By now most of us have experienced the particular type of stress known as working from home while keeping a child or children entertained. It is a difficult mix and sometimes trying to be a great parent and a great employee can make you feel like you are achieving neither. The truth is, the fantasy of working from home is never as messy or difficult as real life.
The key to achieving the most out of your work day and keepingthe kids happy is to choose your timing carefully. For example, if you are following up on a few emails you can step away and see what all the yelling (or worse, silence) is about, but if you are running an executive meeting you might need a full hour of total focus.
Here are a few ideas to keep the little ones out of your hair for an hour or so (though being in eyeshot is ALWAYS recommended).
If your child is not at a reading age yet, Audible audio picture bookshave over 300 books that your child can listen to and follow the illustrations. It is a great alternative to watching movies on the iPad, giving children a greater opportunity to build their imaginations. Over-the-ear headphones are a must unless you want to be distracted by The Magic Tree House collection yourself (they are a good read).
Kids love following along with exercise videos and yoga is a nice (quiet) place to start. So roll out the yoga mat or a towel and Namaste! Cosmic Kids Yoga is a fantastic and entertaining YouTube channel directed at kids of all ages. They have hundreds of videos to choose from at different lengths of time. This is not only great exercise but great for at least 30 minutes of distraction.
Weather looking good? Outside it is then. If you are fortunate enough to have a backyard big enough to support it, a trampoline is hours of entertainment all by itself. Smalldeck or pergola? These round net swings are fantastic for undercover fun. They can be fixed to an outside beam and you can choose the height from the ground, a good tip is to have it low enough that the kids can push themselves with their feet. Why not set your laptop up outside and enjoy some fresh air for a while?
Ok, so we know screen time is not ideal but there are some incredible educational apps available, all secretly helping your child learn while they think they are just playing a game. A great example is ABC Reading Eggs designed for kids from 2- 12 years the games and reward systems are incredibly motivational and will have your little one engrossed, only pausing occasionally to brag about moving to the next level. It is as good as it gets when you need a full hour, so keep it up your sleeve.
As with all things, sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometimes children get upset when they can't perfect their downward dog, sometimes they only want YOU to push them on the swing, and sometimes the earphones make them itchy.Sometimes when you are working from home, you just have to cancel the meeting.After all, this is real life.
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