Working at home can be stressful, especially with small children in the house. Where is the balance between work and home when home is the work place?
Here are some suggestions to help both you and your kids make the most of each day at the new home office.
1. Wake up at least an hour before the children. This gives you some quiet time to assess your daily priorities, stretch your body and mentally and physically brace oneself for the day ahead. This is YOUR time. Meditate at least 10 minutes in the morning. Visualize your day going smoothly and being productive.
2. Make sure that your children have your full attention when they first wake up! Give them hugs and kisses. Enjoy some snuggling and laughter. Make them breakfast. These are precious times that may not always be here. Give your children the gift of being present.
3. Develop a routine with your kids. Keep your schedule essentially the same every day, but don't be a slave to the timeclock. Each morning, set up a selection of fun things for them to do that will keep them happily entertained such as educational apps on a tablet, table toys, play dough, watercolors, movies or a little indoor sandbox with digging toys.
4. If you can afford it, hire a nanny to come into your home for just a few hours a day to play with and attend to your children. This gives you total solitude at least for an hour or two, even if only a few times a week.
5. Don't devote a set block of time to your work each day. Instead, have certain objectives, such as "I will work for 5 hours today." Work during naptime. Sneak a few minutes during lunch or whenever the children are happily playing.
6. Allow for some flexibility, but don't just abandon your work if the kids are not cooperating. You can be creative. Take them outside for a while or go for a walk. Let them move with you and they will most likely give you the downtime you need to get some work done.
7. Let the kids help with small tasks for example let them staple, paper clip and assist you sorting or cutting. They may not actually be assisting you with actual work, but they will appreciate it and it makes them feel oh so important, as if they are helping Mom or Dad with work. Be sure to thank them for their help!
8. Try to save things that can be done after hours, such as internet work, filing, paperwork, checking emails etc. for when they have gone to bed. You will find that an hour of quiet working time will enable you to catch up.
9. Stay in the present moment. If a kid needs a hug or some juice, don't put them off or push them away. Remember the whole reason you wanted to work at home in the first place? So we can spend more time with our families, stay safe and healthy during this crazy time. Give the hug and get the juice. Do it lovingly and be grateful for the opportunity to spend this time with them.
10. Enjoy the journey! Life is simply too important to waste being stressed about your business. Our children, their happiness and comfort are far more important than any business, meeting or agenda you may have for today.
In this place we love, we cherish, we dream and we hold tight everything that makes a family whole!
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