So how do you juggle childcare and work…. the truth is, it’s not easy, there’s not a perfect solution but here’s some tips to make it better.
- Segregate work and children as much as you can – you can think that you can work off your phone and manage your kids but the results of that will be frazzled (believe me – this is a habit I fall into too often)… you’re best to try to organise your time into slots and accept in some of those slots the kids will be left to their own devices and you work on your laptop as much as you can and then make a disciplined effort to do something fun with the kids for those allocated times such as a walk, run around, trip out somewhere, baking, chatting etc. It’s also vital to have work free days.
- Try to work physically on the laptop/computer so you’re quicker and faster than you would be on your phone making your more efficient.
- Have everything set up so you’re able to quickly get set up and get started. I find having my laptop fully charged at night and in the morning I can take it round the house with me so if I can get a 30 minute slot of quiet, I can log on and do some work.
- Childcare is a team effort. It’s very easy to slip into typical gender roles. If both parents are around and you’re both working, then you need to have hard conversations about how to split up time in a way that works for the family and review these constantly. Even if you’re not working and you are with the kids 24/7 – you need to factor in breaks.
- Drop any guilt – we can feel so guilty for how much time our kids are plugged into electronics – right now I know in the midst of lockdown I feel so guilty for how much my toddler is watching Hey Duggee. The reality is a that we have no access to childcare and we need to do our best. The same with my older three boys. This is an extreme situation.
- Keep a list of everything that you’re doing and split it into for categories (below) and then keep focussed – it’s called the Eisenhower Matrix and is brilliant for when everything is feeling too much
- not urgent/important
- urgent/not important and
- not urgent and not important
- When you get frazzled – rest…. last week I could feel myself feeling that I had too much on plate – what most people would do is they’d starting charging on but I knew if I did that, I’d not be effective as my thinking wouldn’t be straight. Take a break, rest, re-set and then start as when you start and you’re refreshed you’ll do so much better than when you’re frazzled. You will be more effective.
- Look for all the shortcuts – every single shortcut you can – for me it’s specifically meals times so we try to get organised with meal plans, batch cooking, selecting some nights for easy dinners or take aways.
- Organise help and support – I know that right now we don’t have access to all the help and support we normally can but think creatively about how you can do that and don’t feel guilty (see point 5) about asking for help. It’s a sign of strength to ask for and organise help.
- Identify how to get your own needs met – when your needs are met, you are a better mum – see my last post.
If you’re struggling with the juggling, you may be interested in my community group, Overcome the Overload. We meet each Monday night for group EFT. Details are here.
Much love, Tricia xxx