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Working from home is a dream for many people. However, for parents with kids at home may not like the idea of working at home as there are many distractions making them unable to focus on their daily tasks. While Malaysia is entering the endemic phase, there are still people who are allowed to work from home.
Working at home with kids might be a struggle for most parents out there. But don’t worry as The Happy Hormones has gathered some useful tips for you parents so that things will be much easier to manage in your home.
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1. Planning ahead and stick to a schedule
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Planning a schedule is always a good idea but you got to have the discipline to actually follow it. It can be challenging at the start but once you get the hang of it, it becomes a lot easier. Work around your schedule to see what’s best for you, your partner and the kids.
Schedule some daily activities for your kids so they can focus on that while you focus on your work. These activities can be anything exciting for them including colouring, some art activities, and perhaps some games too.
2. Set clear boundaries
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Setting boundaries is important in every household with kids. Draw a line and try to stick to it. When you have an important call, shut the door and when the door is shut, it clearly means no coming in! Well, of course, unless it’s an emergency.
A better idea would be posting a sign outside the door as this gives the kids some time to pause and reflect on whether they really need to enter or not. It may take some time for the kids to understand but eventually, they will. This makes it easier for you to have a meeting without the kids bothering you.
3. Arrange virtual playdates
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Kids need their social time too, just like adults. The best thing you can do for them is set up virtual playdates with their schoolmates or even relatives that don’t get to see very often. Thank goodness for technology! It’s one way they get to stay connected to each other. This does not only help occupy them but also helps in their social and communication skills. Kids nowadays can handle a device very well. Just keep an eye on them every little while to make sure they are not up to something mischievous. While they’re busy socialising with their friends, you get to focus on your work tasks!
4. Optimize your workspace for focus
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If you don’t have a room at home dedicated for work purposes, then the best thing you can do for yourself is to find a corner in the living room or the kitchen and create a workspace where you can limit distractions as well as focus on your daily task. Setting this up can help your kids learn that once you’re in your workspace, they shouldn’t be disturbing you while you work.
5. Divide the load with your partner
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The key to WFH while having kids at home is to have some support from your partner. When you divide the load with your partner, things won’t be as stressful at home. Schedule a time for you to take over while your partner works and vice versa. For instance, your partner can feed the kids at a certain time while you work and later you take over with playtime while your partner works. This helps you both to set clear expectations on who does what when it comes to taking care of the kids.
6. Be easy on yourself and be gentle to the kids
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Parenting while WFH can be tough. Every family has their own ways of working things out. What might work for you might not work for others. Ask for help if you need it especially on days when you can’t get help from your partner or of you’re having an important meeting with your superiors. Hire a nanny for the day if you need that extra help. Be gentle with the kids, they need time to get used to the new norms. Always be easy on yourself too as you’re also trying to work things out for the better. Take advantage of their nap time or any other sleeping time and take a break if you need to even if it’s just for 10 minutes!