Working From Home Is Not As Rosy As It Sounds. The most common reaction I get from people when I tell them I work from home is, “Oh my god, lucky you!” The general perception is that working from home means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. But honestly, it’s nothing like that. Being a work-from-home parent is tougher and more challenging than you may think. So, for all the parents working from home, here are ten tips to help you keep your sanity as well as your job!
1. Make An Office Space
Going out to work allows you to comfortably switch between the roles you play within and outside the house. Psychologically, it helps prepare your mind for work, but that doesn’t happen if your bed is your workplace. So, create an office space within your house and make sure you don’t work anywhere but there.
2. Dignity Of Labour
I probably sound Gandhian in saying this, but there is no job that deserves less respect than another. Being a parent working from home doesn’t make your work less important. Everyone around me seems to think it does, so I’m expected to make more compromises with my work. If this happens to you too, learn to put your foot down and say no.
3. Teaching Kids To Respect Boundaries
If you respect your job, your child will, too. They imitate almost everything you do; that’s just how kids learn behaviour – through imitation. Help them develop respect for your space and time while you’re working by creating boundaries. It will help them develop respect for another person’s space. It also encourages self-discipline in children.
4. Manage Screen Time For Children
Among the many challenges of being a parent who works from home is appropriate screen time management for children. Kids do what you do, so if you’re using screens for hours, they’ll want that, too. This is one of the boundaries you must set – using screens for work versus using them for fun.
5. Time Management For Parents
Do you find yourself pulling your hair out over ruined schedules practically every day? I did, for the longest time. Work-from-home parents often experience this. The best way to balance work and home is to treat your job like an average job. Do what you’d do if you had an office to go to and life will feel less hectic.
6. Work-Life Balance
Office-going parents have huge issues in trying to achieve this, too. It’s probably worse for us because most times, we feel like we have no right to complain. As a parent working from home, I stand by my right to have this problem just as much as office-going parents. Again, working from home doesn’t make your job easier or less important, so you’ll have the same problems, too.
7. Stress Management
If you’re parenting teenagers while working from home, I can barely imagine your stress levels. The same goes for those who are parenting toddlers. Don’t downplay or dismiss the stress you feel. Parenting is stressful, as is your work-from-home job. Engage in regular stress busting activities like workouts or develop a hobby.
8. Socialising For Parents
Once you become a parent, your entire social landscape changes. Add a work-from-home job to the mix and you’ll barely leave the house except for groceries and supplies. That’s unhealthy. No matter how tough it is at first, make sure you get out and interact with other adults everyday.
9. Children’s Education
Education in today’s day and age is not simply about picking up and dropping the children to school. Matters like peer pressure, bullying, cyber bullying and the likes are constant threats to your child. Working from home makes you believe you know everything simply because you’re “always around”. Honestly, though, you’re probably too distracted with work most of the time. Ensure that you spend quality time with your kids no matter how much you think you know about their lives.
10. Keeping It Together
Easily the most understated part of all is your mental health. If you’re a parent who works from home, it’s very likely that you have constant feelings of inadequacy and loss of control over your life. Work-from-home parents are usually socially almost secluded and generally spread out too thin, making them highly vulnerable to depression and the likes. See a counsellor every few months even if you feel like you’re keeping it together quite well. You’ll be surprised how much that helps.