Many home-based businesses have taken off after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, not everyone working from home is running their own business. With school closures and childcare services scarce, parents are left with the extra responsibility of working from home with their kids. A CBC news report discusses how this leaves parents feeling like they are giving only 50% of themselves to their children and 50% to their employer, meaning no one is getting 100% of their efforts.

Here are six tips to help parents working from home feel less guilty about how their workday goes:

1. Have a plan.

Create a fun schedule for your little ones for the upcoming work week on the weekend. For younger kids who are not yet school-aged, divide the day into three parts: learning, playing, and nutrition. Find stimulating, hands-on activities that do not necessarily involve a screen and don’t be afraid to allow them to get messy. Creating this schedule on a big, colourful board with your children is like having them help you cook; they’re much more likely to try it. Don’t feel bad if you do need to use some screen time. If your kids are going through remote learning, be sure to align your schedule with theirs.

Working from home with kids

2. Give yourself small breaks.

Even the busiest work calendars have time slots to allow for breaks. After completing pressing tasks, reward yourself by stepping away from your workspace and changing your environment. You are getting your work done and parenting your children. You deserve at least a few moments to sip your favourite caffeinated beverage, undisturbed. You can also take this time to move your body and get your blood pumping.  

3. Have lunch with your kids.

Whichever way your family enjoys meals together best, it doesn’t have to be at dinner. Instead, you can plan a light lunch with the kids at the table, outside for a picnic (when the weather permits), or while watching a favourite show. The point is to make it fun, and get away from your work devices. Children can sense an adult’s stress levels, so leaving those stressors at your desk and not carrying them with you would benefit everyone. 

4. Encourage independence.

Your kids will thank you. Having them play, create, imagine in their way opens the door to personal growth; for your kids and yourself. That allows for more time in your day to concentrate on your own goals, leading to fewer feelings of guilt, more of accomplishment and a sense of self.

5. Maintain open communication with your employer.

With so many families struggling to make sense of their new ‘norms’, your management team will know and understand that you are facing double the work. Being honest about your situation at home will not detract from your successes at work or the way your employer sees you. Requesting a lighter workload or discussing more flexible deadlines shows your boss how much your career means to you and that you are putting your best foot forward.

6. Prioritize your mental health.

You deserve some quality self-care aside from taking small breaks throughout the day and having a fun lunch. It doesn’t have to be much. For example, writing in a gratitude journal, diving into a couple of chapters of a novel, taking a hot shower or calling a friend. Anything that brings you joy and peace. Doing this at the end of the day can reduce anxiety and help you recharge for the next day.

Although these tips are not permanent solutions to this ongoing challenge, use them when you can and take each day as it comes.

Does Working from Home Have You Thinking About a Career Change?

Maybe the shift to working at home because of the pandemic has you thinking about taking your career in another direction.

January is always a good time to think about new career opportunities and take your life in the direction you wish to go. Not many people can confidently say that they have the work-life balance everyone is striving for; however, a career at Zensurance does provide that healthy balance. ‘Working parent’ can sound redundant, as there is no end time to parent life, but having a supportive and positive workspace is possible. So, look and see what your next successful role could be.

And if you are thinking of starting a home-based business, know most home insurance policies aren’t designed to cover damages or losses related to business activities. Whatever venture you’re launching from home, explore your options by filling out an online application to get a free quote. Our licensed brokers will shop our partner network of more than 50 insurance carriers to find you the coverage you need at the best price available.

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About the Author: Liam Lahey

Liam is the Content Marketing Manager at Zensurance. A writer and editor for more than 20 years, he has been published in several newspapers and magazines, including Yahoo! Canada Finance, Metroland Media, IT World Canada and others.