Who’s working from home with their kids this week? We are guessing most of you. As of this week, the majority of us are all now living and working under one roof. No one is left behind, the kids, the dog, and of course, the dads!
It’s a new week and a whole new way of living. With schools and nurseries closed, many parents are faced with both parenting and working from home. The thought of working from home with your kids might seem utterly daunting! Luckily the team of mums here at My Gator Watch have been doing it for some time. Did you know that the entire team work flexibly from home? We thought now would be the perfect time to share our working from home with kids wisdom!
First and foremost start as you mean to go on. Check with your employer and see how flexible they can be about your work. Does your work have to be completed between the hours of 9-5 or can you work during evenings and weekends? Don’t be afraid to ask. Being able to work on the easy stuff during the day and the hard things at night will help you massively and should give you more time with the kids.
Once you have worked out a schedule with your employer, think about how it can fit into the day with your kids. If you have to work 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon then draw up a schedule where the kids know what they are doing while you work
PRE MAKE MEALS
If you have the energy, try and make lunch the night before. This means you can grab everyone something to eat (including yourself) within a few minutes. You can enjoy your lunch break with your kids instead of rushing to get food made.
Each morning put together a snack box for each child with a range of snacks to last them the day. Explain that they don’t have to ask for snacks anymore. Instead, they can eat whatever they want from their snack box at any time. The catch? It has to last them all day. No begging for snacks if they finish them all by 9 am!
GET THEM INVOLVED
Getting them involved is especially useful for younger kids. Why not set them up with a workspace similar to yours? Younger kids can pretend to work by using your pens, paper and maybe even playing on a spare computer if you have one. Older kids can be super useful by inputting figures into Excel or proofreading your work. Talk to them about what you do. Teach them how to invoice, teach them how to calculate data or answer phones. Anything you do will be fascinating for them.
Quiet time is your opportunity to cram in your work. Each day allow them to pick a new film or documentary for quiet time. For older kids reading is an excellent choice for quiet time. Bet you wish you could put your feet up and do the same?
If the weather is good and you have space, make sure the kids go out in the garden to play a few times. Just as they would at school. If this isn’t possible, try Cosmic kids yoga on YouTube, or The body coaches daily live PE session. Getting the kids active will boost their endorphins and make for a happier day.
SET UP ACTIVITIES
Take some time to find some resources that are suitable for their age and set up some activities. School may well be setting up work for them, but crafts and fun projects are also great. Twinkl is currently offering a month of free learning resources so be sure to check them out.
FIND YOUR ZEN
There is going to be tension. There is no doubt about it. It’s super important that you all try and de-stress together. Go for a walk in an open space away from people (as long as you are well) or snuggle up and enjoy your favourite show with chocolate and sweets. Do whatever you need to do to keep everyone calm! If it involves a bit of sugar or screentime, so be it!
LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
This one is SO important! Your work won’t always get done like it usually does. There will be tears. The kids will almost certainly push you to your limit. But remember this is all new for them too. They are feeling just as disrupted as you, and this way of living is tough! If you lower your expectations, you will feel much calmer. Most companies will understand how stretched you are, so don’t push yourself too hard!
We hope these ideas help you through the challenging times of working from home. Remember that you won’t be able to do it all, but your best is absolutely good enough! Let’s take this opportunity to make memories. After all, this one is going down in history!
My Gator Watch is a wearable mobile phone designed especially for 5-12-year-olds. It uses GPS, two-way calling, works across multiple networks and has an SOS feature for peace of mind. It does not have a messaging feature, and you, the parent; determine all numbers that are pre-set within the phone.
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