Lockdown Living: How to Balance Work and Children
(2021 • 02 • 11)
By now, we should probably all have this working-from-home thing sorted, right? Well, life in lockdown isn’t that simple, especially when you have children! We’ve gathered a few tips to help keep both you and the little ones happy and productive this month.
So, we’re still here. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably lost count of which lockdown we’re in at this point, and we still have no idea how much longer this will go on for. It really has become the new normal. But we’re still adjusting.
The fact that the coronavirus pandemic has gone on for so much longer than any of us expected can, at this point, make being stuck inside seem even more difficult. We may be asking ourselves why we’ve not managed to settle into the swing of things yet - but that’s OK. Finding a routine that works for you in such conditions isn’t going to happen overnight, and it will probably need to change as your mental state and the existence of a tier system swings to and fro. After all, how many of us are still making a weekly banana bread?
With that in mind, it’s completely understandable that you may still be struggling to balance working from home with keeping your little ones occupied. So, we’ve come up with a few tips that may help you cope with the day-to-day.
First up, I want to remind you that you are not simply working from home while there happens to be a pandemic going on in the background. You are stuck at home because of a pandemic and trying to work. There is a difference! I know it can be hard given the time scale, but try to cut yourself some slack. Be kind to yourself.
Try to take your focus off set work hours. Forcing yourself to work non-stop between 9 and 6 when there’s a toddler in the house is, in fact, likely to decrease your productivity. Instead, try to intersperse work time with plenty of little breaks to spend with your little one, and move your work focus onto tasks, instead. I’m a big believer in the To-Do list, and being able to tick things off can be a surprisingly effective motivator. If you end up completing those tasks at strange times, that’s completely fine. If you don’t manage to do everything you wanted to do in a day, that’s also fine. You kept a small human alive today, you’re already a superhero.
To help keep on top of those ever-present tasks, try to create a workspace for yourself that is free from any distraction (as distraction-free as anywhere with a small child can be, of course). For example, try not to work with the laundry basket in your direct eyeline.
Pre-planning can be a godsend, too. Prepare little snack pots in the morning or evening so you can grab them whilst on the phone, or have activities set up around the house for your children to discover when they get bored.
For keeping both you and the little ones sane, routine is your friend. When your little ones know what to expect - and have something to look forward to - they’re less likely to disturb you mid-conference call. Try to keep quality family breaks regular, and utilise nap times and screen time to the best of your ability.
Some things we recommend including in your routine:
:) Outdoor time. Even if it’s only for five minutes, try and get everyone outside for a little fresh air and exercise to burn off all that excess energy!
:) Mindful moments. Life is tough for all of us - both big and small - right now. Make sure you’re taking the time to check in with yourself.
:) Quality family time. We know your little one means the world to you, but you mean the world to them, too! Knowing that they will get to spend some time with you each day can help keep frustrated tantrums to a minimum.
Of course, scheduling in plenty of fun activities, too, is going to help keep your tiny colleagues from running into the middle of a zoom call. We have over 150 activities with simple step by step instructions ready and waiting on our Parenting App. On top of that, over on our Instagram, our wonderful weekend staff are running an activity session every Saturday, and every Wednesday at 1 pm is Story Time! Make sure to check it out for a few minutes of distracted kids.
:) Click here to download our Parenting App
:) Click here to view our Instagram Channel
Lastly, keep at it. You’re probably managing better than you think and we have your back! If you need any more advice on getting you and your little ones through lockdown, don’t forget to check out our weekly AMAs over on Instagram, where you can ask our psychologist, Viktoria, anything and everything!
Content Creator @MEplace