The Struggle is Real: My Life as a Working Mom of 2 Toddlers
Working from home with two toddlers is not for the faint of heart. I’m talking about the kind of working from home that involves children, not the kind where you’re out of the house all day.
I’ve been working from home with my kids since they were born (now 3 and 1), but it’s only been in the last six months that I’ve really started to feel like I have it down to a science. And now that I’m at a point where I feel like I can write about it without sounding like an insane person (too late?), I thought it might be helpful to share some of my tips. So grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine, no judgment here), and let’s navigate this crazy journey together!
Establish a Dedicated Workspace:
Create a designated workspace that is separate from your living area. This will not only help you stay organized but also create a boundary between work and family life. Consider using baby gates to keep your toddlers out of your workspace during working hours, especially if your kiddos (like mine) have mastered the art of opening doors. Something else you may want to consider if you’re like me and have a lot of calls or meetings during the day: think about getting a really good noise cancelling headset for your workspace. I mean, let’s be honest, kids can be pretty loud sometimes and it’s super distracting. But with one of these headsets, you can tune out all that background noise and really focus on the task at hand. Trust me, it’s worth it! My friend gave me this one for Christmas and I love it!
Set a Realistic Schedule:
Establishing a consistent schedule is crucial for both productivity and child care. Create a routine that includes designated work hours and dedicated time for your toddlers. By setting clear boundaries, you’ll be able to manage expectations and avoid unnecessary interruptions.
Maximize Nap Times:
Nap times are a golden opportunity for focused work. Prioritize important tasks that require your undivided attention during these quieter periods. Use this time to tackle demanding projects or attend virtual meetings without distractions.
Embrace the Power of Technology:
Leverage technology to make your workday more efficient. Utilize project management tools for better organization, video conferencing for team collaboration, and time-tracking apps to help you stay on track. Technology can also serve as an engaging and educational tool for your toddlers while you work. Consider age-appropriate apps or educational videos that can keep them entertained.
My 3-year-old loves the Berenstain Bears© books, and we just discovered they have apps on her new tablet (thanks, Grandma!) with a Read to Me feature. Game changer!
If you’re looking to reduce screen time though, I strongly suggest trying out a Toniebox. It’s an amazing device that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already heard of it.
Take Advantage of Help:
Not gonna lie, I have a LOT of help. My amazing husband is my true partner in every sense of the word. I’m also incredibly lucky to have the help of both of my parents on a regular basis. We hired my Mom as a nanny when parental leave ended after our oldest daughter was born, and I have absolutely no idea what we would do without her. It’s so important to recognize that you can’t do it all alone. Seek the support of your partner, family, or trusted caregivers whenever possible. Consider coordinating your schedules so that one parent is focused on work while the other is dedicated to the toddlers. Having an extra pair of hands can alleviate some of the pressure and allow you to be more productive.
Remember to take care of yourself amidst the chaos. Take short breaks to stretch, hydrate, and recharge. Engage in activities that help you relax and refresh your mind. A healthy and balanced mindset will not only benefit you but also positively impact your ability to care for your toddlers and effectively complete your work.
In conclusion: working from home with toddlers may seem challenging, but with proper planning and a positive attitude, it can be a rewarding experience. By setting boundaries, sticking to a schedule, utilizing technology, and seeking support, you can achieve a work-life balance while ensuring the well-being of your little ones. Remember, it’s all about finding the right balance and embracing the flexibility that remote work offers.
I hope these tips help you navigate the world of remote work with toddlers in tow. Happy working and parenting!