you’re not alone in this.
Instead of thinking, “How can I possibly do this?!” maintain context and remember that millions of people are dealing with a similarly unfamiliar situation. We’re all in this together, all dealing with adversity on the fly. You’ve probably heard the word “unprecedented” thrown around 1,000 times when talking about COVID-19, but it’s true and it’s fitting, especially for this scenario.
Working from home and also managing your children at home — whether elementary-aged, college-aged, or anywhere in between — is a unique circumstance. There’s no blueprint to follow, no map to trace to the finish line.
If it feels overwhelming, that’s OK. Take a breath and understand this is a genuinely difficult predicament — but we can push through it together.
- Don’t overextend
You have to be mom or dad and continue to do a great job at work. But you can’t do both simultaneously. Don’t even try!
Separate your work time and your family time as much as possible, leaving distinct blocks of time for you to work and other chunks to help your children with their work, prepare meals, play outside with them, etc.
And remember: It’s OK to change the rules a little bit. These times aren’t normal, and normal solutions may not work.
“This is an unprecedented time,” said Daisy Wademan Dowling, parent of two and found/CEO of Workparent in New York City. “Parents need to cut themselves slack,” No criticizing or beating yourself up over the kids’ [extra] screen time. This is temporary, and it’s OK to shift the rules.”
- Tap out when you need to
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or drained, tap out and regroup. It’s OK to feel that way. It’s normal, even. Is there another adult at the house who can chip in? Make a plan with them, and communicate when you’re feeling run-down and out-of-gas.
Working as a team will make this transition smoother, and together you’ll be able to accomplish more both with your children and at your jobs than you would be able to as individuals alone.
Remember: We’re all in this together. Rely on others when you need them — and be there for others when they need you.
Want to share your strategies for managing both your job and your children from home? I’d love to hear them! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what’s working for your family.
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