Are you ready for the summer holidays? Kids in Scotland and Northern Ireland are already off, or about to be so. Pupils in England and Wales will break up before the end of July. Exciting for them, of course, but less so for you if you want to work from home with children in the house this summer.
Although many of us embraced the WFH life during the pandemic, and many continue to work remotely, it does have challenges. Most notably, having to concentrate on your spreadsheets, emails and reports whilst the children run riot in full feral summer mode.
If you are dreading this gigantic juggling act of helping your kids make memories whilst also remaining employed, we have five tips to share. It turns out you can work from home with children this summer!
1) Child swap
The thing to remember is that you are not alone. Dads across the land are also trying to graft whilst the kids run riot. Why not strike a child swap deal with another parent? Not permanently, obviously, but you have their children over one day and they have yours back another time. That way, you get a whole child-free day to crack on in peace.
2) Get up early
Of course, many of us would struggle to get up before the kids without meeting ourselves going to bed. But for those whose children sleep to a reasonable time, set your alarm for a couple of hours early and get some of the tasks that require laser focus done then. Once you get them out of the way, you can fit in those that need less concentration whilst you field arguments about whose LEGO is whose.
One of the things that really breaks your concentration when you work from home with children is the constant requests for snacks. It you prepare these in advance, you don’t have to take yourself away from that complicated sentence you were writing to create a culinary masterpiece. Put together sandwiches, bags of crisps, pots of cut up veg and drinks bottles and put them on a shelf. When the children moan about hunger, you can reach for these quickly or even just tell them to help themselves.
4) Set them challenges
Children love challenges, so you can buy yourself a little time by setting them off to complete a task of your choosing. Obviously, it needs to be age-appropriate. For little ones, merely trying to colour in without going over the lines takes a lot of concentration. For older ones, get them to make a website about their favourite hobby. Once they get engrossed in their challenge, you can go back to concentrating.
5) Don’t fear screen time
Yes, yes, people will tell you about the evils of screen time, but have they tried finishing an urgent report whilst their four-year-old tries to tell them in great detail about a cornflake they found on the floor? Stick Netflix, CBBC, DVDs or whatever they like on the telly and enjoy the time they spend transfixed and the feeling that maybe you won’t get sacked today.