As a busy entrepreneur and mother of six, having more children during this pandemic has certainly been a challenge. Working from home became a lot harder when my children stopped going to school. But improvement will come over time, and I’ve learned a few little tricks that might help you too:
1) Look at your space
Rate your space and see if it can be used for other purposes, but be REALISTIC with yourself. My teens like to gather around the harvest table and be very productive in this room together, which is great, but I also had to consider what kind of learners I have. My youngest boy has ADD / ADHD and can find distraction anywhere. The communal study table doesn’t work for him. He has to be alone and there has to be a door that separates him from the rest of the action.
After creating a functional room, make sure that all supplies are available and close at hand. You don’t want kids to waste their time looking for things or your time saying, “MOM !? Where are these (put pencil pens, erasers, notebooks, etc.)? “
2) Manage and communicate expectations!
You may need to reevaluate and adjust some expectations. Have the discussion as a family. Meet with your family every morning so everyone has a clear idea of what the day will be for each person. When I have a few important meetings or interviews, I let my kids know what time it is so they know not to interrupt and that I need the WiFi. No live streaming while mom is doing an interview for work! You may want to create a non-verbal communication system. A green happy face on the white board on my office door means you are coming in! An orange one means you must enter with caution. Red means you will only enter if the house is on fire or someone needs the Heimlich maneuver.
3) Promote independence
Set up rooms that are accessible to the children – make snacks and cups accessible. Do you have to deal with the constant snack and kitchen traffic? Even if there are kids at home, you might want to pack them a school lunch and say, THAT’S IT for the day. Promote independence while working at school. I know when we see them fight we want to jump in and help, but I like to let them sit in their fight for a bit. They often find out – so resist the temptation to rescue them too quickly.
These are challenging times for families! We hope these tips will help your family survive and thrive TOGETHER!