Guest post by Paula Miles
Can you handle being be a work at home Mom with a child in the home? Yes, you definitely can! Here are my tips and tricks for making it happen.
Your WOrk Schedule
Make a plan and stick to it. Your child will pick up on your routine, grow to love it, and help you stick to it! I always get up at least two hours before my son in order to work quietly. I dedicate 1 hour to my son when he wakes up for toilet responsibilities, breakfast, and quality time, as well as 1 full hour for lunch and quality time, which he requires and values. Working when he rests in the afternoon provides even more peaceful time. Set a timer for yourself and stick to it. My son is so acclimated to the routine that if I am running late, he lets me know. No, he can’t tell time; it’s the biological clock at work.
Talking About Work With Your CHILD
Your child does not want you to go to work. He wants you to play and give him your undivided attention all day, every day. Unfortunately, working from home makes this impossible. Talk to your child as though he is an adult. I’m not suggesting that you try to teach your child mathematics. What I mean is that you should communicate quietly, clearly, strongly, to the point, and with regard for your child. The same manner you would speak to or expect to be addressed to by an adult. Children comprehend around 1500 words more than they express verbally. If you don’t seem upset or use “baby talk” with them, they will listen and learn more.
For example, when my lunch break is up and my son refuses to let me return to work, I explain, “We wouldn’t get to spend lunch hour together if Mommy didn’t work from home since Mommy would have to go to an office building every day and you would have to go to a babysitter’s every day. Please allow Mommy to return to work right away so that I may continue to eat lunch with you every day. Thank you for always being a nice boy to Mommy.” Say thank you and please.
Teach Your Child to Respect Your Workspace
You must have a work place that is mainly, but not entirely, off limits to your youngster. You must have a child-safe play space that is within hearing and, if feasible, viewing distance of one another. While working, one ear and, if feasible, one eye must be on your child at all times. Communicate with your youngster while working and establish the off-limits boundaries. When my child sings a song, for example, I sign along with him. He can stand close but not touch my documents or computer if he comes over to my workspace. If he touches, I tell him gently and firmly, “I enjoy singing with you, but please do not touch Mommy’s work papers.” Thank him when he removes his hand!
Work Playing With Mommy
Your child will occasionally need to be involved with Mommy and her work. Make a toddler work space that is comparable to yours. A low-cost kid table and chairs, an old or toy telephone, a calculator, a low-cost children’s learning PC, the unused back side of abandoned work sheets, color pens and pencils When he refuses to play on his own, provide him chores to accomplish. For example, I may say, “Call Grandma and tell her how many orders we got this morning.” The phone isn’t actually connected, so he needs to use his imagination to keep the conversation continuing, which keeps him engaged for a long.
When Your Toddler Is Sick or Irritable
When a youngster is ill or irritable, they all want more time and attention. Unfortunately, most stay-at-home moms are unable to take the day off unless it is an emergency. I discovered a simple approach that works well for both me and my son. While I work, I soothe him on my lap. It may appear to be impossible, but it is not. Yes, the job is a little slower, but my kid receives the additional love and attention he need, and the best part is that he becomes bored after about 20 minutes and walks off on his own to find something more fascinating to do while I finish the work that needs to be done!
Finish the workday on a high note!
Choose an activity for your child that represents the conclusion of your workday and the beginning of your evening with him! I give my son the authority to switch off the computer monitor. This is the only time he has access to my computer. It is a unique activity that makes him feel mature, important, and in command for a little moment. It’s turned into a joyful and meaningful routine for both of us!
All it takes to work at home with a toddler is a little planning, a lot of patience, and a lot of love!