Working full time and raising kids is hard for both parents let alone a single one. Taking care of kids, managing a household, and working full time demands time, patience, organization, and challenging work. The question is: how to raise your kids and work from home as a single dad? The key is in great organization and determination. Apart from that, a few other tricks can help you balance professional and private life. Take a look.
Establish Some Ground Rules for Kids
Generally, kids react well to house rules. They put them in their place and help them know their boundaries. Similarly, some ground rules could help you work without frequent interruptions. Therefore, you should talk with your kids, if they are older, and explain how things are going to play out from now on.
For instance, when you are sitting behind your work desk, they shouldn’t scream or fight. Additionally, they shouldn’t run around your desk, especially during your video calls. If there’s an emergency, your kids can come close and give you a sign. In case your home office is in a separate room, you can put a Do not disturb sign on your door whenever you in a meeting, on a call, or in desperate need to focus.
One of the most important rules you can establish for your kids is to not touch daddy’s work laptop or tablet. Kids can use them for online games and erase some important files or messages by accident. For this reason, if possible, you should use a separate laptop for work and private matters.
Connect with Coworkers
Working from home means having less contact with coworkers and the management. This also means the information flow won’t be as smooth as it was in the traditional office. For this reason, to stay in the know despite working from a home office you have to connect with coworkers.
Most managers provide their virtual team members with some sort of an employee app. It is the best way to keep every member connected and informed of the latest changes, policies, and project updates. Moreover, through communication, you may find the support and encouragement you need to work productively and balance work and kids perfectly.
Apart from allowing you to interact and share information, this communication channel also allows you to work together with your team members. These mutual projects can help you stay focused on your day-to-day work assignments.
Ask for Help
Taking care of kids and running the household while working full-time even from home can be difficult at times, especially if you’re a single parent. However, you aren’t in this alone. Whenever you need an extra pair of hands, don’t hesitate to call your family or friends and ask them to help you out.
During winter and summer breaks, your duties and responsibilities increase because kids are always at home. The same goes for the pandemic. Even in this case you can organize yourself and avoid having either side suffer. In particular, you can talk with your ex and arrange for kids to stay at her place earlier than planned until you sort the heavy workload out. Surely, she will understand and help you out since your kids’ wellbeing is at stake.
Organize Fun Activities
The best way to buy yourself a few hours of efficient and focused work is to engage your kids in some fun activity. When kids participate in any activity, they are less likely to interrupt you, fight, or scream. This means you’ll have some time to check your email, make a few calls, or see which goals you have to reach today.
For example, you can let them watch cartoons, draw, paint, or play board games if they like. Some kids also like to play with their toys, Legos, or puzzles. When thinking about activities, you have to consider your kids’ age and interests. If the activity doesn’t appeal to them, not only will they not participate but they might throw a tantrum.
Work Around Their Schedule
In case you have toddlers, then you should try to work around their schedule. Since your kids are small, they follow fixed routines every day. You know exactly when they take a nap, eat, bath, play, and ultimately sleep through the night. Their routine can help you organize your household chores and duties and responsibilities at work.
This way you can squeeze in a few hours in the early morning or late evening for work. During that time, you can reply to or send emails, plan tasks, goals, and errands for the next day, or simply take some time for yourself. The same goes for their nap time during the day. Maximize all the free time you have because that is the only way you will juggle work and kids at the same time.