So now that everyone is working from home, for the most part, you may be wondering “how do I work from home with my spouse?” Well, I have been doing this for years as Andrew works from home about half the time. So this is nothing new for us. The only “new” part is that both kids are home too! So today I want to share how to work from home with your significant other (and kids) or at least what works for us.
How To Work From Home With Your Significant Other (and Kids)
Talk through expectations first: When Andrew usually works from home we always discuss the day before what time he has meetings/calls, what time I have calls, are there any times I need him to watch the kids so I can get something done and vise versa. Thankfully Charlotte is pretty easy and still sleeps quite a bit.
Work where it makes sense for you both: So usually we both work in our living room. While we do have an office at home neither of us ever work in it. With both kids home working looks like working in the playroom, on the floor while we build trains with Liam, on my phone while feeding Charlotte, etc.
Ask for help when you need it: Teamwork is everything and right now this is survival. At least in our house. I am NOT great at asking for help and then blowing up at Andrew when he doesn’t read my mind.
Try to respect each other’s space as much as possible: If you work in different parts of the house try to respect the space your partner is working in. Don’t just barge in. If you are working in the same space make sure you aren’t being loud if they are on a call, etc.
Don’t be quick to anger/reactions: This is where I struggle. I am very reactionary as a person and it gets the best of me from time to time. I try really hard not to but I’m not perfect. Try to not react when your partner isn’t perfect (you aren’t either) and try to understand your kid’s whole world was turned upside down. For Liam, he’s used to school, soccer, seeing friends, seeing family, etc. All of that was taken from him so of course he’s going to act out.
Take a break together if you can: With each other, with your kids, etc. Take a break and have lunch as a family, go on a walk, etc.
Have a schedule for the kids: We have a schedule on the wall of our playroom for what the day will look like. Sure, we rearrange things as needed, and sometimes we play longer or watch TV longer and that’s OK. The schedule gives us a sense of normalcy.
Eat meals together if you can: Eating as many meals as you can with your family is SO GOOD for your kids and YOU. I read a study once that kids who’s parents eat with them grow up happier, have less anxiety, and less issues with food. Even if it’s one parent for 10 minutes.
Rely on screens when you need to (they’ll live): Sometimes you just have to put on Daniel Tiger and hope for the best. When we both have something that needs to get done, or one of us is putting Charlotte down for a nap while the other is on a call- Daniel Tiger it is. It’s OK, they will live.
Be grateful: Be grateful that you get this extra time with your family. The days are FAR from easy and they are very exhausting. However, I know that at the end of it I will be closer with my family and our family of four’s bond will be stronger.
Are you and your spouse working from home? Do you have kids at home too? How are you handling this?