With the global pandemic still in full force, many parents will continue to work remotely with small children at home. And as schools and daycares remain closed, these parents have to get creative with how they balance their work priorities and parental responsibilities. Here are seven survival tips for parents working from home with cute and curious infants and toddlers underfoot.
Wear comfortable professional clothes.
Keep yourself professional but also comfortable when working from home so you can hop on a video call at a moment’s notice. These leggings from Kindred Bravely will look good on camera even after a morning spent chasing your toddler, while these nursing shirts from Latched Mama can help you look like a pro even while feeding.
Work in the mornings and evenings.
Take advantage of early mornings and evenings to get uninterrupted work done. If your baby is still waking up hungry at night, create a schedule with your partner that allows you to share the burden of late-night feedings so you each can have a handful of productive mornings during the workweek.
Empower yourself and your family with good habits.
Creating habits, schedules, and routines will help your whole family get used to the times when parents need to focus on something other than the kids. Wear your infant or toddler in a sling, wrap, or carrier as you work through your to-do list, from writing emails at a standing desk to vacuuming rugs or mopping floors.
Let go of expectations about how things should be.
You know what they say about the best-laid plans, so just keep in mind that sometimes things won’t go as planned. You can let that destroy your mood or disrupt your day or you can reset your expectations and adjust your mindset. Be firm but flexible in your day’s plans so you can roll with whatever curveballs your kids or your boss hurl your way.
Baby-proof your home office.
Make sure your home office is safe for your baby or toddler to explore so you can multitask on work and parenting from time to time. A crawling infant or a curious toddler will need more constant attention, but in a thoroughly baby-proofed office, you can shift your focus a bit more.
Encourage solo play.
Work from the floor next to your baby having tummy time or while your toddler builds with blocks. Build “treasure boxes” for toddlers to explore and rummage through — just be sure not to include anything small enough to be a choking hazard. Interactive toys, coloring books, tracing letters with blotters, and other fine motor-focused games and activities can also buy you 20–30 minutes of uninterrupted work.
If you’re considering screen time, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that children over two can have up to 60 minutes of high-quality screen time a day. It’s best to break this up into smaller chunks, but if you have a TV-lunch-nap-TV routine, you can put in 2–4 hours of work. While there are many benefits to screen time, there are also some substantial drawbacks to investigate, so be sure to do your research and have a conversation with your pediatrician before starting TV.
At the end of the day, all parents — working remotely or otherwise — want to know their kids are safe at home, especially at times when our attention is divided. Sure Basics specializes in dependable child safety products. Browse available home safety products to make your home a safer place for your whole family.