Working From Home With A Toddler
Working from home is hard. Working from home with a toddler is hard. Working from home with a toddler when you’re in healthcare is a whole other ballgame! I can only imagine there are so many other moms out there who never expected to be working from home, yet here we are. It can be a challenge trying to call patients when I have a whining two year old who just wants to sit on my lap and “do workin’!” So, what are my tricks to successfully work from home? Keep reading to find out!
WAKE UP EARLY
I know, I know, no one wants to hear this advice, but honestly, it’s been the biggest game changer for me. I try to wake up at least an hour or two before I know Jack will be awake (and sometimes he sleeps in, so it’s even longer!) and I am able to get done most of my daily work tasks before I even have to deal with juggling a toddler with my work. Of course, my job always has tasks to be done, but if I get two or three hours of work done in the morning, I don’t feel so bad for taking time to snuggle on the couch and have just “us” time when Jack wakes up.
SCHEDULE AROUND NAP TIME
This is another game-changer for me. I am lucky because Jack takes 2 to 3 hour naps most days, so I know for the most part, I can schedule important meetings or training sessions during these hours. Between nap time and waking up early I can schedule in half of my work day, leaving plenty of time in the day to balance the rest of my work and a toddler full of energy.
SCHEDULE PLAYTIME INTO YOUR DAY
Toddlers not only need to be engaged, but they need to play! It’s impossible to think that I can sit in front of the computer for 8 straight hours in a day and keep a toddler happy; trust me, I’ve tried, and it resulted in lots of tears from both of us. So, I schedule in time to get outside, play a game, or read together every day. We go on walks, we ride around to one of the playgrounds in our neighbourhood, or if the weather is right, take a dip in our pool! It is so important to schedule time with your child when you are working from home.
BUT DON'T SCHEDULE TOO MUCH!!
Listen, I get it, you are home, so you want to do home things, but you are also on the clock! When I started working from home I wanted to do ALL THE THINGS and I quickly realized this was literally impossible. Don’t beat yourself up for not getting it all done, because you are getting done what you have to and that is enough.
HAVE A DANCE PARTY
Having a mid-day dance party is a great way to burn up some of the energy your toddler has, and also energize you to power through the rest of your work day! Whether you do it first thing in the morning, when you’re getting close to nap time, or in that afternoon slump, it’s a great way to have fun with your toddler.
USE SCREENS IF NEED BE
I know this is like the most “terrible mom” thing I can say, but honestly, turning on Cars or Sesame Street has been a lifesaver during some important meetings for me. I can give Jack a snack and some water, get him snuggled in on the couch with a blanket and some stuffies, and I can usually get through at least half a meeting, if not the whole thing, before he is up and wanting my attention again. It also has given Jack his favorite movie & characters, and we walk around saying “kachow!” and “I. Am. Speed.” all the time in our house now.
REMEMBER YOU ARE DOING YOUR BEST
Working from home is a challenge, and one many of us never thought we’d have to face. You do the best you can, but guess what? Some days, you are just not going to be as productive as you would be when you are in the office, and that’s ok, there will always be tomorrow for work, but kids grow up in the blink of an eye and our time with them is precious.
However you get through your day working from home with kids, know you are doing amazing, Mama! Do you have any tips or tricks for working from home with a toddler? Please share in the comments.