It’s another magical time of the year. The schools in NY and elsewhere will let out next week for President’s Week. It’s a great week since it’s mid-winter, a time when most people are not exactly feeling their cheeriest. I always liked this break. I feel that the timing is awesome. When you are a work at home parent, however, these school breaks can wreak havoc upon your regularly scheduled work day. The mere thought of it can send fear and terror into the hearts and minds of any adult!
I am here to share with you a few tips on how to survive school break when working from home so that your kids can enjoy their break while you can still enjoy making that cash flow.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Get those markers and poster board handy! If you want to survive school break when working from home you must setup a schedule that each kid can see from anywhere in the home … if this means plastering your whole home with the schedule then do it. It’s time to sit down and figure out how you will mold your work from home day while the kids are on school break and place that onto a poster board display for the kids to easily review during school break. Think about breakfast, snack, as well as lunch and in between times to ensure you have covered all bases of keeping kids busy and self-entertained during school break.
Take a Break
Your kids want nothing but your full attention, that’s their job. Kids always want to impress their parents and have the engagement from their parents. Some kids will even go as far as to get negative attention, because any attention is better than no attention. Be certain to take a break throughout your work from home day to give the kids your undivided attention. The key to surviving school break with kids when you work from home is to balance their time with work time. Perhaps lunch time is a great mid-day break where you sit with the kids and enjoy a meal. Converse with them over this lunch break and listen to all they have to say. This little mini-break to eat with the kids will surely pay off to let the remainder of your work from home day be productive.
Create a Chore List
Surely you have to get work done when home so why should that be any different for your kids? Try to create a daily task list for each kid. Make sure to have a daily task list so that each kid knows what they are expected to complete within working time and this will serve to keep them busy. If you have older children, enlist them to monitor or babysit the younger kids. Perhaps even pay the older kids for their time to be dedicated to monitoring the little ones while you work from home during school break. There’s nothing wrong with bestowing some responsibility within your kids so that you can get some work done while they learn some great life skills.
Don’t expect to get large projects done all at once, during school break you will truly have to learn the skill of juggling work and family much more than during the school season. School break is the perfect time to start working on balance, multi-tasking skills and learning how to let your kids know their time matters but work does as well. Be reasonable in your expectations with both kids and your work load, prepare your clients for a lapse in response time so they understand you are working your best during school break but communication may be minimal during these days. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it honest with clients, after all, most of them know you got this and will respect a slight change in schedule to accommodate your family needs.
Good luck, chin up! Do your best to enjoy the week and get our work done!