“Mommy, do you want to see my drawing?”
Chances are, you don’t. But today the stakes are especially high because you really ought to be working.
Over the past few decades, the number of households where both parents work has risen sharply, making situations like these far more common. And it has always been a struggle for parents raising children on their own.
When childcare can’t be found, or an emergency arises, parents may be stuck taking their kids to work or working from home. These types of situations can be difficult. While parenting may be your first and most important job, we all need to bring home the bacon, and that means staying productive even when the kids are around.
If you ever find yourself in a such a touchy situation, here are some steps you can take to keep your kids occupied and yourself productive!
Plan a schedule for yourself and your kids!
Trying to get any work done when your kids are around can be extremely difficult at times. If you have younger kids at home, one of the easiest things you can do is get them on a regular nap schedule. This gives you the opportunity to work at the same time of day every day — when they know it is time for a nap! They also fight you less once it becomes a habit. Another thing you can do is have a special bin of toys they can play with only when you are working. This not only keeps their attention much longer, but also helps them to look forward to your work time.
Also, keep track of your own tasks, and schedule them wisely. Some can be done with your divided attention, whereas others require prolonged periods of focus. Save the latter for nap time, and do the easier tasks when you know you might be interrupted.
Give the kids their own “work”
One way to keep the kids occupied is to enlist their help. Get the kids involved in small tasks around the house or office, such as dusting, cleaning, and folding. Teaching them how to do these things, while an investment of time and energy, can pay large dividends long-term. They will feel valued, they may run out of energy faster, and on occasion, you may even find their help to be valuable!
Treat them like grown-ups, and model good behavior
Depending on their age, your kids may be mature enough to understand how important work is as a part of adult life. Show them what you’re working on in terms that they can understand. Demonstrate how diligently you work, and how sometimes projects can take a long time, but that doing good work allows grownups to be able to do things like buy food and spend time with their kids.
Having kids around at work is always a balancing act, but thoughtful preparation and good communication can get the kids on “your side,” so to speak. Or at the very least, it can keep them occupied long enough for you get some work done!
If you have any questions, our team would be more than happy to help. Call us today at (484) 893-4055.