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Self Quarantine and Working From Home With No Childcare

self quarantine and working from home with no childcare

Guest post by Kimberly Didrikson of Learning Motherhood

The landscape and expectation of juggling kids at home while working is new to most. Maybe you were working at home fulltime or had a flex schedule but for the majority of us that meant you also had childcare. Childcare was a requirement in order to keep that flex schedule or have the opportunity to work from home. As someone that works with working families my suggestion is always to have childcare and back up childcare but that was then and this is now. 

 It is doable to work and be home with the kids but it does require some planning, flexibility, and lowering of expectations. We are going to provide some tips to help support making the adjustment to this new normal and still get work accomplish.

 First if you are currently required to go into an office and or visit customers please talk to your boss about the fact that you feel unsafe for you and your family. Hopefully based on this concern the conversation of accommodations like working from home if possible begins to be a part of the dialog.

Here are 15 tips to make sure you can maximize your time should you need to propose this to your boss or if you are already trying to make this work what can help you through navigating this new reality. We are breaking this down based on dual parents working from home or solo parenting and working from home.

 

DUAL PARENTS WORKING FROM HOME WITH NO CHILDCARE

 1)   Have a discussion with your partner about each of your work schedules and what one another’s priorities looks like. Ex. If you need a two hour block to work on a project that has a deadline talk about when that will work for your partner to be in charge of the kids.

 2)   Share calendars and designate one color code for the blocks of time where each one of you will be watching your children. If you can I would make the times you are watching the kids unavailable on your calendar to avoid a conference call being scheduled for you to attend. If your children end up having independent play while you are with them you can always engage via your phone if need be.  

 3)   Mark the times on your calendar when you will be available so other parts of the organization know that this is a good time to get in touch with you to schedule meetings or conference calls.

 4)   Make sure you review the schedule with your partner each evening should things changed throughout the day you are able to adjust the calendar.

 5)   We recommend that you give each other at least one to two hour blocks to avoid the  feeling of starting and stopping so much. 

 6)   Communicate with your team each day and direct manager the approximate scheduled times you will be working. Indicate this may fluctuate daily based on both your schedule and your partners but you will do your best to accommodate anything that comes up. This will allow them to know that you have a goal of focused times of the day when you will be engaged. 

 7)   Talk about your work space with your partner. Are you sharing a desk? Is there a designated space for you to both work uninterrupted? Make sure that you and your partner are able to communicate to your kids that during the times you are watching them they are not to disturb the other parent unless the other parent is okay with them entering the room.

 

SOLO PARENTING AND WORKING FROM HOME WITH NO CHILDCARE

1)   Put together a schedule where you are able to identify times throughout the day where you will be able to fit in work. Ex. Morning before kids wake up, evenings when they go to bed, nap times, independent play times, and screen time. Do not beat yourself up about screen time you are doing the best you can and with everything going on this should be one last thing you have to worry about.

 2)   Set the expectations with your team and boss that you are going to do the best you can but be clear that these are your circumstances. Provide the schedule that you have put together to fit in work requirements.

 3)   Conference calls that you have to attend with children in tow are tough. There is no shame in sharing that you want to be on this call as you are committed to the discussion but your children are with you so you are muting but listening and will engage when need be. This is the situation we are in and everyone should be very understanding of this.

4)   If you have an infant with organized sleep nap times are a great time to get work in. If you have an infant that is not in organized sleep baby wearing and stroller walks are a perfect opportunity to get emails and calls in. Fresh air will do wonders for the both of you.

 5)   Block out your calendar with times you believe you are available. This will allow you to define your day versus panicking on when you will be able to get things done. Share the times you think you will be available with your team and direct manager each day. Babies and toddlers are unpredictable so share that. Inform them you are working from home alone with no childcare so if something comes up where you can’t make the proposed call that you committed to or be online you will let the requested parties know as soon as I can get back online to receive the meeting notes. Again indicating you’re committed to working during this time and the work will get done.

 6)   Working at night and if possible in the morning before the kids wake up will most likely be a part of your day. If you can get dressed there is a lot of research that says that it helps on productive stand point but if you can’t make it happen and end up in sweats all day so be it you did your best. 

Please visit Learning Motherhood at www.learningotherhood.com to learn more about their classes and ways they are supporting mom’s returning to work after maternity leave.

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