Guest Post by Ashley Doan
Being a parent is such a blissful experience… until all hell breaks loose because we’re forced to be quarantined in our home with those messy, noisy rugrats 24/7 with no end in sight!
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Stressed? Unproductive? Me too!
To help us all rise above the chaos, here are 9 ways working parents like us can boost productivity when working from home with kids while maintaining our sanity right now:
1. Take Cleansing Breaths
A sequence of deep, cleansing breaths can really help to calm your body and mind:
- Close your eyes (if it’s safe to do so).
- Take a big deep breath in with your nose, all the way from your tummy. Fill up your lungs completely.
- Release that breath out slowly through your mouth and as you do, imagine all the stress and overwhelm being blown away with it.
- Repeat this at least 5-6 times or more if you’re not quite calmed yet.
2. Pick 3 Things
If your “laundry” list is long while you’re working from home with kids, just pick your top 3 things you want/need to do every day. I like to make that list as balanced as I can with:
- one thing for my family,
- one thing for my business/career,
- and one thing just for me.
Then on days I complete those, I can feel accomplished and celebrate (hello Pinot Gris my old friend!)
3. Dance With The Kids
A good, carefree dance break will do the whole family good. Put on some of your favourite music (“I’m Still Standin” by Elton John is a current favourite for me) and just dance like no one is watching.
4. Listen To Audio Books
Listen to an audiobook while cooking dinner or out for a drive. You could also listen to a Podcast or even watch an educational (or not) YouTube video.
5. Prep Snacks For Zooms
My kids have done some embarrassing things during my Zoom calls lately (those are stories for another day). When possible, I try to prep a whole tray of healthy (and not-so-healthy) snacks for the kids to help themselves to during my calls. It helps to keep them away from my camera – for a bit at least!
6. Take A Rest Day
Who said you have to be productive every day! If you need it, take a rest day to do whatever you want, even if that means laying down on the couch and letting the kids play “Doctor” on you while you rest (been there…done that!)
7. Channel The Power Of The Crayon
Before the whole world shut down in March, I bought fresh packs of crayons and pencil crayons for the kids. I can throw these at my kids along with some coloured paper to entertain them for a bit longer…at least long enough to take a poop in privacy!
8. Take Breaks
My mommy brain likes to over-schedule myself all the time. Instead of scheduling every waking minute, I suggest scheduling no more than 70% of your day when you’re working from home with kids. Then you have room to take breaks between activities.
9. Embrace The Chaos
Sometimes we just need to embrace the chaos:
- Dirty kitchen? Ask if hubby or the kids can clean up today.
- Kids covered in mud? Ok, as long as they don’t eat it.
- Kids didn’t complete their schoolwork today? They can try again tomorrow.
Be gentle with yourself and others right now. There is so much that is out of our control right now, so I’d like to suggest that you only worry about the things you can control: your actions, reactions, attitude, effort, and love.
Ashley is one busy gal. She cares for her two young kids during the day while running two businesses from home: WriterGal Marketing (copywriting) and The Caffeinated Coach (holistic life coaching). Through her coaching business, she aims to help women and working moms increase productivity, balance their lives, and live their passions. Learn more about redefining your life and career after having children at caffeinatedcoach.ca.