If you and your kids are already under social distancing or quarantine, you are probably having to learn how to work from home, parent and teach on the go! It is annoying, but the less we spread the COVID-19 the sooner our lives will get back to normal. Think about it: when you buy a new car or a new coffee maker, it takes some time to adapt to the new features, right? Multiply that by infinite and that’s how daunting it can be to adapt to a home office routine with kids.
We are also experiencing that and after a lot of research and our relatively successful experience, here are our gold down to earth tips!
1 – Lower your expectations.
When you are trying to do work on your home office with your kids demanding attention, you better accept the fact that it is not possible to keep the same quality level on work, parenting, and teaching. The sooner you accept that the less traumatic this whole process is going to be.
Even if your boss doesn’t lower expectations right away, they will come to their senses eventually! The more nervous and anxious you get, the harder it is to think straight and find solutions. So you might at least try to keep your sanity.
This is a disruptive moment for everyone. Therefore your colleagues and the competition also have to adapt to this new reality.
2 – Try not to get too frustrated when the kids interrupt you.
If you think about it, the Karens and Johns in the office interrupt you all the time and they are far less cute and much more annoying than your own kids.
Besides, you are probably already saving time on traffic, public transport, coffee line, and elevator. By the end of the day, the pros and cons of the routine change will come to a certain balance!
3 – Find a routine that works for your lifestyle
Even if you have to try a new one every day. Even if it’s not the “perfect Instagram mom” routine. Eventually, you are going to find a system that works for your family. There are a lot of great ideas out there, but each household is different. Here are some no-cost, no-fuss tips to make working from home with your kids work out for you:
Try to keep your kids school hours as much as possible.
Adapt meetings and work hours to the kids’ hours.
Set a classroom space, even if it’s a corner in the living room.
Define your office space, even if it’s the kitchen table.
Set alarms to remind you to switch activities.
Improvise some “bring your kids to work” moments.
4 – Give your kids some time to adapt.
First comes the full bloom of joy and excitement about not having to go to school. And sooner than you would like to, they will get bored and maybe also scared. Toddlers, school-age kids, and teenagers have very different needs and they respond to the adults’ reactions most of the time. Therefore, the more nervous you get, the more nervous they will get. I know it is easier said than done, but extreme times call for extreme measures! 😉
5 – Give yourself some time to adapt.
You are human, so it’s normal to feel all sorts of emotions right now! Here are 5 realistic tips to survive “social distance” while having the kids at home.
It is being really hard for us as well. We decided to start with home office a few weeks ago, for our parents’ safety, and it was a complete disaster in the beginning. Our daily work hours dropped drastically from 9 – 10 hours a day to barely 4 hours. All of the hour monthly planning went to waste and we started feeling anxious, which led to getting angry at each other and lowered even more the productivity.
So, after a few days of frustration, we realized we had to change our mindset. I know, it’s not easy and it’s even annoying sometimes. But we decided to be nicer to each other (most of the time) and to ourselves and use our energy to find realistic possible solutions to adapt.
Of course, we are still not working 9 hours a day as if we were at the co-work. But we are doing solid 6 – 7 hours on the good days – while making a huge effort to not feel guilty when we don’t – and that’s good enough for now.
What about you? How do you feel about triple duty? What is your biggest concern?