Struggling to work with your little ones at home? You wouldn’t be the only one. I have a 2-year-old and I’m by myself at home, leading hour-long customer meetings sometimes all day long. I’ve had to step away from work in the middle of meetings for at least 5 to 10 minutes to calm my little one down and get her in a place where she’s quiet for a bit longer. Unsure of what to do, I reached out to other parents on the Motus team, and they gave me some great advice about taking care of children while working from home.
I have a 2-year-old nephew and I know that he sits so quietly playing with play-doh. I introduced him to this during his last visit and his parents were amazed by how much he loved it. They said he has never sat quietly for that long! It’s his new favorite thing. My great nephew also loves it. I suggest introducing young ones to it. It could be something she could sit next to you and play with during meetings! It seems to mesmerize them. – Angie Meiners
So much of fussy two-year-olds is keeping them busy. You’re trying to do that while doing your best to focus on work, so I suggest checking out busytoddler.com! There’s a lot of great ideas to distract younger children on there. For example, you can set up a sensory activity on the floor next to you. And of course, Sesame Street and Mother Goose Club on the TV are also helpful! – Katie McNamara
What Katie said! If I know I have meetings coming up, I usually try to plan screen times accordingly. And I’m amazed at how long YouTube Kid’s can hold a child’s attention. If you have an old device or tablet, they can tap through videos that are age appropriate and safe. I love kids YouTube. – Stuart Loe
Mine isn’t at that age quite yet, but my nephew is and my sister has this struggle with intense tantrums and melt downs. Her advice is that, if your little one wants to be in the same room as you, look into “noisy background headsets.” Some help eliminate 90% of background noise so the customer will not hear so much.
For attention span concerns, see if you can get crazy efficient on calls and make them shorter and/or schedule them around her schedule. So during the calmer times in her day and when she’s napping you could fit in those customer calls. It’ll be easier for both of you if you can strike a balance with her need for attention and finding time between calls for mutual play. Without it, the tantrums may get worse. – Ashley Sabo
I have a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old. We are loving Rockabye Beats. They do virtual music classes live on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:00 AM, but you can also watch them for free on Facebook later on! Not the quietest activity, but it keeps the toddler SO entertained. Cosmic Kids yoga on YouTube has worked well too. Also, she spent 20 minutes happily sticking dry noodles through a colander one day last week! – Priyanka Sejpal
This is a tough time for everyone, especially those of us juggling work and taking care of our children. Just know that you’re a rockstar for handling as much as you do! And if you’re stressing about the situation, like I was, remember that people will understand.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to others in your company. They may have ideas that can help you in your situation. Not every piece of advice is going to work for every child all the time (they call them the terrible twos for a reason), but there’s no harm in trying what you can. Remember that we’re all in this together, and we’ll come out of it together.
Looking for tips on remote work beyond parenting while working from home? Check out our remote work channel.