The “new normal” of working from home during the COVID-19 quarantine has been challenging for everyone – but possibly no one more than those with small children. With many preschools and daycare centers closed, trying to balance your working life with the needs of a preschooler can be extremely difficult!
Signing your child up for preschool online will give them something to do for a few hours, but it won’t keep them fully occupied. So, we have some more tips for achieving a better work/life balance.
Six Ways To Better from Home While Caring For A Preschooler
1 – Negotiate your working hours with your employer
If you have a preschooler, working the traditional 8-5 schedule while at home may be difficult to accomplish. Talk to your bosses; establish your official workload and see if you can negotiate alternate working times, such as working in the evenings after putting your child to bed. Find the time that you absolutely need to be available, have your child do preschool online in those times so you can focus on work and keep you work schedule flexible during the rest of the day. Get your child used to doing preschool everyday at the same time and they will know and ask for their school time.
2 – Prioritize work based on your child’s schedule
Don’t try to do your most important work when your child is at their most active. Save the big stuff for nap time, or other times when you are not likely to be disturbed.
3 – Find distractions
Even if you’re typically strict about watching TV, using electronic devices (screen time), and other distractions, you may want to relax those rules. Keeping your child occupied while you work will require a little compromise.
4 – Include your child in daily chores
They can’t help you with your office work, but a small child isn’t going to know the difference between that and regular chores. Give them opportunities to help you, such as carrying laundry or washing vegetables before dinner, so they feel included and helpful.
5 – Find time to spend together – particularly outdoors
Quarantine and staying at home every day is rough on little ones too, and they’re likely to get stir crazy. Find time in your schedule to do things with them, and if you can get out of the house – even if just for a brief walk – it’ll do a lot to help prevent cabin fever.
6 – Establish a visual indicator of when you’re working
For relatively mature children, a “do not disturb” style marker on your door can help you maintain some peace and quiet. Try tying a ribbon on the doorknob, for example.