Tips to Keep Your Sanity While WFH with Young Kids
Because your mental health is just as important - if not more - than your physical health.
As many schools across the nation are either transitioning to online learning or adopting a hybrid in-class/online learning model for this fall, one thing for sure is that kids will be spending a lot more time at home for this coming school year. Those of us working from home with young children during this pandemic share a profound empathy with one another. It’s like a secret club. Juggling work and children eclipses our professions, whatever they may be. Younger ones seem to have a knack for toddling into working life at the most awkward times. Whether you’re on a zoom call with a client or providing political analysis on BBC, no one is immune to a youngster’s whims when they need mommy or daddy.
Without further ado, we’ve gathered five tips you can try today to preserve your mental health while keeping your kiddos (and clients) happy for the duration of the lockdown.
1.) Set a schedule (and stick to it). Routines are imperative. Doing the same thing at the
same time each day provides structure. This helps to set expectations for children and parents alike, easing anxiety and stress. In our homes, we try to wake up at the same time each day (albeit a bit later these days). We’ve found keeping to a schedule provides better sleep which allows our bodies to follow a circadian rhythm. This helps with concentration and productivity which provides emotional stability, of both ourselves and our kids.
2.) Get social at home. Sounds ironic, doesn’t it? It is possible to be social during lockdown by scheduling a daily videocall. Even if it’s a short call, this helps us feel connected to our friends and family. It makes no difference whether it is our sibling, friend, or business partner who lives in the same city, call them anyway! The ability to talk and visually see the people we care about does us good.
3.) Capitalize on kids’ naptimes. Naptime is the golden hour for parents. Don’t fret if your kids have outgrown naptime. Use this time as “quiet time” in which your kids can take part in low-key, independent activities. We like Legos, puzzles, picture books, and drawing to keep our kiddies occupied and entertained while getting some work done.
4.) Separate mom and business roles: If you’re constantly feeling pulled in both directions, it’s impossible to give your best to either work or relationships. Allow yourself to give your best in both departments by setting up a kid-free work zone. If that’s not possible, try turning your chair around so as not to face your children’s toys. It will help you compartmentalize roles and minimize distraction. As you feel more productive in your work, you can return to your children with a fresh mind, giving them your undivided attention.
5.) Do something new. Now is the perfect time to dabble in a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to do, no matter how small or simple. You may want to make whipped coffee, paint, or bake. Trying something new is a great way to cleanse your soul and breakaway from the routine. However, if the mere thought of “hobby” stresses you out, then forget it. The last thing we need now is to feel guilt during this pandemic. Do what pleases you, whether that means reading a good book or taking a nap.
Good Days and Bad Days, but More Good Days Please!
Everyone – including us – are taking things day-by-day. Speaking of which, there are good days and bad days, right? Us parents can get through this together, through sharing tips and staying positive. We are all taking additional roles now and are trying to do our best in this new situation. We’ve found that some of these tips have allowed us to turn bad days around, so hang in there. And if all else fails, pour yourself a glass (or two) of wine at the end of the day!
From a mom to a mom, we are all doing great, so keep up the good job!