Finding the balance between earning a living and being a parent leads many to leave the office environment to work from home. Some problems, like being there when children are home sick from school, are immediately solved by the new arrangements. However, many soon discover that a whole new realm of problems presents itself. Here are some tips for adjusting to being both a stay-at-home parent and a telecommuter.
Use workflow automation strategies whenever possible, for both office and domestic duties that don’t require much brainpower. Appliances like slow-cookers, dishwashers, and robotic vacuum cleaners save time, especially when set on timers. A shower spray used every day after bathing is a lower-tech time saver that keeps you from having to scrub the bathroom. For work, try creating a digital signature with Miratech to eliminate the unnecessary steps of signing documents by hand, scanning, and then emailing them.
Communicate Your Schedule
Working from home doesn’t mean your house is now an office, and putting in a full day’s work also doesn’t mean that you have to sit locked in a room by yourself for 8 hours. Many successful people are finding that being interruptible is actually the secret to success. Welcome interactions with your children–remember, they are the reason you chose to work from home in the first place. If you truly have a deadline or need an hour or two of complete silence, communicate that to your family ahead of time so there will be no misunderstandings or hurt feelings.
Create a Portable Office
Once children reach middle school, one of your primary parental duties becomes that of chauffeur. Instead of driving as fast as you can from appointment to sporting event to school club, thinking only of finishing your route and returning home, make these moments count by staying mindful. Instead of lamenting your lost productivity, use the occasion to talk and listen to your children. Then make use of half-time at their sporting events or time spent waiting in line to pick them up from school to do work that you have brought with you.
Your situation is just as unique as your children’s personalities, and there is no one-size-fits-all, perfect balance between home and work life. By adopting a sense of gratitude and using the resources available to you, you can find ways to spend time with your children while providing what they need monetarily, too.