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How To Survive Social Distancing With Children

Jeremy MacveanBy Jeremy Macvean.
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Last week, The Australian asked The Father Hood for some tips on how to cope with the balancing act of working with home when you have a house full of kids.

It’s possible that if you’re working from home with children in the house, you will have to answer to more than one boss. Expect to be performance-managed on your promise to take them outside for a scooter ride. My youngest – I have three daughters, aged nine, seven and four – was literally counting my phone calls back to me: ‘Daddy, you said you were going to do two calls, and now that’s three!’

Technology is great because it allows you to work
from home but right now it’s being accelerated to a level that nobody has experienced because of the health crisis. If the kids spend a little bit longer in front of the TV at the moment, that’s OK. Be kind to yourself. Adjust the boundaries. Your children won’t understand when there’s a deadline or conference call. Speaking of which, you should expect that at some point your child will have a meltdown while you’re talking to your colleagues. Be upfront, excuse yourself if you need to and bring yourself back when you can. The mute button is your friend (also good for dialling down Peppa Pig as the soundtrack to your meeting when you’re not speaking).

Kids are beautifully in the moment and they’ll just enjoy having you around. So it’s going to be a challenge to blur this work/life. Having said that, a cardboard box can give kids hours of enjoyment. As a parent, try to enjoy these micro-moments; it’s the little moments that bring the greatest joy. My final advice: be realistic about what you can take on. Now is not the time to tackle that renovation on your backyard shed.

This article first appeared here