In the last few years, when going out from home was not an option, a job considered undeniably hard, be it by anyone, from celebrities to your next-door neighbors, was working from home with kids. Be it curious one-year-olds or toddlers, concentrating on your work with young kids hanging around is a challenging task. Parents are ditching their opportunities at high profile work-from-home-jobs due for this reason. For many, working from home provides them with the utmost mental satisfaction, which is, being available for their young children and simultaneously bringing in a heavy paycheck.
But, at times when your office is your home, things can indeed cause some serious trouble. Having to handle a toddler during work hours can cause disruptions and distractions in doing both the hobs. Out of all age groups, toddlers can affect your work environment more than anyone else. You need to provide them with constant attention and keep an eye on them because, unlike an infant, they are mobile and can get themselves into difficult situations.
In such an atmosphere, concentrating on your work might be next to impossible. Fortunately, you are not the first one to face this seemingly impossible task. Some people have proven to the world that it is possible to make work and kids coexist under one roof. However, you must make some serious arrangements to deal with this situation. Let us discuss all the possible solutions for work-from-home-parents who have a one-year-old kid!
Tips for working from home with a one-year-old
- Wake up early
The best way to utilize most of your time at home working is when toddlers are not around. If you wake up a few hours before your child wakes up, you will be able to utilize the time to its full potential. You will be able to do your best thinking in the morning without worrying about your toddler bumping his head on the kitchen cabinet. You will be able to tackle your largest projects without any distractions during this time. In case you aren’t a morning person, changing your lifestyle will be beneficial work-wise and for health purposes. Get your cup of coffee and plan the entire day. This will allow you to be more organized, respond quickly to emails and do all the mind-work required to get your job done.
- Be the best Planner.
There are times in life when planning for the future is the best possible practice. This is one of those times. When working from home with kids, planning every meticulous minute will save you a lot of unwanted circumstances. Make a schedule of your day and put your kid on a schedule. If there are fixed play times, nap times, and other assigned time limits, it will be easier, healthier, and much more convenient for you as a parent to make things work.
Map out all of the daily activities, especially for your kids. From brainstorming puzzles to playing with the dog, if your child gets accustomed to a schedule for the week or the day, they will cause you less distraction allowing you to work. You can take help from several Parent influencers, books, and videos to guide you through activities you can plan for your kids. Depending upon their age, coloring books, simple mathematics, puzzles, self-solving quizzes, and various other options are there for you to choose from.
- Encourage Independent Play
Emphasizing the previous point, the independent play gives working parents a huge benefit. Encouraging this can give parents the time to focus on their work. Babies usually crave attention when they are bored. Keep them at their feet, and make them engage in a day-to-day fun activity. Arranging for playdates, virtual visits, and other positive rewards can help you keep them busy while you are working.
- Stick to a Schedule
Just like we said before, the schedule for your child should be non-negotiable. Once the child gets used to sleeping and eating patterns, everything is straightforward. Break up the entire day into chunks and divide your work accordingly. You can do the main projects and mind-work while the child is asleep to avoid disturbances. Another thing to keep in mind is, don’t get demotivated if you aren’t able to manage your schedule once or twice. Cut yourself some slack; know you are doing your best. A schedule will help you plan the skeleton of your day, and you can manage and rearrange it at your convenience.
- Talk with them!
Tell your colleagues and the people you work with know about the other end of your situation. This will help you maintain your professionalism despite all interruptions. Moreover, they will be alerted about the potential problems that might lie ahead. Being a working parent is not a once in a blue moon situation, and you might even end up meeting people who are on the same lane as you. Discussing and talking about these problems with other parents will help you gain more experience.
What to expect when working from home with a one-year-old?
Working with toddlers is challenging, but many people are nailing the job, and there is no doubt why you will not!
Fatigue and guilt are two common things every work-from-home new parent might experience. Here is what to expect when working from home with a one-year-old.
- Interruptions are inevitable
Like it or not, you cannot make your crying toddler understand why it is not okay to cry at the top of their lungs when you are on a phone call. In these situations, the best thing to do is expect the grown-ups to be cooperative. With all the workload, you might already be tired. Why not embrace a 10-minutes break from work and join your little one in their playtime?
- Mental Support
Situations like this can take a toll on your mental health. Being an overworked new parent, the most expected thing to do is ignore the signs. Don’t! Talk about it to your partner, take help, go to support groups, talk to other parents, and know that you are not alone in this. Ditch the guilt because it will harm more than do any good. There are many parent programs available where you can meet and talk to other people in the same situation. This will also help you in enlarging your spectrum. Lastly, don’t forget that it’s a phase that will soon pass, and the best thing to do is embrace it and move on.
- Share the load
Both you and your partner are in this together. You can shift your work schedule, meaning one will be tending the child for a time to give the other one a chance to work. Not only is this good for the child, but it also helps in your personal relationship setting expectations in the childcare equation.
Clever Hacks you can try to manage work and kids together
Check out this clever hack that today’s new-age moms and dads can try for a good work-child balance.
- The Mute Button is your savior.
As you don’t have an option to push the mute button of your kid, doing that for your zoom calls and meetings is a better option. Unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t unmute yourself. This will save you from situations when your child is crying (or on the verge of making you cry!)
- Turn off your camera.
Being new parents isn’t easy, and it takes the better part of you in terms of appearance, especially. If you have a chance to be present at a place without physically showing up, you better be utilizing the moment and not show yourself either. If you keep your camera off, you can work while carrying your child or while doing some other chore. Moreover, if your colleagues are informed about the situation, they are sure not to mind.
- Ditch the domestic work
With kids so young, not only is working a problem, keeping your house tidy is a bigger issue. If you were to do everything at once, you would surely lose your sanity. As a solution for this, you can always hire help. Appoint a house help who will manage the rest of the chores while you work and take care of your kid. You can even get meal prepping services that will provide you with nutritious meals every day. These facilities make working from home with a one-year-old a little less difficult.
- Increase their screen time
While most parents are against this, increasing your child’s screen time isn’t bad if you show them proper materials. There is a lot to watch and learn. Toddlers don’t necessarily have to be kept in one place with silly cartoons and movies. You can stimulate their creativity by introducing them to the enormous virtual world. Expose them to nature videos, educational videos, and everything that might stimulate their audio-visual intelligence.
- Let them learn
Well, at times, you just have to let them be and let them learn. If they lightly bump their head on the dining table leg while crawling, let them learn from the pain that crawling into the table hurts. However, be a little cautious beforehand and babyproof your house.
- Enjoy the little things.
Remember that your baby won’t be this tiny and cuddly forever. So, missing out on this precious time will make you regret it later. Enjoy the little moments, and take breaks for snuggles and playtimes.
- Wear the kid
Is your one-year-old crying constantly and needs your undivided attention at the same time you need to be in front of the laptop? Wear the baby. Use the baby sling bags and wear them on your chest. Staying close to you will help them calm down. Moreover, if your colleagues know about your kid, they’ll be delighted to get a peek.
- Hire a babysitter
Earlier, when people had to go out and work, the solution for tending the kids was one word – Daycare. Now that you are working from home, it is no longer possible to drop them off at the daycare. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring it to them. You can hire a babysitter or a parent helper who has professional experience in managing kids. This will keep your child under watch and at the same time allow you to work in peace. This way, you will be more satisfied working and parenting. You can take a few 10 minutes breaks and enjoy a few giggles with your little one.
Coping with the unwanted behavior of your toddler as a work from home parent
Being cooped up with your child can incite unwanted behavior patterns like tantrums, anger, and fights. These issues make working from home even more challenging than it already is. Here are some ways to cope with such unwanted behavior in your one-year-old.
- Encourage positive reinforcement
Notice the good behavior of your child. Reward them and encourage them. This will help your child understand the ideal behavior. Just like any age, a toddler too will be happy with praise and repeat the good work to get praised again. This will set in good behavior and make your work-from-home job more manageable.
- Avoid saying “No.”
While you must correct your child if they are demanding something impossible, you can skip denying their requests for small things. For example, stretching the TV time by 30 more minutes should help them understand that you are listening to them and not just ordering them to follow you.
- Establish unbreakable boundaries
Maintain certain boundaries. Make the child learn that if a door is closed, they shouldn’t enter without knocking first. Put on visually stimulating stop signs at places where they are not allowed to go, and reward them for every small win.
Lastly, don’t forget to look at the bright side. There is no doubt that working from home and tending a toddler are two full-time jobs that demand to be done simultaneously. But, with a little planning, adjustments, and clever management, you are getting the chance to stay close to your child in the most crucial period. From their first walk to their first word, you will be able to witness all of them.
This article has many tips and suggestions that we hope will help you manage your work-from-home life and parent-of-a-one-year-old life simultaneously! So, worry not and enjoy this phase of life.
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