Concentrate on Priorities
When working from home, it is difficult to overlook household chores that need to be done. It’s hard to ignore a sink full of dirty dishes or that pile of laundry that needs to be folded. With practice, this outlook can change. It is important to realize that there are only a few things that really matter and deserve prompt attention. The top priorities must be making sure children are safe and still having enough energy to complete other tasks that the jobs require. Giving in to distractions can sabotage any effort to be successful working from home.
Preparing in advance for possible interruptions makes handling them easier. Anticipate children’s physical needs and understand that they do not always follow a clear pattern. Be prepared to fix quick snacks and meals by planning in advance so that it does not interfere with a project in progress. Consider making phone calls when children take naps and work on emails or simpler projects while supervising their playtime. Use an answering machine to avoid having to take calls. As a mom who writes from experience, I’m a big proponent of the “bag of tricks”. Keep a special box or bag filled with your child’s favorite, special activities. This can be a handy trick to entertain children if they become restless and demanding, or if you find yourself pulled into an emergency call at work.
Take Advantage of Free Help
Sometimes it may be necessary to call on a family member or neighbor to help out with children when a deadline nears or an important project requires more focus. Other parents who telecommute may be willing to swap out child-care duties sometimes. Getting a little outside help occasionally makes it easier to cope with both jobs.
Pros and Cons
Being able to enjoy parenting and pursue a career at the same time are very rewarding. Those who work from home can accomplish two tasks at one time and be successful at both. Flexibility is key to success for a working parent.