The World is facing unprecedented circumstances due to the appearance of coronavirus. Currently, there are 200 countries, areas, or territories that have reported the cases of COVID-19 infection. The new virus is spreading really fast and there is so much we don’t know about it, which makes us all scared for a reason. At the moment, one-quarter of the population is in quarantine or self-isolation, many people are working remotely and the number of schools getting closed is on the rise. The scenario that used to be unimaginable is happening in front of our eyes and we have to adapt. One of the most common issues among parents is how to work from home while in quarantine with the kids.
Make sure that you create a safe environment for you and your family at home
World Health Organization advises us to maintain social distancing as one of the measures to prevent the new virus from spreading. Staying at home is the least and sometimes the most we can do for our health and the health of the ones we love. But now that a global pandemic has us all locked up in our houses and apartments, we need to make sure that our homes and offices are safe during work from home while in quarantine with the kids. Here are some tips to make your home virus-free:
- always wash your hands with soap when you enter your home.
- avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- disinfect high touch areas such as your phone, keys, keyboard, remote control, doorknobs, handles, and countertops.
- change your clothes and disinfect your shoes when you enter the house.
- have a face mask and gloves when you go out – we can easily run out of such items in emergency situations like this one, hopefully you have enough.
- keep the air fresh by opening the windows.
How to prepare for remote working
Nobody knows how long the pandemic will last and when we will be ready to go back to our regular business routine. That’s why it might be smart to set up a home office or at least try to designate the area of your home that can be used as one. Think carefully about all the items you might need from your regular office and once you have a list of the necessary stuff you’ll be able to transport office goods in no time.
Plan your day
This piece of advice might sound unrealistic with kids around, but it is so much easier to stick to the plan when you actually have one. Calculate how much time you need:
- to get your work done and try to discuss flexible working hours with your employer – in cases like these when we just have to stay at home for the sake of our and everyone else’s health and take care of our little ones we are sure they will understand your needs.
- for homeschooling your children – some schools will require you to deal with your child’s education at home during this period; some will have online programs that your child is expected to follow, but still, you will need to interact; Whatever the case is, you have to fit this time in your daily schedule too.
- to prepare food and take care of your household – you will probably have to cook more now that your family is spending time at home, so don’t forget to leave some time for that too.
- to play with your children – it is so difficult to relax and play when you have so much on your mind, but remember – this is affecting your kids too. Their lives are also turned upside down at the moment and they need comfort and support from your part.
Plan their day
This is not a holiday, so your schooler has to have a clear timeline of his/her daily activities. There should be a clear limit between school activities that they are performing from home and the time for fun. Quality entertainment options are crucial here.
It is difficult to get all of your work done without your kids having too much screen time, but you can try to offer them some options that are just as interesting but so much better for them. Here are some ideas:
- encourage your schoolers to read – this is so important for their development. Did you know that most libraries offer free online books? Our children can enter the wonderful world of literature by not setting a foot outside their homes. For younger ones, there is a variety of audiobooks available too!
- set virtual play dates with their friends – being apart from their school friends is not easy for your kids and you can use modern technologies to help them.
- get them to organize their rooms and give them the freedom to change whatever it is that they do not like. That will give them some control over the situation. You can use moving boxes to reorganize your items, so you can get a few for your kids to categorize their toys and supplies.
- stimulate their creativity – make sure that your kids have enough supplies like playdough, crayons, papers, stickers, etc. so they can be as creative as they feel like.
Get help if you can
If your partner is also working remotely, you can make a schedule to split the responsibilities. Try to help your partner by providing him/her with a few hours that can be devoted to work only and expect the same from them. Creating a productive workspace is not enough if you have to interrupt your work every few minutes. Supporting each other is the best way to cope with stressful situations like the one we are all facing.
Do you have an older child who is capable of taking care of the younger one(s)? You should ask him/her for help too. Being old enough to understand how serious the situation is, they will surely understand why it is so important to you to get their assistance.
Try to find the balance
Trying to juggle phone calls, emails, meal preparation, homework, kids’ entertainment and who knows what else parents are coping with nowadays is far from easy. But remaining calm and keeping your sanity is crucial for your well-being. Try not to stress out over little things and cut your kids some slack. So what if they have a bit more screen time than they would usually have? Have a plan, but be flexible about it – that is the only way you can work from home while in quarantine with the kids.