Work-from-home may seem like a dream come true for many parents. You don’t have to commute. You’ll be with your family the whole day. You can work in your PJs, too!
For some parents, this can be a source of stress. Between blurred boundaries at work and unmonitored overtimes, it’s easy to feel burned out. But this is a reality of the changing context and workplace—and it pays to keep your children in the loop of change.
Before embarking on a work-from-home arrangement, keep this in mind: balance is the key to spend both quality time with your family and finish your job in time. These four steps can help you get this done each day.
Set Physical Boundaries
Boundaries are important to keep you from feeling drained. It’s good to be more purposive about how you manage your time with your little ones. When creating a home workspace, you may want to make use of this time to set physical boundary with your children.
Physical boundaries allow children to understand where they can position themselves when you are working. Certain hours can mean that mommy can’t be disturbed from work. During lunch time and afternoon window breaks, they know that they are allowed to play with or talk to you.
It’s important to establish this so that your children will also learn how to establish and respect their own boundaries moving forward.
Communicate with Your Children
When people say communication is key, it means communication is needed to unlock connections and clear out paths for misunderstanding.
Just like adults communicate their needs in a straightforward manner in the office, it’s good to let your children practice communicating their needs to you. A give-and-take game or a taking-turns activity teaches them that everyone has needs. And it makes them more open towards harmonious and efficient communication, which they can take with them in their later years.
Set a Schedule—and Stick With It!
Schedules are another form of boundaries. You can teach your children to learn the value of time and respecting other people’s hours by trying it out in your own home.
When setting up timetables, make sure that it’s something you can also adhere to. This teaches children two things: obeying the rules and learning what to expect from others. If you say that it’s a 20-minute playtime for you and your child at 3 p.m., make sure you schedule will be free at that time.
In the same way, consider this as a learning point for you as a parent as well. Having a firm schedule keeps you from being distracted by other things, so you may be inclined to work more efficiently in your own tasks.
Remember, keeping your word to them is a way of nourishing their best version—in this case, being responsible of their own actions and their own time!
Plan Ahead, But Know How to Adapt
You may have Plans A to Z down pat, but at the end of the day, some things can be unpredictable. Even in work-from-home set-ups, it’s good to be more flexible, especially when it involves your child’s needs. Emergencies may happen at the most inopportune and unexpected times, so being purposefully flexible can help you feel less stressed.
While there may be no one ideal scenario in a work-from-home setup, you can be an ideal mom for your child. It may be a trial and error experience, and you may get a lot of learning milestones from each day that you practice this. What’s important is to take each opportunity to nourish every possible by involving them in these learning opportunities as you go through them together.