And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17 NKJV)
I had a great time speaking at FLOURISH, the Christian Parenting Forum organised by The Stress Free Mum (me) and I touched on simple tips to help a parent work from home with children. Many mums and dads have been asking for these tips and I thought to share it here.
Do feel free to tweak these tips to suit your home situation as we continue to work from home with children in the UK (and any other country where lockdown rules haven’t been lifted).
- Prepare, prepare, prepare – Prepare for your working day in advance, possibly the weekend before. Prepare meals for the family in advance to save you time during the working day.
- Have a routine – Set a time to start work, have lunch, take your break, play with the children, close for the day and also when to go to bed.
- Meet your child’s needs – Children are less likely to interrupt you when their needs are met. Ensure your child is well fed and well settled before you start your day.
- Be open – It is important you tell your Line manager that you have your children at home with you, so you are not under any pressure when your day does not go as planned.
- Be flexible – You might have to change your working hours to suit your home situation. You can start later in the day to allow you to do more in the evening when your children are in bed.
- Set realistic expectations – Set realistic expectations for everyone. Have conversations with your children about work and your day, if they are old enough to understand. Also, explain why you might need a few hours of peace and quiet.
- Relax some rules – The children will be happy with this. You can increase screen time by 30 minutes as a reward to your child for allowing you to get on with work. Be creative with this and make sure the rules you relax are manageable.
- Plan your child’s day – Children should have activities to keep them occupied while you are working. There are many websites with age-appropriate activities to keep them busy. You can buy colouring books with crayons, storybooks and picture books depending on the age of your child. These can also be used to keep your children occupied as well as learn.
- Share your workspace – Your child can do their work in the same room as you. This will make them feel close to you throughout the day. You can then ask your child to leave the space during meetings or you can move to the quieter room. However, if you want them to remain in the room, then invest in good earphones and make good use of your mute and video off button during meetings.
- Prioritise -Prioritise your tasks for work and for your home. Ensure you write these down so you do not forget what should be done and focus on the unimportant.
Do remember that parenting, teaching and working are three separate tasks which are difficult to manage at the same time; so do your best, do what you can, lower your expectations and enjoy every moment you have to bond with your child.
I pray that as we stay at home, God will protect and preserve us all. None shall be sick in our camp (home).
Till next time, it’s me
Olabisi, The Stress Free Mum
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