Balancing Work and Kids While Working From Home
Do you feel as if you are trying to do it all now that you and your children are at home full-time? Are you feeling the stress of trying to be a teacher and a parent while also working from home? Don’t worry. You are not alone in feeling overwhelmed, and we hope the tips below help you navigate this difficult time.
Talk to your colleagues.
Be honest and let your colleagues know what you are going through, and clarify expectations with your teammates. Let them know if there is a baby, small child, or dog nearby who may also need your attention when you’re on a call.
Let technology be your friend.
If you’re able to, turn your video off and place yourself on mute when you’re on a virtual meeting and you know there might be distractions in the room.
Make a plan with your kids.
Communicate clearly with them about when you are not available. Create unspoken signals, like wearing headphones or a closed door, to remind them when you are working and you are off limits.
Establish and maintain your kids’ routines.
In a recent article in YaleMedicine, Leah Booth, MA, a speech-language pathologist at the Yale Child Study Center, suggests trying to replicate the structure and predictability that your child would experience at school as much as possible. Give them a routine as well as clear, predictable expectations that will offer them a sense of control and comfort.
Set up Virtual Babysitters.
Sometimes it takes a village to raise a child. Reach out to friends and family to arrange a virtual playdate for your children. These sessions can be a great time for your friends and family to talk with, read to, sing with, and virtually play with your children so you can get some time for yourself.
Carve out time for yourself.
It’s hard to be effective if you’re feeling overwhelmed and burdened with stress. Even if it’s only for as little as 10 minutes a day, it’s important to take a few moments for yourself.
- Use the Headspace app, which is free to BU faculty and staff.
- Join a virtual workshop or support group offered by the BU Faculty Staff Assistance Office.
- Get moving with exercises, yoga and dance breaks from FitRec.
Give Yourself a Break.
Literally and figuratively. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to images of other parents and children you might see on social media and feel like you’re falling short. Try to remember that everyone’s situation is different, and these are unprecedented times. Give yourself a break, and remember that we’re all doing the best we can.