How to juggle children and work at home?

Posted by Pascale de Montigny on

Any day in March 2020…

12:45 p.m.: Kids, are you hungry? (NO!) Do you want to go to the bathroom? (NOPE!!)

1 p.m.: I start my Zoom with an important client.

1:05 p.m.: (The little one, on the ground floor) Mom, I'm finished! Come wipe me down!

1:06 p.m.: (The big one, on the 2nd floor ) Mom, I've finished my poop!

1:07 p.m.: I stammer an apology and close my Zoom camera.

I was living a nightmare.

Taking care of young children at home and meeting work deadlines seemed irreconcilable to me. I didn't even dare to think of the parents who also had to homeschool!

I started by offering them a routine that allowed them to regulate their endless need to eat and play with (and on) me. The days passed (slowly) and I was able to put things into perspective: we had a roof, a job, health, full bellies (or to be filled every two hours, depending). Everyone around us seemed to be in the same boat. So we made do. As my spouse is an essential worker (thank you, employment insurance), it was on me that the mandate to reconcile everything rested.

Then, I looked on the site for games that did not require parental supervision. As it was very cold and rainy, I chose indoor games like puzzles , magnetic games and story flashlights – perfect for locking them in a closet during a Zoom, haha! The drawing was really beneficial to allow me to move forward in my files.

Then the weeks passed – well, according to what my calendar revealed. Attention crises and bickering have decreased. Duo or solo games have multiplied. Their patience stretched, correlating with mine. They got used to seeing me with my eyes glued to the screen and not climbing on my head during yet another encounter.

Now summer vacation doesn't scare me anymore.

Yes, I will have to update my games to play in the sand , jump rope, play bilboquet or the rubber band game . Yes, I will have to compete in imagination with more summery snacks, like popsicles. Yes, some days will be chaotic.

But we've built in a healthy routine and habits that generally work well for now. And you, what are your tips for balancing work and children at home?

← Older Post Newer Post →