Amid the current situation many of us have to work from home with their toddler. It isn’t easy neither for us, nor for our little ones.
So, how to organize your home office when your toddler is constantly around? How to stay calm and focused and make your little one feel good at the same time?
Here are our 6 tips that make work from home with a toddler for us easy and productive.
Our 6 Rules that make work from home with a toddler easy and productive
1. Implement a consistent daily routine that works for all of you and stick to it.
First things first – kids need consistency, routine and daily rituals. And you do too, especially with your new work life set-up. Find a daily schedule that works for all of you. For some inspiration check out our daily schedules for toddlers 12-36 months.
2. Set realistic goals
Let’s face it. Work from home with a toddler is not easy and your home office will be full of short and longer interruptions. If you care alone for your little one, realistically, in the best case possible, you will be able to work about 5-6 hours max. So, try not to be hard on yourself and overpromise.
How to achieve these 5-6 hours? Read below.
3. Independent play for 3-4 hours
What you need right now are toddler activities that keep your toddlers’s attention and focus for more than 10 minutes. At the same time, we need activities that are safe and will not ruin your house or turn it into a mess completely. Independent toddler play? Yep! That’s what we need to teach and learn step by step.
Encourage your child to play independently while you are working. Tell them that you have and want to work and they can do the same. My little one for example loves to pretend that he works on a computer, when he sees me. So, I give him a keyboard and a mouse, so he can work too. That’s also a great way to learn and repeat the alphabet.
Give them some space and stay around at first, so they can easily adjust. That works so far pretty well for us. The best thing is that when toddlers get hooked on an activity they can do it for hours. Our best advice is to let your toddler find on their own something that’s fun and engaging for themselves. Never interrupt! Let them concentrate and they will start loving to play independently.
For inspiration, check out also these 6 Activities That Encourage Independent Play!
4. Make them take a long afternoon nap (2 hours)
Activities are good, and the nap afterwards even better. My favourite time to work is when my little one is asleep.
Make sure that your toddler eats a healthy and heavy lunch. Avoid sugar and cacao, you want them to sleep, not running around. Eating a delicious lunch such as chicken potatoes, pasta bolognese or bean soup will not only make them fill full, but also tired enough to take a longer afternoon nap.
And then, you can finally concentrate to the fullest.
5. Skip the Night Shift or Carpe Noctem
And if you are still not done by bedtime, you still have the option to trade parts of your well deserved sleep for work. Not a great option, but sometimes it seems that’s the only option to get things done.
Carpe noctem means actually seize the night and enjoy yourself like theres no tomorrow. Well, there is a tomorrow, night time work is not a joy and the next day is pretty heavy. So, even if the night shift seems as an option to work try not to do it for more than 1-2 in the week.
Remember, that when you are at home you basically double-work all day and then you happen to work all night. That’s the best way to get all things done, but also to burn out. So, try to skip the Hard Day’s Night as much as possible.
Do yourself a favour and sleep well. You need it and deserve it.
6. Better (something) done than perfect
Remember, working from home is hard for everyone. Set priorities, focus on what’s important for you. Be clear, what you want and need to do first. (Serious) cleaning should be put on hold for a while.
And most importantly, work out at least 10 minutes a day together with your little one. Remind yourself at least once a day, that you need to be healthy and happy also for the sake of your family.
And don’t forget to play!