Lessons I Learned My First Week Working From Home With a Toddler
In one week, I’ve learned that working from home full time is definitely NOT like the one or two days home with a sick kiddo. On those days, you pretty much put proactive business aside, and just take care of what absolutely needs to be done. But when you tackle working from home full-time, you have to make sure ALL business is done. Which means time management and toddler management have to go hand in hand. These are the lessons I learned my first week working from home with a toddler.
Day 1 Lesson: If you have someone to lean on, lean on them. It’s important to accept help (if you have it) so you can entirely focus. As mommies, I know many of us will always hear our little one’s voices and want to rush in, but business is done when you can actually focus. Facing my first time really working from home created some anxiety in me for sure. How am I going to do this? Is my boss going to give me a hard time? Will I be able to juggle all of my responsibilities as an employee, wife, and mom? But having a supportive husband who is the world’s coolest dad definitely made some of my fears dissipate. It’s okay to let go of the reigns and let him help.
Second, APPRECIATE him or her. Communicate and let them know what it means to have their support and what a good job they are doing. More frequent and clear communication is key to surviving working from home with your spouse. Juggling all of that and keeping a healthy relationship doesn’t necessarily come easy for most of us.
Day 2 Lesson: Naps are critical.
On day two I learned that a good nap means EVERYTHING. Typically, our little one may or may not nap over the weekend and that’s no big deal — he’s back to school on Monday and all is well in our world. BUT, when “back to school Monday” means having him at home all the time? A NAP IS CRUCIAL. It’s also guaranteed quiet time to make those long phone calls and crank out some work uninterrupted.
I have also been worried about his educational stimulation. DON’T. Teach them different things at home. Teach them that adventure is in your own backyard and that the screen isn’t always needed. I LOVE Pinterest. There are lots of ideas on there about how to do cost-free, fun activities to stimulate our kids!
Day 3 Lesson: It’s okay to give yourself a break. This was a hard one for me. I didn’t have my helper for most of the day and “Mommy, I need you!” rang through the house over and over. Not responding immediately increased the volume and was driving us both crazy while simultaneously breaking my heart. But remember, they will survive. It’s okay to take the moment to do what you need to do, and then turn around and give them the attention they need.
This is all the more reason to get them involved in activities! They will stay entertained and allow for you to do the work you need to do. For example, I set up a tray with sand and rock and his little diggers and we sat at the table on the deck for the longest time talking and playing while I was able to work on my computer right next to him.
Day 4 Lesson: We all get defeated. Day four and I am tired. I feel my patience waning and my fuse getting shorter. He decides a nap is just a no-go. I tried all my tricks and he wasn’t having any of it. After fighting him for over an hour, I gave up. I felt defeated and angry, that he won. But some days are just like that, I’ve learned. Looking forward to tomorrow, FRIDAY!
Day 5 Lesson: Look for the bright spots. Today my fuse is shorter and patience is wearing thin on the last day of the week. Looking at the house projects we needed to do this weekend made me cringe. But Week One is done and we survived without any major fallout. My spouse and I are communicating well, and splitting responsibilities. Our little man couldn’t be happier about being home, saying nothing of missing school or his friends. He is getting lots of outdoor time and stimulation through adventuring, helping mom and dad with chores, reading, and self-guided play. His imagination is boundless! Maybe we can make it through this thing after all.
As people always say, the days are long but the years are short. We are all living in a crazy time that no one knows how to navigate. All we can do is do our best, stay positive, and be appreciative for what we have.
I’m appreciative for my little guy AND the chance to continue to do what I love: helping my clients. Please be assured that although I am working from home with a toddler, I am absolutely dedicated to helping you. If there is anything I can help you with, please contact me here. We’re all in this together!