The Key to Working and Parenting from Home? Ditch the Tips and Tricks

In the middle of a global crisis, many parents are faced with a time crunch like never before. There simply aren’t enough hours to balance work, childcare and chores. The go-to advice from mom bloggers and the like is to make a schedule and stick to it. That’s a tall order in a time when no one knows what’s coming next.

If we’re being honest, most of us can’t even keep our own schedule, let alone make our kids stick to one. That’s why now, when the entire Internet is promoting productivity “hacks,” at-home activities and endless tips & tricks, we’ve decided to take a different tack.

Right now, the best way to get more done is to focus on your kids. Really focus on them. Give them the uninterrupted attention they need every day. Be curious about what they’re saying and feeling.

It will still take plenty of time, but showing your children a new kind of genuine interest can pay off for both them and you. If you continue to postpone and water down the time you spend with them, you’re delaying the inevitable: tantrums, attention-seeking, breakdowns.

Their world has been shaken up, and they’re still figuring things out. Right now, they need you to make sense of it for them. For most kids, this doesn’t mean explaining the crisis in more detail. It’s about showing them how to deal with it through your actions and attitudes. Ad-libbing. Improvising. Unschooling. Being a thermostat, not a thermometer. Being here in this moment with your kids, as tough as this moment may be.

Spending ten minutes doing an activity together shows that you’re here and still in control – and it pays off in terms of productivity. Afterwards, let them have screen time or self-directed play. It’ll be easier to get away and work on your own for a while once your kid feels seen and heard.

There is no parental panacea right now. Parents are not ok, and that’s okay. Everything is changing, so don’t expect to keep up with everything 100%. Start by giving your kids the attention they desperately need, then move on to the tips and tricks for getting more done. Work during their naps. Use screen time strategically. Plan activities together. Practice self-care (with some raw & unfiltered honey.) And maybe, just maybe, even try making a schedule.