Opinion  

Creative ways to juggle work and kids in lockdown

Maria Nazarova-Doyle

Maria Nazarova-Doyle

There are many things I would love to find time for during lockdown; self-development, perfect my bread making skills, and direct Palme d’Or-worthy creations on TikTok.

But there is a little human standing in the way.

In all honesty, for me just getting through the day is really hard.

It’s not because we are dealing with one of the biggest financial and healthcare crisis in history.

And it’s definitely not because I have to look after my pre-schooler daughter full time.

It’s because I suddenly need to manage to do both side by side.

So, I thought I would share some tips that have helped me juggle what are essentially two full-time jobs, without losing my mind (so far).

It is essential to keep young children physically active.

You want them tired enough to go to bed early (ideally without any involvement from yourself) so you can jump on a conference call or check your emails in peace.

There are many options out there but we find that Joe Wicks works a treat. Also, Cosmic Kids Yoga works particularly well.

I can’t vouch for the quality of the exercise that unsupervised young kids will achieve, but my goal is not to train my daughter for the next (postponed) Olympics, but to keep her interested in a physical activity for a period of time without photo or video-bombing my video calls.

If you, like me, find yourself being asked to leave your home office because someone needs to dance on your “office bed”, see classes with the Ballet Coach

And if your little one develops a real interest, the Bolshoi Theatre is streaming their main masterpieces.

Downtime is also quite important for your little one (also so you can crack on with that slide deck).

We were astonished to discover an absolute gem of a service – Audible – that somehow manages to get our child to nap every time.

This is something that we haven’t managed to do for over a year now. They have made hundreds of titles available for free while schools are closed.

An important disclaimer is that none of this is going to be bullet proof and work all the time. We will still need to balance the two big tasks and get used to an entire new level of bringing our whole selves to work.

While some quiet time to dedicate to work is essential, we should try to let go of things not worth stressing over.

I don’t worry which room of the house I’m “zooming” from, what I look like, or that my child is pulling faces at others on a business call.