Working from home as a single parent is awesome unless you have kids to take care of. This is especially true since COVID-19 made attending school or daycare in person unsafe. Being productive while working from home and homeschooling your kids is next to impossible.
However, while kids can be a distraction while working from home as a single parent, you can still get some work done by using the following tips and tricks that we collected from your fellow work-at-home single parents.
Working from Home as a Single Parent: Tips and Tricks
Communicate Your Expectations with Your Kids
Make sure that they know your work hours and that they respect your space when you’re working. Tell them that although you are working from home, it does not mean they can distract you any time they want.
If you are living in a shared home, make sure you also lay some ground rules with your housemates about meeting times, quiet times, and shared spaces.
Plan Your Breaks
Plan your schedule so that you will have time to spend with your kids. Let them know about it so they will have something to look forward to instead of interrupting you during work hours. You can treat them like you would a coffee date with a friend or a meeting with a colleague.
Assign some time with your kids and don’t let work interrupt you. For example, you can schedule work from 9 to 11 AM and schedule your time with your kids from 11 AM to 12NN.
Teach Your Kids to Be Independent
The more chores your kids can do on their own, the less they will need to interrupt you for help. Additionally, being able to do things on their own will boost your kids’ self-esteem.
So, encourage your kids to do simple chores. For example, let them clean up their toys or feed their pet. You could also make playtime enticing for them. If your kids are into art, make sure to stock up on art supplies that they can use on their own. If you have a reader, load up your home library with books that are appropriate for their age.
Take Some Alone Time
Working from home as a single parent will take a toll on your physical and mental health if you are not careful. Some of us don’t have the luxury of taking vacations because we need to make ends meet. But, you can allocate some time to yourself. Take a nap when you are tired so you will have enough battery when you wake up and perform your duties.
Self-care and self-love for single parents are two crucial ingredients to effective parenting.
Ask for Help
Asking for help is never a sign of weakness. When you are feeling overwhelmed, hire a babysitter. If that’s not possible because of budget and health risks, ask a grandparent or a relative to do some FaceTime or Zoom call to keep the kids occupied.
It’s also a great way for your kids to have some semblance of social life outside of you and your shared home.