Working from Home with a Toddler
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Whether you already work from home full-time or find yourself in a temporary work-at-home situation, this guide will help you manage work time while parenting a toddler. Young children have an incredible amount of energy and curiosity! It might feel impossible sometimes to successfully work from home with your toddler nearby. We’ve compiled a list of work tips and advice that will help you plan, organize, and manage. It’s fun and rewarding to be there for your child, in case they need you. But a toddler’s desire for attention can also take time away from work responsibilities. Despite this, you can do both! Here are five tips for working from home with a toddler.
5 Working from Home Tips
Prioritize projects during your toddler’s sleep time.
Work on the most important projects when your toddler is sleeping. Early mornings and naptime are the best. This is when you can concentrate the most. Use this distraction-free time to hammer out important projects, emails, and work calls. If you can work on these high priority jobs first, the rest of your workday will feel less frenzied. Create a plan for the next day and reduce work stress.
Set aside work-free playtime.
Let’s face it: you can’t work all day uninterrupted. Your toddler craves attention and activity. Their minds are buzzing, wanting to learn and explore. Find the best of both worlds by setting aside time with your toddler to learn and play. A fun perk of working from home is spending quality time with your toddler. Take advantage and schedule several breaks throughout the day when you can dance to a silly song, play with a sensory tub, or build a fort and crawl around. Hold a relaxing storytime with personalized storybooks that feature the child’s name and make him or her feel extra special. Storytime can help toddlers unwind. This toddler playtime is also a much-needed break for you—a time to turn off the computer, put away work stress, and unwind with laughter. But make sure to communicate that, when playtime is over, you get to work for a couple hours.
Plan quiet activities in your home office.
Toddlers love to make a mess, bang on pots and pans, yell and scream. They love to express themselves. But that can be a problem when you are on a conference call or trying to type out an important contract. Toddlers do need supervision, so it’s likely they’ll be playing in your home office. Give them quiet activities for playtime. Put out playdough. Create a sensory tub with soft toys. Set up a drawing station where they can color and craft. For 3-year-olds, put out some puzzles. Custom puzzles are especially engaging, as they feature the child’s name and come in 24 large pieces for little hands to touch. Ultimately, the mute button is your best friend on work calls—and hide your video!
Rely on a friend or fellow parent to babysit.
Find someone you trust to co-babysit on opposite days, so both of you can get quality work done at home. Sometimes you need a day without distractions or noise. You can watch each other’s kids and offer parent support during difficult times. When the workday is over, enjoy a home happy hour and let off some steam!
Don’t feel guilty. Take advantage of the TV, tablet, or phone.
We don’t recommend sitting your child in front of the TV all day. But let’s face it: you can’t always get through weekdays entertaining your kids without some technology. When you need quiet work time, put on an educational TV show or have your toddler play with a learning app on the tablet. Educational content still feeds their growing brain. Just make sure to limit screen time and schedule small amounts throughout the day when needed. There are lots of animal documentaries and learning games that help toddlers learn and develop improved cognitive-motor skills.
Working from home with a toddler comes with its rewards and challenges. If you need a more flexible work schedule, discuss with your boss and find creative ways to achieve your hours. Try some of these work from home tips and enjoy the special time you spend with your toddler!