For millions of people, working from home is the ultimate goal. Being able to log-on in sweatpants, from the couch, while sipping coffee sounds amazing. The last three months have seen that dream realized, and many workers love it. They’ve seen Xanadu, and it was everything they’d hoped for. Companies love it because they get all the benefits of a remote workforce and just assume everyone loves it and everything is super. Then there is the other portion who realized working from home is a total disaster. These poor souls can’t wait to get back to the office and get a break. Of course, these are the people with children at home. Knowing how to work from home with kids is a skill unto itself and not for the timid.
The Internet Is Your Friend
Even if you abhor mass media, television, and video games, don’t be afraid to plop your kids down in front of the TV or a monitor. You absolutely must keep them entertained or you will never get any work done. You will be constantly fielding questions, breaking up fights, and listening to them run wild. If you don’t give them entertainment, you will become their entertainment.
Toss Them Outside
At some point, even the laziest of kids will get tired of watching TV or binging on cartoons. Don’t worry, though; there is always the great outdoors. Toss them outside and make them play in the yard, ride bikes, or whatever kids do outside. The wonders of nature and good old-fashioned outdoor playing offer plenty of fun opportunities for kids, and they still have imagination enough to create a game or build a fort.
Have Many “Meetings”
There is an odd phenomenon that happens when there is a meeting. The kids fall silent, and they don’t interrupt. Nothing else in the world will shut them up faster than declaring, “Mommy has a meeting and you must be quiet.” They are probably listening and plotting, but whatever, at least they are quiet. Plan many “meetings” and enjoy the quiet.
Call in Reinforcements
When things start to get hairy and it seems like all is lost, call in reinforcements for help. Have Grandma or Grandpa come over and take them off your hands for the day. Grandparents are designed for just such situations. They get to see the grandbabies and feel superior because you have to rely on them yet again.
Put Them to Work
Get out an old laptop or tablet and open up a blank Word doc and put them to work. Younger kids enjoy clicking on the keys and pretending like they are working right alongside you. It will last for a while, but not forever. Give them assignments from time to time to keep them occupied and boredom-free.