The world is changing. COVID-19 means so many people have been working from home for a while now. Some people who had babies before any of us knew what this virus was are now finding themselves at home with a toddler, and since lots of offices are now announcing there is no return to normal office life, you might be stuck working from home with your little one until they go off to school.
We understand how difficult this is. Toddlers are like tiny terrors. They’re into everything, they love to talk, they like attention, they LOVE to play.
If you’re wondering how you’re going to do this long time, we’re here to help.
Here are our top tips on working from home with a toddler.
● Find ways to entertain them
Toddlers like to be busy. That’s because their business does not involve mega stressful work, it involves playing. And playing is the best way to be busy. If you can find a way to keep your little one busy whilst you work, this is a good way to get some peace.
We think the absolutely best way to do this is to make your toddler’s bedroom a wonderful place for them to be. It should be bright and fun, with lots of toys to play with and things to keep them entertained.
Why not try a car bed? Our range of beds and accessories will keep your little one entertained for hours. They can pretend to drive and clean their car. They can pretend to refuel and work their own garage. A themed bedroom like this is an excellent way to encourage your little one to spend time in their room.
● Get up early
It might be time to change your schedule up a little bit to make sure you are up at times when your toddler isn’t. Getting up a little earlier than usual might give you a solid two or three hours in the morning to get work done whilst your toddler is sound asleep in their (car) bed.
This might mean you have a really early start, so perhaps you’ll be going to sleep not long after your little one hits the sack. But starting your day early is a great way to answer anything urgent, leaving you only ad hoc tasks to fit in around your toddler’s demands.
Plus, rumour has it that successful people are really early risers. Maybe that’s because they have toddler free time to dedicate to work.
● Hire a babysitter
Perhaps you can’t afford a professional babysitting service, but maybe there are teenagers in your family who are willing to come over and give you a hand with the little one for a smaller fee.
Getting help isn’t possible for everyone, but if you do have an extra pair of hands available – paid or not – don’t be afraid to ask people for help. Pride has no place here. Whilst the world is up in the air, parents of toddlers need all the help they can get.
● Bring back nap time
Maybe you let naptimes go every now and again. Now is the time to stop that. Your toddler should be napping, but they might not want to. Toddlers are very curious creatures. They don’t like missing out. They’d tape their own eyes open if it were up to them.
So it is up to you to encourage your toddler to go to sleep at the same time every day. A sleep routine here is a good idea – a series of things you do that tell your toddler it’s time to take a nap. Perhaps you close the curtains, put on some lullabies, or have a cuddle.
If you can get your toddler in a good daytime sleep routine, it’s really going to help you when you’re arranging calls or important pieces of work.
● Give your toddler the attention they want
Toddlers are a little selfish. If they are really, really trying to get your attention, they probably won’t stop until they achieve what they want. So your work colleagues are going to have to understand that if your toddler calls you, you have to tend to them. Don’t feel guilty about it. Times are challenging. You have a small human to look after, and that has to be your priority.
So set aside enough time to do the work you need to do and cut yourself some slack if you don’t get all the way through your to-do list.
And remember, toddlers are amazing. They love you, and want your attention. Working from home and having your children so close might not always feel like a blessing, but it is. Try not to forget that. Enjoy it as much as you can.