Parents want to spend more time with their children and provide the best for them. Remote work can let you get stuff done AND see your kids more often. No more sitting in 3-hour commutes! However, it’s not quite so easy. Juggling a remote job and caring for your kids requires a lot of time and effort. So if you’re a parent and are considering working at home, ask yourself the following questions first:
You can’t work AND take care of your kids at the same time. If your kids are below 5 years of age, a yaya or babysitter is necessary. At this age, your kids might be too young to understand what you’re doing and would require close supervision. A babysitter can take care of that so you can focus on the task at hand.
Don’t have the budget for a babysitter? Try asking your parents if they’re willing to help. If they’re retired and are looking for something to do, they’ll probably be happy to spend quality time with their grandchildren.
Being a first-time mom is challenging. Your body and mind are still adapting to massive changes you’ve undergone during pregnancy and childbirth. You probably won’t feel like yourself for a very long time, and could require special care as a new mother. You won’t be in the best shape to take on any new challenges that working from home may bring.
So, while lots of parents turn to remote work after the arrival of a child, you might want to take it easy for the first six months. You’ve earned it, momma.
It helps to compartmentalize things. You could allocate a room or a corner as your home office and train your kids not to go near it. Arrange for someone else to look after the kids while you work or arrange your schedule so that you can work while they’re taking a nap or at school. This way, you’re free to do your best work without interruptions.
Leave your work behind outside working hours. Be mentally present when you sit down to a meal with your kids, tuck them in, or take them out for ice cream. They won’t be that small for long. It takes time, attention and details to build relationships with your children.
Advance planning helps too. Is your daughter’s recital coming up next week? Do some extra work in advance so you can spend a whole day off helping her prepare. Be sure to give prior notice to your client if you need to take a day off.
If your kids aren’t attending school yet, behind-the-scenes work might be better than interacting with customers as a frontliner. You can’t exactly work well as a telemarketer or customer service representative if your kids are constantly screaming or crying in the background.
Copywriting, graphic design, data entry, or other similar jobs would be more suitable.
Also, be wary of time-sensitive jobs. You can never predict when one of your kids might need urgent attention. Pay close attention to your client’s time zones too. You can’t exactly spend much time with your kids if you’re asleep for the entire morning after carrying out VA duties all night.
The answer varies from parent to parent. For example, if you’re in charge of the daily school run, you need to block off time for dropping off and picking up your kids.
It also helps to know when you are most productive. Does your mind feel especially active at night, after the kids are tucked in? Or does your creativity rise with the sun, a couple of hours before your kids wake up?
Consider these factors before agreeing on a work schedule with your employer.