By Brianny Phy
“Stay at home moms” don’t always get the credit they deserve, especially if they’re working from home as well. At times it feels like an unsaid notion that moms who are working from home aren’t really working. Although it may appear as if our lives are full of Starbucks runs and Target shopping sprees, we actually have a pretty packed schedule of our own.
Yes it’s true, society does seem to have an unspoken expectation that we maintain the household and raise our children as if we don’t have a job. All while working and building some type of career as if we don’t have children- and it sounds impossible right? The truth is, it’s a balancing act. You have your schedule for work AND your schedule for your kids. That type of pressure can feel extremely daunting.
With a little strategic planning you can master the art of “doing it all.” If you’re lucky enough to have your kids in a weekly daycare program then you may already have a great workflow while they are out. But, if you’re like me and your kids are always with you then it’s time to give yourself some daily words of affirmation and try to stick with these 5 tips I have for myself, they may help.
- Limit your screen time (I MEAN YOU!)
It’s incredibly easy to work the entire day away but mental health is extremely important so
try to give yourself frequent breaks to focus on kids. If the weather is nice go outside, leave the phones and laptops and give yourself a TRUE mental break. It is amazing what a quick stroll around your neighborhood can do for you and your kid.
- Allow your kids to entertain themselves
The best part of working from home for me is being able to spend all day with my son, these days of little kids are fleeting and I am so thankful I get to be around him and watch him grow. BUT, I also have a job that requires my attention. Encouraging my child to entertain himself not only helps me to complete my work, but teaches him how to use his imagination and that quiet time is good for him. I know, I know, this is easier said than done some days. But start to take note of what activities seem to really interest your child and what activities seem to require adult involvement.
- Quality programming can be your friend
I know there are times when my child just wants to be in my face all day long and has no interest in entertaining himself. I’m always hesitant to let my kid watch TV often but sometimes I need the extra help with quality programming like Sesame Street. Although, I do like to set limitations. But those days where TV is my best friend and maybe too much is watched…I know every once in a while is not going to harm them.
- Creating activity boxes
If you’re not a fan of television, another great way to keep your kids busy so you can work is to create an activity box. My child loves trains so I created an entire box filled with train tracks, trains, blocks and anything else train related. This is something that is not in the regular toy rotation so it appears as something special and new once it’s handed over. This can be done with musical toys, crayons and paper…The possibilities are endless.
- Allow yourself quality time with your kid
Although, trying to find ways to distract and entertain your kids can be a full time job in itself, allow yourself time to engage, interact and connect with your kids. Whether it be going outside for 15 minutes or eating lunch together, try to find times throughout the day to give your kids that one on one time that they need.
The balancing act between your job and your kids can be difficult, but it is possible. Just remember you are not alone, you can do this!