The ability to work from home is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, holding a remote job will enable you to save money on childcare and spend much more time with your kiddos. But on the other, working from home makes you vulnerable to the many distractions of parenting life. For parents with young kids, juggling the demands of childcare and work is an endless struggle! But you shouldn’t have to sacrifice one for the other. To help you get a handle on your hectic life and thrive as a work-from-home parent, we have created this quick survival guide.
Protect Your Mental Health
People are often surprised by the incredibly draining nature of remote work. When you work from home, you may find yourself logging long hours, struggling with feelings of isolation, or facing the constant pressure to be online and available at all times. On top of this, it’s common for moms and dads to feel a sense of guilt about choosing work — or rest — over their children. All of this can be incredibly draining!
Practicing self-care is pivotal to your mental wellbeing when working from home with little ones underfoot. First off, make sure the energy in your home feels bright and positive. Clutter and stuffiness can quickly drag you down and drain your energy, but a little cleaning can go a long way to help you stay productive. Another great way to practice self-care is to ask for help. If you have a spouse, see if they can take on some of your daily responsibilities to lighten your load. Trying to do everything yourself just isn’t realistic!
Take Care of Your Body
Treating your body right will also help you maintain the energy you need to juggle your busy life. Sleep, nutrition, and fitness — the three pillars of health — are key! Try to pack your diet full of nutrients. A simple salad is a fantastic afternoon pick-me-up that doesn’t have to be bland or boring. When it comes to fitness, try to get your body moving in some way daily, whether this means taking a walk around the block or sweating through an at-home bodyweight routine. Finally, make time for at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
Schedule Deep Focus Time
As Verywell Mind explains, multitasking doesn’t work. Our brains struggle at handling more than one task at a time, which is why multitasking can reduce your productivity by as much as 40 percent! Resist the urge to try to multitask while you’re working from home. Instead, schedule work time when you can focus deeply on the most important tasks of your day without your children around to provide distractions. This might mean getting up early to work before your kids wake up or having your spouse distract little ones for a couple of hours in the afternoon. When you’re watching the kids, stick to simple work tasks like reading emails.
Consider a Career Change
If you wake up every morning and dread the start of your workday, it might be time for a career change. Your job should excite and inspire you! Boredom, fatigue, and chronic stress are signs that you’re not doing work that is fulfilling and healthy for you. Fortunately, changing careers is super easy for remote working parents. Countless high-paying jobs exist online, so you’re bound to find something that better aligns with your professional goals. You could even pursue an online education and go after jobs that require diplomas or degrees. If you want to work in business, for example, an online school like WGU will help you learn the skills you need to excel in business management, administration, or marketing. It might not be the simplest solution, but sometimes it’s the best one.
For many parents, switching to remote work after having kids seems like a no-brainer. But working from home with a baby or toddler underfoot is much easier said than done. Protect yourself from stress and burnout by prioritizing self-care!
This is just one of many great resources for parents offered by the Be a Champion Dad team. For more great tips, check out our blog.