Working remotely with toddlers at home calls for restructuring your entire routine.
I have the high honor of playing the role of chaos coordinator and business mama Monday- Friday. Weekends, I like to say I’m “off-duty,” but when does any mother actually get time off?!
My workdays consist of feeding folks, changing diapers, and breaking up fights- all of this between Zoom meetings. Y’all this is no way to carry on. But it’s my reality. I’ve concluded that this is my new normal: working full-time at home with three kids under five. Talk about chaos!
Everything that could go wrong HAS! My kids have spilled water on my work equipment, unplugged the Wi-Fi during conference calls, and ran naked across the camera. You name it; they’ve done it.
Disclaimer: I’m so grateful to have a job still and even more thankful for the ability to work from the comfort of my home!
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was too overwhelmed. I tried my best to be the same worker still as I was in an office setting. Which meant I was completely neglecting my husband and kids for the sake of business. This went on for a couple of months.
It affected my “presence” in my job. I am a naturally introverted person, so nothing about being on camera for a few hours a day excites me. My camera was always off, and my mic was muted. I didn’t want anyone to see my struggles and, most certainly, not my family’s either.
One day, I realized how chaotic things had become. My family was headed in a downward spiral. I knew it was time to get things back in order. But how?
Focus on What Matters
I’ve learned that you can plan your entire life out, and in an instant, it can all change. What do you do when this happens? Focus on what matters.
I believe in the Bible, and there is a scripture that says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Man, if that ain’t a word! Worry about today, sis!
Focusing on what matters allows you to set realistic expectations. Ask yourself: Does this matter at this moment? What things do I need to focus on for today? Whether it be work or your family, you need to be able to focus on the now. This enables you to narrow down a few projects to focus your time on. Granted, things won’t always go as planned, especially when kids are involved, but this gives you direction.
Give Yourself Grace
If you mess up, give yourself grace! Yes, there will be days that you plan things out to the tee! And then, things will fall apart right before your eyes. That’s OKAY! We are all in this unprecedented season, and plans change. Home and work life have been ambiguous for everyone.
Every day you must be intentional about yourself. If you aren’t together, how you can fully be available to anyone else? Be honest with yourself, your family, and your work team. What are the things I can realistically handle working remotely?
For me, this looks like putting aside moments for myself. I often sneak to the bathroom to pray and gather my thoughts in between meetings and homeschool with the kids. It’s the little things that have kept me grounded. Identify the things you need to do to be intentional about your needs.
Set realistic expectations for yourself and kids each day, however this may look for you. Allow yourself grace for hiccups. Early mornings and late nights are inevitable in motherhood. It’s all about strategically planning what you want to accomplish.
You are allowed to not be perfect at everything, especially when it comes to motherhood. No formula will tell you the exact method to balance work and home life. Do what works for YOU and your family. I challenge the mothers who are working remotely to focus on the now and give yourself grace! Mama, there is peace waiting in this chaos!