Working from home and caring for a child can be one of the most difficult balancing acts someone can attempt. While it might seem like a dream to those sitting in an office all day, let me assure you, there are times when I dream of being back in a peaceful, office where at five o’clock I could leave my work and troubles behind for the day. If you do decide to take on this challenge, here are some tips that might help make your attempt successful.
Organization – Organizational skills are key if you plan to try to work from home while caring for a child. It can be difficult enough just organizing your own life, let alone child’s, and your work, all at the same time. By keeping your roles as separate as possible through utilization of various areas of your home or apartment (i.e. bedroom or playroom for your child’s toys and activities, a home office for your work, and living or family room for your personal activities) you can help maintain some level of clarity. You can also stay organized by developing and maintaining a routine.
Routine – While this aspect of working and raising a child at home can be difficult to develop and maintain it will definitely help you stay on task and get everything done that needs to be done. As your child grows, changes, and develops, your routine will need to change with them. The better you can roll with the punches and modify your routine as needed, the easier it will be to stay on task and the more you will be able to accomplish.
Utilize down time – This is probably one of the most important aspects of working from home while raising a child. It can be near impossible at times to get things done while your child is awake and very frustrating when you are in the middle of something and they interrupt. Therefore, use nap times or the few occasions when they are actually entertaining themselves to try to be as productive as possible. It might be tempting to use this time as a break for yourself, however, if you plan on accomplishing anything related to work, then you had been buckle down and devote these free hours to your job.
Stay busy – This might sound a bit ridiculous considering the fact that you will actually be doing two jobs, but even with a child to care for and work to do you can still become a bit lazy at times. By keeping your child busy, it will often allow you to stay busy as well. When you think about it, when is typically the hardest time to keep yourself motivated? Is it when your child is up, busy, and active, or is it when they are snuggled in for a nap or at nighttime? In most cases, it is probably the latter. Lying down with your little one can be the kiss of death to a productive day.
Squash the little things – It can be easy to let the little things get you down, but you must force yourself to forge ahead. Getting distracted by all the little household chores or projects that need to be done other than work or child related activities, can burn your day up before you know what’s happened. Therefore, do everything you can to put these problems out of your mind until you have finished your work for the day, or unfortunately, you can use them as breaks. Even folding laundry or painting a door can seem more exciting and relaxing than work, but don’t abuse these activities. Consider putting your little one to work doing menial jobs that you don’t have time for when he or she is old enough. This will teach great work ethic, keep them busy, and allow you to get some work done.
This article is for informational purposes only. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is at the reader’s discretion.