2020 has been a huge shift for everyone, both in the workspace and home life. Since many people are working from home now, it isn’t easy to separate your work and personal life. Many parents are struggling to work from home with a toddler, and I can say from experience that it’s no easy task! As I type, I’m sitting next to my daughter giving her grapes. Mom multitasking for the win! Here are my top tips to be productive when you work from home with a toddler.
Top Ways to Work From Home With a Toddler
Get up Early
I know that getting up early isn’t the most appealing prospect (at least for me), but I’ve found that the days I get up before my daughter are my most productive days. Get a cup of coffee, find a cozy nook, and get some work done while the day is young.
Take Advantage of Naptime
Naptime is precious time. If you plan out what you’ll do while your toddler is napping, you can get straight to work as soon as they go down. You can accomplish a lot during those golden hours if you plan it out beforehand.
Hire a Babysitter
If you have the money, hiring a babysitter or mommy’s helper works wonders for your productivity. Even if the babysitter is only there for an hour or two, a few hours can be all you need to get the upper hand on your workload. If you’re considering daycare, check out my article on daycare during quarantine to get all the info you need.
Swap Childcare With Another Parent
This is an excellent solution for parents who can’t make room for a babysitter in their budget. Ask one of your mom friends if she wants to take your toddler for a few hours in exchange for you watching her little one for a bit. Then you both will get some time to get some work done, or even just relax.
Encourage Independent Play
Independent play is healthy for your little one and a great way to work from home with a toddler. Try making your little one some sensory bins, or even save a few “special toys” for alone time playing. This video gives some awesome tips on how to encourage your toddler to play independently.
Let Your Toddler “Help”
Toddlers are helpful little creatures by nature. Allowing your child to organize sticky notes by color or similar activities make it much easier to work from home with a toddler. Little ones love feeling important and being able to “help” mommy.
Toddler-Proof a Large Area
Toddler-proofing your house can give you great peace of mind when you’re busy and can’t watch your little one for every second of every day. Your toddler will happily roam the safe spots of the house, and you can block off the areas that are impossible to toddler-proof. Here is a toddler-proofing checklist to help you make sure you didn’t miss any spots.
Screens Can be Babysitters (in Moderation)
Don’t feel like a you’re not being a good mom if you resort to letting your little one watch Lama Lama for an hour. All that means is you’ll get one hour to get sh** done while your toddler is happy, safe, and not in your hair. A little screen time won’t hurt your kid. I’m not saying you should plop your toddler in front of a screen for the whole day. If you balance screen time with active time and set limits, your child will be fine, and you’ll be better off for it.
Plan for Interruptions
When you schedule out your workday in advance, make time for interruptions. We all know that they’re gonna happen, but you’ll be able to roll more smoothly with them if you’re prepared. Planning for interruptions and being flexible will take a lot of stress off your plate.
Inform Your Colleagues That You Work From Home With a Toddler
Coworkers are often more understanding than we think. After all, many of them are parents too and know exactly what you’re going through. Give them a heads up that your naked toddler might run through the camera during a Zoom meeting or that you might have to go change a diaper mid-call. More likely than not, it will just give everyone a good laugh to ease the monotony of the workday.
Split Babysitting Shifts With Your Partner
If your partner is working from home, they’re having the same struggles of working from home with a toddler that you’re experiencing. Suggest sharing the babysitting load, so you both can take turns getting work done, while the other takes charge of your child.
Bribe Your Toddler
Offer your little one candy, screen time, quality time with mommy, or whatever you can think of to encourage them to let you work in peace for a little bit. For example, say, “If you can play quietly for 30 minutes while I work, I’ll let you watch Lama Lama for 30 minutes”. (In case you can’t tell, my daughter’s favorite show is Lama Lama).
Let Go of the Guilt
Desperate times call for desperate measures. We’re all having to adapt our parenting methods to survive COVID and quarantine. Don’t dwell on feeling guilty because your toddler ate more candy than normal or had screen time for way longer than you wanted them to. The most important things are that your little one is fed, homed, and above all, loved.
To Sum Up
The above tips made it loads more manageable for me to work from home with a toddler If it made your life easier, too, make sure to share this with your friends! Sleepy Angels Consultancy has some great tips on surviving Lockdown with Children if you’re looking for more resources.
Check out my entertainment ideas for toddlers during quarantine if you want some new ways to keep your little one busy.