The Truth About Working From Home With Small Children
Written By Angelina Umstead
Now that a lot of non-essential businesses in our area have switched to working remotely, I have been seeing a ton of articles and webinars addressing how to best work from home. Most of them include tips like get up early and get ready even if you are not going to leave the house or create a designated work area away from other distracting areas of your home. These are great tips and can be very useful for people who have never had to work from home before…UNLESS you have very small children like I do.
The chaos that was once reserved for 6 p.m. after I picked up the girls from daycare has now become my constant reality. Even as I sit here to write this, I have a baby bouncing on my knee and a four year old that wants me to play play-dough with her RIGHT NOW. There is the constant sound of “Bubble Guppies” (a TV show) singing in the background in case I get lucky enough that it actually holds my nine month old’s attention long enough for me to get something productive done. Did I mention she is currently teething?
My husband, who is also working from home, and I take turns trying to keep them entertained throughout the day. We try to stick to some semblence of a routine but usually we switch when one of us just can’t take it anymore. By the time we get them both to sleep at night, we are both so drained we can barely hold a conversation with one another. I know we are not the only family navigating through a similar situation. The truth is, it is extremely stressful! When you add on that you also have to do your job and you really shouldn’t be leaving the house, it can be paralyzingly overwhelming.
Hopefully, you are not reading this article looking for helpful tips and tricks from me on this subject. I can’t hear myself think long enough to offer any. My advice is to keep in mind that this will not last forever and to enjoy the little things. A few days ago, I got to see my daughter stand on her own for the first time which was something I otherwise would not have witnessed. While part of me is very excited to get back into the office, I also recognize how blessed I truly am to have this extra time with my family. It is certainly a time in my life I will never forget.
A situation like this has a way of putting things into perspective and I am grateful because I know things could be a lot worse. On that note, this article is in no way meant to be insensitive to people who have fallen ill or lost their jobs during this extremely difficult time. This situation has touched everyone’s life in one way or another but it is important to remember that we all are in this together.