As Mother’s Day approaches every year on the 21st of March, mothers look forward to an endless day of relaxation, restfulness, and pampering. This year, things are taking a turn for the worse as mothers struggle to survive a pandemic, an entire household on quarantine (and the unimaginable stress that comes along) and a business that needs to remain intact and in full swing.
As COVID-19 spreads across the world, everyone has no option but to work from home. In essence, life outside the office may be ideal, but for mothers juggling parental homework, children needing around the clock attention, an over-flooding inbox and endless emails, it can get overwhelming.
Below, we share with you a few tips to help you keep up with your workload, manage your deadlines while still being the Wonder Mother you’ve always been.
1. Set up a home office
It’s important that you separate your mom and business role. This may be a tough one, but if you don’t draw the line from the very beginning, you’ll never be able to give your full concentration to your work nor your children. A quiet home office space, in this case, is a great solution to help your children draw the line.
Any work-from-home mother knows how important it is to have a quiet place where she can fully concentrate on her work with minimal distractions.
This place needs to have access to high internet speed, enough electrical outlets to charge your electronic devices and comfortable seating.
2. Put up ground rules
The transition to working from home may seem easy, but adjusting to this model can get quite difficult not just for you but also for your children, who are used to their mother giving them around the clock attention and care whenever they’re present at home.
From the beginning, set ground rules and clear guidelines on when your children can be present around you or ask you for help during the working hours, or if they’re allowed to interrupt your home office altogether.
That way, you can manage to meet your deadlines and their expectations, so as to not make your children feel uncared for.
3. Set up a schedule
To make things run as smoothly as possible, you will need to set up a schedule to line up your day. At the beginning of each day, put together a task list with everything you need to accomplish. Set the number of “office” hours you’ll need to finish up those tasks, putting into consideration the time you’ll need to answer/return calls or take part in meetings.
To maximize your work-at-home experience, always go by the saying “work smarter, not harder”. What this means is, if there is a task you can complete with your child coloring in the background, why not take it?
Always remember, working from home at the end of the day is all about flexibility, which means if a child of yours won’t stop disturbing you or fussing around the room and you can’t help but pay them attention, try to go for a walk outside or catch a break. Of course, you need to notify your manager or your team in advance to avoid any miscommunication.
4. Make good use of naptime!
Every mother knows that naptime = plug away time. Regardless of what your children’s age is, it is highly likely that they’ll need to take a 1-hour to 3-hour nap. Try to use this time of the day to finish tasks that require full concentration and attention, or that need a silent space.
If for some reason your son or daughter won’t go restless and won’t stop crying, try to put them in their crib with a good read or their favorite show to help calm them down until you finish your tasks.
5. Keep entertainment in every corner
You need to set up an entertainment schedule to keep your children busy. This can include toys in every corner or a list of their favorite movie or tv show to keep them entertained. Your children, as they stay at home all day, need something to look forward to otherwise they will keep interrupting you.
6. The “mute” button is your friend!
No matter how careful you plan this, there will always be interruptions by your children. While you’re on an important call with your CEO, your toddler may scream from boredom or hunger.
You need to set a code with your children to inform them whenever you’re in a meeting that they can’t disturb you or make any noise. For example, you can tie a ribbon on your room’s door handle to signal that they can’t disturb you at this point.
However, if under any circumstance (mom’s advice: this will happen a lot!) they just won’t get it, hit the mute button right away.
Wishing all mothers celebrating around the globe a Happy Mother’s Day. May you never cease to be the wonder woman you’ve always been!
Bonus! Check the below resources to keep kids engaged at home.