Excuse me, Sir, I’m really sorry but my two years old just pooped his pants and needs a change”
“My daughter just broke a showpiece, trying to open the refrigerator by herself. Please excuse me, I’ll be right back.”
“Oh, that noise? Yeah, that’s my son who just woke up from his sleep and is now crying. Guess he needs to fill his tummy”
Sounds familiar? Yeah, I was just quoting some of our daily struggles as a mom working from home, in the time of the Corona Virus Pandemic.
Working from home for a day or two is comfortable and easier, when your kids are off to school or out to play and you have the luxury and comfort of your own home all to yourself. But when you, along with your kids, have to stay locked up inside the house 24*7, and on top of that you have to work from home, that’s where the actual trouble begins!
It’s a challenging balance that has already spawned endless social media jokes. But balancing home and work together is definitely not a joke, and we know the struggle, don’t we?
Here are some tips on how to find perspective and a sense of balance as you prepare to work and parent within the confines of coronavirus self-isolation:
- The first and foremost thing you need to do is get out of bed and get dressed up, the same way you would have as if you were going to your office today. It may be tempting to just roll out of your bed and take your meetings in your pajamas, but trust me; getting dressed for work will get you into the working mode. It just feels different- you feel you are ready for work.
- Try and get a head start. Getting one or two things done early in the morning – before everyone else is up – can make a huge difference and will provide you with some extra time in hand, to help your child with their schoolwork, and manage the housework or whatever else you may have to look after.
- Space management is important. Since everyone if at home, and your kids may have online classes, and others in your house may have a work-from-home situation as you do, it’s necessary to create boundaries during working hours. You can create designated workspaces for everyone in the house and ask them to work only in their allotted space. For example, you can take up one of the rooms, give your kids the living room and your partner can work in the bedroom.
- Give your kids a heads up before something important or before a critical work event so that they know about it beforehand and do not just come trotting in your workspace, seeking attention. You can also set a timer so they are more prepared for it, or put them in front of the TV to keep them occupied.
- Don’t be embarrassed if someone walks in during an important call, or some screaming going on in the background or a door slams shut, or the TV suddenly starts blaring. Remember this is your home and these are the sounds of life. You are using the space your kids call home, for your work. Just be easy and laugh it away. Everyone is in the same situation.
- Keep a lunch hour where everyone takes a break and gets together in one room. We don’t get chances to have lunch with the family on weekdays- enjoy it.
We are facing an uncertain time, that’s for sure. But amid this new work-home-school life where there are going to be many frustrating moments, there are also going to be chances to take a walk, cuddle, sing a song, and have a snack with your child in the middle of a workday that wasn’t possible before. As much as you hate working like this, these times do provide you with ample bonding time with your kids which you hardly got otherwise. So, make the most of it. It will keep everyone’s spirits high
Please share your experiences. Even funny ones are welcome, we can all do with some laughter in this time of stress.