Guest Blogger, Colleen Stewart: A Survival Guide for Remote Working Parents With Young Children
Working remotely from home is a great opportunity for parents with young children. It’s a chance to be involved in your child’s life every step of the way. Bringing work and life together so intimately makes for a balancing act with its own unique challenges, however. Remote working parents of toddlers and babies can lessen the burden by implementing a few handy survival tips from Pollywog.
Prepare a Workspace and Schedule
The most important thing a work-from-home parent can do to maintain productivity is to create a distraction-free workspace. This can be an extra bedroom or another area of the home that your family or housemates respect as a “do not disturb” zone. Keep in mind that your virtual workspace is just as important as your physical space, which means clearing away unnecessary apps or browser windows during your productive hours.
Adhering to a schedule of predetermined office hours is vital for effective work and parenting. Parents should take the time to plan out which parts of their day are best suited to work and which times they are most needed as a caregiver.
Plan for Child Supervision or Activities
After you have set aside your specified work hours, the next step is to ensure that your children are occupied or supervised during those times of the day. For parents of younger toddlers or babies, it is particularly important to tap into a support system of family or close friends to help with caretaking. Other child care options include daycare services or on-call babysitters. If your children are at an age where they require less supervision, you can keep them occupied during your work hours by preparing independent activities:
- Living room campouts
- Art projects
- Scavenger hunts
- Outdoor bubble-blowing
- Sidewalk chalking
Make Time for Self-Care
It can be extremely easy for parents to neglect themselves if they are working and raising children in the same space. Making time for self-care is crucial and can be as simple as taking a walk outside or getting a healthy amount of sleep. Fortunately, working from home does make it easier to take control of one’s own time for the sake of both self-care and parenting. One study showed a significant decrease in depression scores from women working from home with young children.
Consider Education and Career Goals
One hardship that parents can face while working from home is the feeling of being stuck in a rut. For a change of pace, or for a major career switch, the option exists to earn a degree online. Internet coursework tends to be flexible, allowing busy parents to adopt a learning schedule into their current work and childcare routine. People who are finding they enjoy spending time with children can study education to earn a degree to help pursue a teaching career. It should be noted that in most states getting a teaching license, in addition to requiring a bachelor’s degree, usually involves a background check and transcripts, along with skills tests and entrance exams.
The key to surviving as a work-from-home parent is to strike a balance between your career, your family, and yourself. Those who are pursuing education at the same time will have an even trickier juggling act to perform, but the challenge is worthwhile in the long run. Many moms and dads would agree that the benefits of being a work-from-home parent far outweigh the unique struggles.
Looking for more parenting resources? Visit Pollywog for courses and more!
By: Colleen Stewart, colleen.stewart@