Working from home can already be challenging, but throw in an active toddler and it seems almost impossible. Without childcare and an extra hand to help out, you may feel discouraged and like quitting your job altogether because it can be THAT stressful at times.
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Balancing a full-time job and full-time mommy duties at the same time IS possible (if I wasn’t living proof I wouldn’t believe it either). There are tips for working from home with a toddler that I will show you and you will master the working from home life.
I get it because I am right here with you. It’s a serious struggle and some days, I’m not going to lie, I just want to throw in the towel and say “hey tomorrow’s another day, today isn’t working out.” And yeah, some days might be super sucky, but I promise you, after reading through these tips and ideas, you will feel more confident in your TWO full-time jobs.
1. Wake Up Before They Do
You hate this idea, I know you do, I hate it, too. It’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard, but it’s also THE BEST. Let me tell you, the feeling of sipping on coffee early in the morning and getting half of your work done before your child wakes up IS THE BEST feeling in the world. You will feel so accomplished by 10 am and you’ll want to take on the world. Not only will you complete a lot of work, but you will have extra time to play and hang out with your child. They will love the extra time with you. How early you wake up is up to you. Do you feel you can get a lot done in an hour? I would suggest waking up at least one to two hours before your child. If your child’s a late sleeper, then why not go for three hours before they wake up?
2. Independent Play
Independent play, also known as “lazy parenting” is not only perfect for allowing you to get work done, but it’s great for toddler development as well. Lazy parenting is a really great parenting technique that allows your child to gain confidence and responsibility, and if you’re interested in learning more you can do so here. There are many independent play ideas across the internet that will keep your children busy for at least 20 minutes at a time. A few ideas that I love doing with my little ones are sensory bins, pretend play and busy bags. Check out more great ideas to keep your kids busy inside while you work here.
3. Make a Schedule
The perfect one-fits-all “working from home with a toddler schedule” doesn’t exist, unfortunately, but you can make your own schedule that fits you and your child’s needs. Set office hours and plan out how many hours you plan to work each day. Make sure to give yourself “off days,” too! If you have an employer and have a “set” schedule, ask for flexibility with your daily schedule, as you’re taking care of a little one in addition to working a full-time job from the kitchen table. More than likely, they will understand, and hey, who knows, maybe they’re in the same boat as you.
4. Ask For Help
If possible, have set days where someone watches your child(ren) for a few hours each week. For example, a Grandmother takes your kids every Sunday from 1-4 pm, and your sister takes them every Wednesday from 10 am-3 pm. With set days of distraction-free work hours, you will maximize your time and be able to get more work done with a little less stress. Do you know another work at home parent who lives in your area? Take turns watching all of the kids. For example, one day you watch your kids and the other parent’s kids so the other person can work, and then the next time, the other parent watches all the kids.
5. Plan Ahead
Go into full teacher mode and make “lesson plans” for your days and weeks. Put coloring pages and fun crafts together for your kids to do every day to keep them occupied for longer. My kids really love this set from Crayola paired with these coloring pages!
6. Virtual Play Dates
Set up times for your child to video chat with their cousins, friends, or other family members. By doing this, (most of) their attention will be on the video call and you can get much-needed work done (hopefully) distraction-free.
Working from home with a toddler in the house can be super frustrating at times, but I hope I can make it a bit easier for you and your child with these tips. What is your favorite way to keep your toddler busy at home? Let us know in the comments!
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