With the coronavirus, many companies are allowing their employees to work from home. Also, many schools are closing. Therefore, working parents are trying to figure out how to work while having the kids at home. This is especially true for parents with smaller children. One of them is my friend, who has a demanding job and has a four-year-old and six-year-old at home. She is freaking out how to juggle it all when the schools close down tomorrow. It made me reminisce about how it was when I started working from home and had the kids there as well. Here are some of the tips that worked for me and hopefully will for you.

  1. Buy them puzzles and coloring books – While you are working (I would assume that it is on a laptop or desktop if you are working from home), they can be working away next to you
  2. Turn on the television – This is going to be an unpopular opinion, especially for the parents who try to reduce TV time, but if you are joining a meeting that you are expecting to talk, then turn on and let them watch a 30-minute to an hour educational show. If you work at a company that loves endless meetings, then you might need to have a discussion with your manager.   
  3. Nap or Quiet Time – If you have younger kids, then they will love a nap (you will too). If you have older kids, then institute a quiet time where they can read quietly or do something without making any noise. This can give you an hour. 
  4. Do Activities with Them Throughout the Day – If you were in the office, you would be repeatedly interrupted. Therefore, do a fun activity with the kids, whether it’s a nice mid-day walk or bike ride. You can do this during lunchtime so that you can have that hour to take the kids out (and tire them out) and eat lunch with them. 
  5. Work Odd Hours – You might have to talk to your manager and/or team about this, but you do not have to work 9-5. Until this, all blows over, then start working eight hours a day but expand the time you can do that. If you are an early bird, then wake up at a reasonable time and get work done while the kids are sleeping. If you are a night owl, the work when everyone is winding down. This is the beauty of working from home. You do not have to work 9-5. My team and I usually work a couple of hours after 5, but then have those hours during the day to do something like a doctor’s appointment. 

Let’s hope that all of this passes sooner rather than later, and we can all go back to normal. But, you can take this as a way to teach your kids how to entertain themselves and understand when you are working from home.

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Working from home with kids can be challenging but it can be done.

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