Written by Rozaria Samuels, Account Manager at HouseME, Smart Property Rental for Landlords and Tenants.
Reading Time: 5 Minutes
While the pandemic has brought with it its own trials and tribulations, our daily lives as we once knew it, has completely taken a 360-degree turn and our homes have now become our new office space. It is proving to be challenging for some, and a sigh of relief to others. Those that have to share their space with energetic toddlers full day are finding it more difficult than they once anticipated.
Juggling never-ending emails, meetings and deadlines while your toddler slithers on the floor for your attention can seem quite daunting and quite honestly, exhausting. We have some tried and tested tips to get you through.
6 simple ideas to keep the kids busy (while you get some work done)
1. Establish a routine
Both adults and kids thrive on routine and even though the pandemic has created a new “norm”, it is important to try and create some form of structure in your day.
Wake up 1 or 2 hours earlier than your toddler. The best way to work is when they are not around. Tackle your biggest tasks at this time. Even if you are not a morning person, this gives you the time to have a quick cuppa, respond to emails and plan the rest of your workday.
2. Keep them entertained
This sounds difficult, but it is easier than you think. Thank goodness for technology as there are loads of websites and apps available to keep them captivated and learning. You can even dress up your ballerina or soccer star and stream a lesson on YouTube. This simple trick will pass the time and keep them active. Thank me later.
3. Get creative
Just as we are adapting to all the emotional challenges lockdown brings, so are our tiny housemates. Whilst they are enjoying having mommy and daddy around all day, they too get bored with being stuck in the house and having limited space to play and faces to see.
Remember that toilet roll holder that you just threw away? Well keep the next one and build some fun crafty giraffes or butterflies together. The paper plate that you are keeping for your next family braai, use it to make some fun masks. The little ones will love these creations.
4. Take advantage of nap time
Most toddlers are comfortable with their nap time during the day.
Factor this into your daily routine as it’s not only critical for your toddler’s growth and development, but also for your workday. This quiet time can be utilised for important meetings without any distractions.
5. Prioritise your time
You can’t do everything, and that’s ok. The challenging part is creating a balance between the working parent and the doting parent tending to their toddlers every need. If your toddler wants your attention, they won’t stop. Put aside your to-do list and give them the attention they need and deserve. The biggest reward for any parent working from home is that they get to spend “free time” with their toddlers. Once they are settled, getting back to your daily tasks will be easier than trying to get an email sent off with a nagging toddler.
6. Stay focused on the positives
This is a scary and uncertain time for most. As parents, we need to try our best to maintain a work-life balance while fully enjoying the parenting experience.
Help make things fun, use their favourite nursery rhyme to teach them about this new extraordinary time we find ourselves in: “Wash your hands do do do do do use the soap do do do, dry your hand do do do do …” While teaching them about daily hygiene, they are also learning a new song and no doubt will be telling all their friends about it when they go back to daycare.
Tell us more about your secret weapon
Be kind to yourself and know that everything will not be perfect. There will be lots of stepping on lego, cars, dolls or whatever other toy has been flung across the living room. Don’t get frazzled. All you need is a little bit of planning, patience and an adaptable attitude to master your COVID-19 time with your toddlers.
Either way, you’ve survived almost 5 weeks of working from home thus far, you must have some tricks up your sleeve to help increase your productivity. Tell us about your favourite secret weapon to keep the little monsters (read cutie pies) busy in the comments below.
Ben Shaw is the CEO and Co-founder of Proptech Company, HouseME, Winner of Seedstars World’s Best Start-Up Company in Cape Town.
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HouseME’s Co-Founders, Ben Shaw and Kyle Bradley.