If you’re just entering the world of remote work and you also have little ones, you are in luck. You are about to enter into a new era of your life where you get to balance your family responsibilities with your professional obligations. Is it easy? Not at all. But the challenges that you face are nothing compared to the benefits of working at home with your children by your side.
Why Work From Home?
There are plenty of reasons to start a business or maintain a career while you also care for your family. The first and most important is time. Time is the one thing you can never get back, but you give so much of it to your employer. With the time you’ll save driving back and forth to the office and picking kids up at daycare, you will have an opportunity to follow in Mommy Bear’s footsteps and try new STEM activities with your kids. You also get to travel more, enjoy lunch breaks with your babies, and spend more time in your comfy clothes.
Maximize Your Home Environment
Because you’ll be working and caring for your family from home, it’s important that it’s maximized for efficiency, health, and stress-free living. While this might sound difficult when you’re trying to balance all of your responsibilities, a few simple steps, such as adding houseplants or scented oils, can change the entire mood of your home. You also need to keep your pantry (and perhaps even your desk drawer) full of healthy snacks and filtered water.
- Ask for flexibility – according to insight research company McKinsey, many employers are happy to be flexible with your schedule as long as you are available for meetings and planned collaboration times.
- Use visual cues – for toddlers, universal color signals, such as green, yellow, and red, may indicate that they can come and go as they please, must knock first, or wait before coming into your office.
- Hire a babysitter – look for someone who can come in a few times each week to take the kids to the park while you handle tasks that might require your full attention.
- Create a schedule – children need to know what to expect, and having a schedule provides this stability for everyone.
- Get up early – get up 15 to 20 minutes before everyone else, enjoy a cup of coffee, and get a jump on your day. (The Inspired Motherhood blog offers great tips on how to get up early without feeling guilty.)
Working while having a family poses challenges for all of us. But, there are ways that you can manage to handle all of your responsibilities, including breastfeeding/pumping and meetings, without sacrificing time, attention, and quality. The tips above can get you started. However, only time will make you an expert and help you better understand how to navigate the hurdles that are unique to you.
Here are some great take-home activities that can help!
Collaborative for Children is dedicated to improving early childhood learning opportunities for children in the Greater Houston area. Learn more about how you can help.
Article written by Brad Krause