Friday, January 2, 2009
How Work at Home Moms Play With Their Kids
As some of you know, I never meant to be a working from home mom...it just sort of happened. So, finding the delicate balance between my work, my kids, my husband and keeping a clean house, is well, a challenge to say the least. But I continue to stumble my way through it. As I'm stumbling, I am discovering some tidbits that I would like to share.
So here is my tidbit of the day:
As a working from home mom, I'm sure it is super important to you to continue to spend time with your children and to do worthwhile activities with them; I know it is for me. So, as I have said in the past, I try to outline some art and craft and various activities to do with the kids the weekend before the work week starts, that way I'm prepared.
Well, you can't always be super prepared for everything because emergencies arise with your personal life and with your clients also. Sometimes, as sad as it is, you have to drop what you are doing with your child to send a quick email or to answer a phone call.
Here are somethings to remember for moments like this:
1.) When planning activities and games to play with your children while taking a break from work, make sure they aren't long drawn out projects and games. If you have to continue to ask your child to wait a minute while you answer the phone or to complete a data entry project you are only asking for trouble. Eventually they are going to get frustrated and in turn you will most likely snap at them also. So, a suggestion to this is to plan short games that take no more than 15 minutes to play (Go Fish, Dominoes, Lucky Ducks). Remember, even CandyLand can take forever to play sometimes. Plan short art and craft projects. Most of the time, I just give my three year old a bunch of stuff and let him glue and cut. Abstract is the way to go, because there is no time limit!
2.) If you do have to take a phone call, make sure you have something on emergency stand-by that is going to appease your child for a few minutes. Helping your child learn patience is a good virtue for them to have also, so making them wait while you finish up a phone call isn't going to kill them. But make sure you stand by your word. If you tell your child after this phone call is over you will continue to play with them, then do it! I have four or five baggies filled with emergency play options that I can hand over to my child with no explanation (which helps if you are on the phone with a client and can't explain the project to them). Some examples are: a baggie containing two pipe cleaners and some large foam beads to string, two sticker sheets, some crayons and a piece of paper, some feathers, a picture of a bird printed off the computer and a glue stick!
3.) As your child gets older, long projects may be an option for you to do with your child through the day. For instance during the holidays, you may be able to create a gingerbread house with your child or make a tree skirt out of felt. The nice things about projects like this is that there are lots of small steps that you can divide up throughout the day.
4.) A picture schedule may help your child understand his/her day while you are working! An easy way to make a picture schedule for your child is to print up pictures on the computer of activities that your child may do during the day (i.e. breakfast, watch television, play a game, build with blocks, lunch) and to laminate the pictures. To laminate the pictures, use clear contact paper. Attach velcro to the back of the pictures. Now, take a large piece of poster board, label and decorate the poster board however you like. Involve your child in this part to give him ownership of the schedule. Attach an envelope to the back of the poster board to store the icons that you printed up and laminated. On the front of the schedule, attach the other side of the velcro to store the icons. Make sure you also have a picture to represent time spent with you. You want to ensure your child that you will spend time with him/her every day! A schedule is great for children to use at the youngest of age. It helps them learn so many things, such as chronological order, time management, the days of the week and other things!