Juggling It All: 5 Tips and Tricks for Parents Working From Home

What do sudden dinosaur attacks, juice spillages, and impromptu pots and pans concerts have in common?

For the work-from-home parent, they’re just another Tuesday.

With the flexibility that a work-for-home career provides, parents are blessed with never missing any of their kids’ firsts, getting a few extra snuggles during breaks, and the opportunity to build a unique, fulfilling work-family balance.

But it’s not always plain sailing, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Working parents often need to switch gears quickly, which requires patience, multitasking skills, and a solid, sustainable plan that works for everyone in the household.

Since your career and your family each deserve your full attention, here are a few tips to help you juggle your work-from-home lifestyle with the joys (and challenges) of parenthood.

1 – Schedule Like a Pro

Structure and predictability are pretty crucial for both you and your children, so create a clear daily routine and stick to it as much as possible, even if it means adjusting occasionally for those inevitable juice box emergencies.

If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur, try to plan your work hours around your children’s schedules—nap times, school hours, or after bedtime—to minimize interruptions. For those with part-time jobs or flexible schedules, figure out your most productive times of the day and adjust your work hours to suit.

Full-time jobs or traditional office hours make it a little more challenging. We all enjoy a good lie-in, but waking up earlier can give you that extra time you need to get things done before your fixed shift begins. Let’s face it: lie-ins are a thing of the past for most parents anyway!

2 – Create a Designated Workspace

When setting up your office, choose a comfortable location in the home that minimizes distractions. Assigning a dedicated work zone can help signal to your children that when you’re in this space, you’re working, helping them understand and respect your boundaries.

You might want to talk to them about your job and explain why you need uninterrupted time, making it a learning opportunity about work and responsibility. It also teaches them about the importance of dedicated areas for specific activities, such as homework or reading, which can boost their ability to concentrate and work independently.

3 – Take Breaks and Prioritize Self-Care

Regular breaks away from your desk can prevent burnout, reduce stress, and enhance creativity, so grab any moment you can to recharge. You could even create a break schedule, setting aside time for a mid-morning stretch, lunch away from your desk, or a brief afternoon walk—playing with your children is a great way to get some mental respite, too.

Along with breaks, focus on your physical, emotional, and mental well-being through regular exercise, healthy eating, and quality sleep. For work-from-home parents, self-care also means seeking support, whether it’s delegating household chores, sharing childcare responsibilities, or connecting with friends and extended family.

4 – Use Technology to Stay Organized

With the right tools and apps, you can keep both work and family life organized. For example, task management applications like Asana, Trello, or Todoist enable you to create, assign, prioritize, and track your tasks and projects. Parents can also use them for family-related activities, such as scheduling appointments, planning meals, or organizing household chores.

Why not create a dedicated family calendar to share with your partner, detailing your work schedule to make for easier planning? Calendar apps such as Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook are great for coordinating schedules in and out of work.

Cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive are also fantastic for making sure you and your family can access what you need, when you need it, from any device—no more asking mum or dad to find homework files during work hours.

5 – Ask For Help

Balancing work and family life from home requires you to be honest with yourself and recognize when to ask for help. Getting support from family, friends, or even professional services is the smart way to manage your life better.

You can also find great advice and support from online groups or friends who are in the same boat, which can help you find new ways to handle everyday stuff. It’s important to keep talking to your boss about what you need to make things work, and don’t forget to keep checking in with your family to make sure everyone’s on the same page.

And remember to cut yourself some slack; balancing work and family is tough, and you’re doing a great job!

By sticking to these tips, staying flexible, and making sure you’re looking after yourself, you’ll not only master the work-parenthood balance but actually enjoy the ride, even if it sometimes feels like a continuous juggling act.

Take control of your work-family balance today! Implement these tips and tricks to juggle your work-from-home lifestyle with the joys and challenges of parenthood. Share your success stories and challenges with us on social media using the hashtag #WFHParenting.