How to Work from Home When Your Kids Need Attention
But now is the time to let go of the guilt we might feel from having a day go not quite as planned. You are already doing a great job, and we will all get the hang of it together a little more each day.
Tips for working from home with babies + toddlers
Make busy boxes
I rolled my eyes the first time I saw this idea on Pinterest, but busy boxes have been lifesavers during really hectic workdays. The key is to change the contents of the box up. Each week I make a new box with little toys, bubbles, crayons, letter tiles, new books, playdough (when I’m feeling brave) and so on. The other key is to put the box away as soon as your meeting is done, or the kids start to lose interest, so it seems like a special treat the next time you pull it out.
Set expectations + reward kids for meeting them
At the beginning of each day, I suggest clearly communicating with your kids about the times when you have your most important meetings or deadlines. Those are the points in the day to bring out the big guns (you know what I’m talking about: YouTube, Roblox, iPads, TV). Challenge your kids to see if they can possibly hold out on electronics until those times and find little rewards for them if they succeed.
Give them their own “jobs” to do
Set aside cleaning supplies that are just for use by the kids – you might even put your kids’ names on the supplies so they feel ownership. Throughout the day, ask the kids to be your housekeeping assistants and encourage them to go on a hunt for dirt spots on the floor or dust on surfaces. You would be surprised how much fun a spray bottle of water and a few rags can offer throughout the day.
Hire them as temporary assistants
Speaking of assistants, you can also ask kids to assist you with work! For example, I sometimes have asked my son to sit in the background and “take notes” during a meeting. It keeps him busy for a while and the result is usually hilarious.