If you’re in a situation where your daycare is closed and you now have your kids home with you – you’re probably thinking how am I going to pull this off. How am I going to manage my job and my kids?
Be honest with your employer
Be honest with your manager or employer about your situation. Being upfront will build trust on both sides. You might be surprised at how understanding they are (heck your manager might be in the same situation that you are).
Provide them with clear expectations on how you see this working and keep them up to date on how this changes. Also, ask them to see if they are able to provide any flexible working hours to accommodate.
Set your working space and set your boundaries (as much as you can)
Set your own working space that offers a place where you can do your best work. This might be a basement, a spare bedroom, but setting a clear space for where you work is important. It sets the tone at home that this is where you work and creates oh-so needed boundaries.
If possible, have a space with a door or a signal that you can offer to the rest of your family that you are not to be disturbed.
One of the biggest advantages of working from home is that you get to create a space optimized to how YOU work best. Make it as quiet, loud, serene, as you want.
Divide and conquer (if you can)
If your partner is also with you at home – divide and conquer as much as you can. Be open with each other about recurring meetings, share your calendars (as much as you can), work off hours from each other if possible.
Be respectful of each other’s working styles and boundaries. Also support one another and be honest about the challenges you’re facing.
Have a routine
Set yourself (and your kids) a routine. First let’s start with YOU. Set the tone each day just like you are working. Have your shower, get dressed, have your morning coffee – whatever your morning ritual currently is to put yourself in a good head space.
Next – your kids. If you’re wondering where to start, mimic the routine they currently follow when they are at daycare. It’s what they are used to, and will provide them with consistency when they make it back.
From there, set your work schedule as much as possible so that everything fits together. Try to have lunches together, book important meetings over nap times, etc. Having everyone on a routine will make things seem less hectic.
If you’re unable to access your center’s schedule here are some other great resources.
Breathe and take care of yourself
It’s really easy to forget to do the simple things when you’re working from home like eating lunch or drinking water (for real). Add some kids into the mix and you might forget about yourself altogether. Make sure that you’re taking the time for self care. Take care of yourself is the most important thing you can do for your family.