Many parents have long dreamed of working from home. You skip the stressful morning commute, work from your couch and spend more time with your children. What could be better?
As many of us have found out, working from home with kids is downright stressful. Mallorie Lim is a busy mom of four and an HR Consultant at simplicityHR by Altres. She offers this advice on balancing the obligations to your kids and your employer.
1. Create a schedule and routine. With the boundaries between work and home blurred, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Creating a schedule and sticking to a routine can provide much-needed structure for your kids and help ensure your workday goes smoothly.
2. Manage your expectations. It’s important to remember that you’re doing two (very important) roles at once. So, while you might normally not let your kids have so much screen time, or let an hour go by before replying to an email, remember we are not in normal times.
3. Ask for help. Often, the hardest part about getting help is simply asking for it. But building a network of support – personally and professionally – is key to being successful. By the same token, lend your help to others who may be working from home with their kids too.
4. Take care to self-care. Self-care is understandably low on your priorities. But carving out time for yourself, however little, is great for managing stress, improving your mood and maintaining mental health. All of which helps you be a better caretaker and better employee.
5. Be flexible. The only predictable thing about life is its unpredictability. Be patient with yourself, your kids and others. We are all adjusting and figuring it out as we go. While routine is important, know things will change, sometimes suddenly. Be flexible and adapt as needed.