Juggling WFH and Childcare
Updated: Jun 15
TEN ways to Managing the Juggle of Working from Home and Childcare
Since the emergence of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, working from home has become increasingly common. However, a new challenge has arisen for many individuals: working from home while also caring for their children. Initially, this may have seemed like a task only superheroes could handle, but more and more people are finding themselves facing this demanding situation.
As human beings, we have limits to the amount of demands we can handle before our brains and bodies start to suffer. Balancing work and childcare responsibilities can have a negative impact on our emotional and physical well-being if we neglect to prioritise our internal needs amidst the external demands.
In this article, I will outline ten strategies to help manage the juggling act of working from home and providing childcare while safeguarding our emotional and physical well-being to the best of our ability.
Structure Your Time and Practice Mindfulness: Avoid constantly switching between work and childcare tasks. Instead, structure your day by allocating dedicated time for each. This may involve adjusting your working hours to accommodate childcare duties. When switching between roles, strive to be present in the moment and avoid distractions like checking work-related notifications while attending to your children.
Attend to Your Basic Needs: Ensure that your physical well-being is not neglected. Drink enough water, maintain a balanced diet, and get sufficient sleep. Neglecting these needs can adversely affect both your physical and emotional well-being.
Relax Your Thinking: External demands and stressful situations can increase our stress levels. Monitor your thoughts when you feel overwhelmed, and challenge any worrisome or extreme thoughts to make them more balanced. Avoid overestimating the time required for tasks, as this can unnecessarily amplify stress.
Relax Your Standards: Setting excessively high standards in different areas of life can contribute to stress. Recognise that you don't need to strive for perfection in order to be a successful parent or worker. Consider relaxing your standards in areas where they are unrealistic and causing unnecessary stress. For example, don't feel compelled to respond to work-related matters immediately.
Recruit Help: Don't hesitate to accept help from those around you, whether it's occasional or regular assistance. If you have a partner, work together to establish a schedule that allows each of you dedicated time for work and childcare responsibilities.
Tackling Guilt: Feeling guilty as a parent while working from home is common. Show compassion for yourself and remember that you are working to secure a better future for your children. When it's time to spend quality time with your children, make a conscious effort to be fully present.
Set Boundaries: Clearly communicate your working hours with your team and resist the temptation to respond to work-related matters outside of those hours.
Establish a Dedicated Work Space: If possible, designate a specific area in your home as your workspace. Close the door to this space and teach your children to understand that when the door is closed, you are working and should not be disturbed. Consider using a sign on the door to reinforce this boundary if necessary.
Encourage Independent Tasks: Create activities for your children that require minimal supervision, allowing them to stay engaged while you focus on work.
Practice Self-Praise: Instead of dwelling on self-criticism and focusing on what could be better, acknowledge your accomplishments and give yourself credit for managing the challenging balancing act of work and childcare. You're doing an amazing job!
If you would like support with the challenges around the juggle of WFH and childcare feel free to reach out by contacting me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or kindly complete the webform. I offer therapy in-person in St Albans/Hertfordshire and online.