With all the advantages of office work, working from home is a more suitable option for single parents. This is an opportunity for self-realization and earning money. You can pay more attention to your kids, have time to drive them to school and hobby classes and control what they do after school. So, a lot of single parents choose a freelance career.
A home office is convenient—no need to waste time traveling and getting ready. You make yourself comfortable in the furthest corner of the home, turn on your favorite playlist, and … Stop! Who let the children into your office? And most importantly, what to do now? check out these great ideas.
When working from home plan your day
This is a must, write down everything in your planner by the hour, primarily when you are working from home with young children. Walking, cooking lunch, checking email, classes with kids, the work itself. Without a clear plan for the day, it is easy to lose track of time and spend an entire day doing housework and playing with a child or go headlong into work, and in the evening, find a ruined house and hungry kids without the parent’s attention. Plan, plan, and again plan!
Play with your child
If your child does not go to kindergarten yet and you are working from home, try to devote more time to them, so that they, in return, give you time to work. Firstly, the child “feed” on the parent’s attention, with whom they regularly play, read, walk, will gradually learn to let the parent work in peace. Secondly, children can tell when someone wants to get rid of them and will do anything to change that. Try to come to an agreement with your child: now we are watching your favorite movie together, we will put together this puzzle, and then I will go to work, and you will draw. You can set a timer for your child to understand when your working time is up and hang on with them again.
Many parents experience a lot of stress: combining remote work with the care, education, and entertainment of even one child, let alone several. We agree. That can be very difficult. But, panic will not help; it is better to think over a plan of action, games, and activities and follow it.
If your child is 3 to 5 years old
Children, especially small ones, read emotional queues their parents are giving off and easily become infected by it. Try not to perceive the current situation as punishment or torture; use it as an opportunity to spend time together. The most important thing for preschoolers is the active participation of the parent, who can enrich any activity with his comments, stories, and emotional involvement in interacting with your baby.
Play role-games and construction games. Children of middle preschool age are very fond of plot activities, where they try on various roles. From the floor construction set, play the scenes: “Road,” “Farm,” “Princesses Castle.”
At this age, children have a special love for rhythm and rhymes. The repetition of syllables is suitable for funny rhyming. Parents can suggest syllables, and the child can compose a continuation to them, then switch places. Come up with lines on a specific topic or in a mix.
Create your own book of fairy tales. Five-year-olds are fascinated by creating a book of fairy tales, adventures, and funny stories. Family photographs, pencil drawings, gouache or watercolors, or colored paper appliqués are suitable as illustrations.
Watch family movies and cartoons together. The primary value of such activity is the opportunity to gain a shared emotional experience of empathizing with the heroes, discuss what they have seen, and, thanks to this, learn something new.
If you do not have the opportunity to spend time together in front of the TV during the working day, try to choose the content your child is watching carefully. Just don’t teach your child to spend all the free time looking into TV or tablet screens.
If your child is 6 to 8 years old
At this age, the main thing is actively playing. But during the working day, it is impossible to devote all the time to children. So try to be creative and include as much activity into your day as possible.
Get a “magic bag.” Draw or write the activities with your child. Put the pieces of paper in the bag and take them out at the right time to decide what to do: you can bake a cake or cook soup, wash and hang things, vacuum, disassemble your grandmother’s box together, or sort old photos into albums. Initiate the game, start it together, and then leave the child to himself, explaining that you are busy with specific tasks. It is essential to indicate that after a while, you will be back. Then update the plot of the game, throw in some idea, organize leisure activities, and again allow the child to work out independently. After that, be sure to discuss what each of you did and why it brings you joy.
If your child is between 8 and 12 years old
Read books together. Choose a compelling story and read it one by one: one page — parent, one — child. Or arrange the text according to roles: the parent reads for the author and one of the characters, and the child reads for the favorite character. Be sure to discuss the work and the actions of the characters after reading.
Design a photo book or travel book. It’s time to focus on something pleasant, for example, remembering your impressions from a recent trip and creating a special book dedicated to it. Tickets, receipts, memorabilia, and photographs can be posted there. Don’t forget to sign important details or add fun travel stories to the album.
Create your own, “I am very busy!” sign.
There are times when you need to get involved in the severe and urgent work so that no one distracts — fix the jamb that hangs on the site and beholds thousands of clients; you need to arrange an interview with someone whom you hunted for a month or discuss a significant issue with the boss. For such cases, we advise you to come up with some kind of your sign — you can wear a bright cap, or you can draw together a sign “STOP!” or some funny picture that will represent that you are busy and shouldn’t be disrupted if something is not essential. Along the way, discuss in which situations you will use it. And when you have moments, “this is very urgent and important, step back everyone” — you can put that sign on your desk, or wear that red hat. The main thing here is to use your sign honestly — only in the most extreme cases, and only for work (and not when you want to drink tea in silence or watch a movie) and infrequently.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself when working from home.
You may find this advice selfish, but to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself first.
Don’t abuse your phone. No need to hang out in the news feed, especially in front of children. Take time each day to do something that pleases and relaxes you: yoga, meditation, reading, or any other favorite hobby.
Start your morning with exercising. It seems that everyone knows about this, but not everyone is ready to make it a habit. Now is the right time. The fact is that morning exercises simultaneously energize you and tire the children who will, after half an hour of exercise, be calm and won’t distract you.
Put aside your pajamas.
Even if it’s raining outside and you don’t plan to go anywhere, dress up. Working from home is very relaxing. You don’t have to wear makeup or a dress; you can spend the whole day at home in pajamas on the computer. At first, especially after office work with a strict dress code, this is perceived as a huge plus. But this “negligent” style doesn’t help your working spirit. You will notice that when you brush your hair, put on comfortable home clothes, and put yourself together, work is way more productive.
Coffee and snacks
A lot of people put on a few extra pounds in their first year freelancing. The opportunity to have a snack at any time, the inspection of the shelves in the refrigerator in anticipation of the muse, and new ideas can do their dirty work. You can quickly solve this problem. In the morning, make yourself a good morning coffee that will prepare you for work and keep you awake. It is a blessing to have a good quality coffee machine in the kitchen that will make it for you. So, no unhealthy sodas or such. Prepare a box of healthy snacks — peeled and chopped carrots, bell peppers, apples, grapes. And keep it in the kitchen in the refrigerator. Then, when you want to “walk” away from the computer and have a snack, you go to the kitchen and grab not crackers and sweets, but healthy snacks.
Don’t stay online 24/7
When you work two meters from your bed, it seems that life has become work and work — your whole life. An exhausting state. It can only be overcome by limiting the time to work.
Don’t sacrifice sleep for anything. Get enough sleep! Your brain, your nervous system, your immunity will thank you. Your employer or customer will be satisfied with your excellent results. You won’t be tired all the time; you’ll have the energy for yourself, your working tasks, and, most importantly, your loving child.
Conclusion | Working From Home
Working from home, being a single parent is not easy, but possible. The main thing is to remember that you won’t be able to do everything in one day. The most important thing is to plan your activities, take care of yourself, and spend quality time with your kids. Follow these rules, and you’ll do great!