Getting used to working from home can be challenging enough when you’re flying solo. But if you have a toddler or two running around, it can feel like trying to work in the middle of a zoo when the attractions have been set free to roam. Seriously, if you’re a working parent who’s been dealing with younger children and trying to stay sane working from home during the pandemic, you know that this isn’t an exaggeration.
You should also know that working remotely with toddlers doesn’t have to be so chaotic! You can use these tips and hacks to tame your “zoo” and actually get stuff done.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or stress, don’t wait to get the help you need. Ocean Vista Counseling offers in-person and telehealth counseling services to get you back on track. Call 386-449-8600 to schedule an appointment.
Here are some tips for staying sane working from home with a toddler.
Don’t Stress About Your Clothes
When you’re chasing after a toddler and juggling Zoom meetings, the last thing you should be worried about is your wardrobe. That’s why working parents should invest in casual, comfy, and stylish pieces that can take them from the home office to tackling chores at home to the grocery store to pick up essentials.
What should you wear with those new tops? Yep, you guessed it: the holy grail of work from home clothing options — leggings! If you still need to look professional, there are thicker and more polished-looking leggings that you can find online. Made from materials like pointe and denim, these leggings actually look like pants while providing the stretch and performance you need.
Do Make Rest and Sleep a Priority
Listen up moms and dads: You need sleep. We know that getting that sleep can be tough when you have a baby or toddler to take care of on top of working remotely, but better rest could be the solution you’ve been looking for to tame any extra pandemic stress and tension.
You should never ignore your need for sleep. Take naps during the day, avoid big meals before bed, and most importantly for working parents, don’t check emails in bed — the blue light from screens can keep you up.
Do Look for Ways to Advance Your Career
Even though you’re spending most of your time at home, there are still opportunities to improve your career prospects. For example, you can earn an online degree in teaching, nursing, business, and much more. Online programs are ideal for work-at-home parents because they offer learners the opportunity to graduate faster, and parents can complete the coursework on their own time so they can still prioritize caring for their kids.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself Right Now
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and burned out, you may also be putting too many expectations on yourself. Remember, this is an extremely stressful time like most of us have never experienced before. While it may seem like you should be able to do it all with no issues, trying to balance caring for a child with trying to stay productive working from home is a lot — especially if you are still trying to work a solid eight-hour shift amidst all of the added responsibilities and chaos.
Talk to your boss about breaking up the workday into a more manageable arrangement. Maybe this means scheduling a longer lunch break to get outside with your little ones or working in bursts during the day. Do what works for you and your family.
Do Reach Out for Extra Support and Help
Another secret to keeping yourself afloat? Staying connected to your co-workers, friends, and anyone else you need to make the impossible possible right now. You can ask your employers and colleagues about using communication tools like Slack to stay connected during work hours. Then you should feel more comfortable letting them know what you need to survive. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, try reaching out to friends and loved ones for some emotional support or simply to vent about your current situation.
Working at home with a toddler shouldn’t feel like survival of the fittest. You just need to make sure you have the tools, sleep, and support you need to tame the chaos of these uncertain times. Above all, be sure to have some compassion for yourself. You’re doing the best you can. Care for yourself by managing to stay sane working from home. Both you and your child will benefit from your self care.
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