Five Tips For Working From Home With Kids
I’m Kelly Taylor, a content creator, storyteller and mother of two girls, with over 17 years of experience in the media industry. I feel very passionate about showing women that kids and a successful career can absolutely go together.
When I was coming back of my second mat leave, I was filled with self doubt and looked for accounts dedicated to empowering working mums, but I couldn’t find any that resonated with me and my situation. So I decided to create @kids_and_the_commute with the promise to be authentic, supportive of others and always share both sides of working mum life.
Working motherhood is not an easy path. Most days are a swirling vortex of mum guilt, late nights, hurried commutes and beige dinners. But the rewards are great and the ability to keep doing the thing you love, whilst providing for those you love is a fantastic feeling.
Work where they can see you
You can try hiding, but they will find you! Joking aside, one of the reasons they become unsettled is because they can’t see you. Whilst finding a quiet space away from them might seem like a good idea on paper, the fuss they create will be way worse when they realise you’re not there!
Download Zoom on your phone
Or Microsoft Teams, or Skype…whatever the main comms system is you work off, put in on your phone. The ability to sit in one place and work is pretty impractical when you’re also tasked with parenting at the same time, so give yourself the option to move around. Phone calls, emails, meetings, these can all be done on the move if you have the right tech on your phone. It all makes getting up to get them their 10th snack in 20 mins easier too!
Wear clothes with pockets
Because looking after kids is a two handed job! Seriously, why all our clothes don’t have pockets is beyond me, but I digress. Having pockets mean that you have somewhere to put your phone when you’re wandering around on calls, freeing your hands to do whatever they need to. Build Lego castles, get them snacks, change nappies, restart Teen Titans or you know, make notes!
Set up play stations.
No not the console, but small areas of activities for them to engage with independent of you. The last bit is key. If you’ve set something up that they’re going to need your help with, it defeats the object. You can also create a box of toys/activities that only come out when you’re working. That way they may start to look forward to you working, rather than screaming at you and trying to shut your laptop!
Be kind to yourself
Unless you’re a teacher or in childcare, your role was never designed to have kids around. You’re finding this hard because it is hard! Right now, so much is being asked of you. Boundaries are blurred, the four walls of your home have become the four walls of your office and there is very little time for you. It’s relentless. Like the rest of the world, you are in the middle of a global pandemic, learning to adapt to a new normal which is anything but normal. But this isn’t forever and together, we will find a way to make this work x