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Balancing work and family life

How to Make Remote Work Possible With a Baby or Toddler at Home

Over the last year, more and more people have had to transition to learning how to work remotely. Even as COVID-19 cases have been reduced, the odds are good that many parents are working out of a home office for the time being. Although remote work limits your risk of spreading the coronavirus, it’s also a major productivity challenge all on its own. Add a very little one to the mix, and things can get hectic, fast.

However, there are ways you can keep your cool, stay productive, eliminate household stress, and manage your household all at once. Wendi’s Tips shares some of the best techniques working parents can use to get through the next few months with their sanity intact.

Dress for Comfort

When you’re taking care of a little one, you’re on the go a lot. Parents of young children spend a lot of time kneeling down, playing on the ground, and chasing after budding crawlers and walkers. If you don’t have access to child care, this is still going to be true while you’re working remotely. The fact that you’re also going to be juggling work is only more reason to focus on wearing comfy clothes.

Now, we’re not saying you should stay in your pajamas all day — that’s not the world’s best look on video calls. However, split the difference with comfortable, fashionable items. You can get yourself a whole cozy remote work wardrobe without spending too much if you keep your eye out for sales at shops like Dillards. This can be an especially good move for new moms — elastic waistbands are your friend for those first few months.

Get Help If Possible

Depending on your situation, you may be able to ask a local friend or family member to bubble up with you and be a dedicated babysitter. Your parents, siblings, or close friends might be willing and able to take this on for you. Have a clear open conversation about what level of quarantine and self-isolation everyone wants out of the bubble. It’s important to be on the same page in order to make sure no one inadvertently crosses a line.

However, we understand that this won’t be feasible for everyone. If you can’t find anyone who can bubble with you, you might still be able to get a little bit of babysitting out of interested loved ones. For example, you can look into setting a friend up as your virtual babysitter. This works by setting your child up with a video chat with the friend or family member in question. It’s not a perfect solution — you definitely still need to be in the room so you can keep your little one safe — but they can hold your child’s attention while you knock out a task or two. Remember, video chats are thought to be a healthy, productive form of screen time!

Ask for Flexibility

At the end of the day, your best bet over the next few months might be asking for flexibility at work. For example, you might ask if, apart from meetings, you can work during non-traditional work hours. If you have a partner who also works from home, see if you can organize it so one of you works earlier than the traditional 9–5 and the other, later. This will give both of you more time to dedicate your full attention to your child or your work, rather than try to split it between both.

Enhance Your Career Prospects  

Now that you’re working remotely, have you considered giving your career a boost? Online degree programs allow you to complete your coursework from home and work at a pace that you can adapt to your family obligations. There are all sorts of online programs available, including those with degrees for business, teaching, nursing, and accounting.

These aren’t the only options, so go into the conversation with an open mind and a few ideas for what might work. You and your supervisor can collaborate to come up with a solution that works for your family and your team. Remember — this is all temporary. Come up with a plan for the next few months, and try to take things one day at a time. Soon, this will all be behind you.

Author Janice Russell believes the only way to survive parenthood is to find the humor in it. She created Parenting Disasters so that parents would have a go-to resource whenever they needed a laugh, but also to show parents they aren’t alone. She wants every frazzled parent out there to remember that for every kid stuck in a toilet, there’s another one out there somewhere who’s just graced their parents’ walls with some Sharpie artwork!

Balancing Work and Family Life as a Single Parent

It is possible to keep one’s sanity and sense of humor, yet still be a single parent in the workforce. The trick is to be extra organized and do as much as possible when the kids are with the co-parent. It is challenging stepping back into a career when being a stay-at-home mom, or changing to full-time. These tips make life a bit easier.

  1. Work more during visitation. I went to my father’s every other weekend and my nurse mother worked at a hospital during that time. She also picked up extra shifts for the two weeks that I was on vacation with my father and at camp. Another woman worked 8-3 without a formal lunch break. She then went into the office for five hours every Saturday while the kids were at visitation. Since the office was closed, it was peaceful enabling her to get ahead with work. See if you can build flexibility into your job. A dad might work extra on the weekend that he is not with the kids.
  2. Make a huge quantity of lasagne or another dish, and freeze single portions (your work lunches) and family size ones. When you are tired – reheat with a prepared salad. Do a cooking marathon when the kids are at visitation. I buy organic, but yummy prepared meals to give to hungry fellows in a hurry. My sons like Trader Joe’s pot pies and their frozen meat which is quick to cook.
  3. Team up with other single parents to have potlucks or share some tasks. Three moms decided to rotate cooking evening meals, each doing one night a week. One cooks enough for the other two families and packs up the complete meals into containers. They are delivered to those houses nearby and for the next two evenings, she is off the hook for providing dinner. These three have been doing this arrangement for years and treasure those blissful cooking-free nights.
  4. Nurture yourself. If you are frazzled, then you are less able to give your full attention to the kids. Pop in for a pedicure or an occasional facial. Indulge in high end, but low cost organic plant based skin care, such as Boot’s Botanic line. My skin is smooth and I feel heavenly. Sitting on the couch reading a magazine with a cat on my lap is so relaxing. Do what rejuvenates you. Some divorced dads got back into sports and enjoy the camaraderie as well as increasing physical well-being.    Please read more …  divorcedmoms.com/articles/balancing-single-parenting-and-work-10-tips-for-the-overwhelmed