Working From Home With a Toddler: How to make it work

Working from home with a toddler is both a blessing and a challenge

Working from home with a toddler is a reality that many parents face in the modern world. In the aftermath of the pandemic, many have found a new normal in working from home. Either every day or once in a while. 

No matter the frequency of working from home, it has now become a common case to have to take care of your child while working from home at the same time. And that is both extremely rewarding and challenging. 

So, how do you manage to do it successfully? In this article, I will dive into how you can juggle daily tasks while working from home and taking care of your toddler. 

The benefits of working from home with a toddler

Working from home with a toddler is no easy feat. If you disagree as a parent, I envy you. With my kids, it does take some careful planning at least. 

It actually takes a lot of dedication and planning to be successful while caring for your children and working a full-time career from home. But if you get it right, there are great benefits.

Listening and learning from other parents can give you confidence and practicing gives you experience. Of course, when handling toddlers, nothing is perfect, so the ability to quickly adapt to any challenge is an important skill to master.

A major benefit is not worrying about childcare and the costs associated with your little one’s care. Working from the comfort of your home allows convenience and increases flexibility and you get to spend quality time with your toddlers. 

Parents who work in a hybrid or from home reduce stress by having their children nearby while they focus on business. It can be a huge challenge, but planning the day or week beforehand will give you the necessary tools for success.

Another important benefit of having their toddlers close throughout the work day helps strengthen the parent/child relationship and establishes strong emotional ties. You really get to bond with your little one when working from home with her or him. 

If your toddler is feeling ill or sick then you can also be there for them and tend to their needs. If you consider working from home with an infant, see more here.

Is it all fun and games working from home with a toddler? No, not always
Is it all fun and games working from home with a toddler? No, not always

The challenges of working from home with a toddler

Working from home with a toddler can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be an incredibly challenging one. But juggling a career and working from home with a toddler has become a reality for many families. This is mainly due to the new normal of many working from home now

When your child is a toddler, it can feel like an insurmountable task to get anything done without constant interruption and the occasional meltdown.
However, it can be done but requires patience, creativity, and flexibility to make it work.

Parents know that their toddlers require plenty of attention and stimulation throughout the day to stay engaged and occupied. If that is not possible, it can be difficult for a tiny person who doesn’t understand why you can’t play with them all day.

Having planned activities available such as arts and crafts projects or puzzles that require little adult supervision is an obvious go-to strategy. Being organized and systematic with a long list of fun activities they love will give you the chance to get work done.

It’s important to schedule activities to keep your toddler occupied. Factor in a scheduled trip to the park each day or a routine weekly playdate with toddler friends. This is mostly for you who work from home each and every day. 

But remember that toddlers have bursts of energy and then quickly tire. You can schedule the most important tasks for periods when your child is taking a nap or relaxing. 

If your toddler needs constant attention and stimulation, focus on physical activities that will tire them. Schedule sleep times, at the same designated time each day. This opportunity will give you approx. 2 hours of quiet time to attend meetings or do meaningful work.

How to make it work when working from home with a toddler

The word that springs to most parents’ minds, when asked about working from home with a toddler, is “overwhelming.” With the right tips and tricks, however, it is possible to make it work and get your job done.

  • Start off by creating an environment that works for both you and your little one. Establishing rules will help keep them safe and give you the peace of mind needed to focus on work. Have educational toys available for them to play with
  • Dedicate a specific time each day as quiet playtime.
  • Schedule breaks for playtime and outdoor activities that will provide a much-needed break.
  • Nap time for toddlers is essential, keep the schedule the same each day. This helps both you and your toddler know the daily routines, and you can focus on the most important tasks during this time.
  • Having a family member or hiring a carer to help throughout the day can be beneficial.

Creating structure throughout the day helps your toddler adjust to this new way of living and gives parents time to focus on their job without any interruptions.
Whether you are working from home or hybrid, it’s important to find time to take care of yourself. You can’t give your best if you aren’t healthy and happy.

Most parents work from home in order to avoid the stress of commuting etc. But if the home environment is stressful too, then that is all in vain. 

Make sure to work with specific routines and structures when combining having your toddler at home while working. That will make it much more enjoyable for both of you.

Make sure your toddler is occupied when you work from home
Make sure your toddler is occupied when you work from home

The importance of choosing a quiet, designated workspace

Having a designated workspace, which is separate from the rest of your home, is ideal for creating an environment that allows you to focus on work without distractions. For this space to be effective and quiet and maximize productivity. it should be an area in the home that has minimal foot traffic and noise levels; a spare bedroom or a study nook.

This could also be a garage if you have one that is suited as a home office

Rules are essential for a distraction-free zone. Consider nearby electronics such as TVs or radios; they can provide background noise and are distracting when trying to concentrate on work tasks. If you work from the living room, make sure other family members respect your need for focus.

Usually, it makes sense to avoid the kitchen table or living room where children are likely to set up their play area.

Creating a work-friendly space will not only help the parent stay productive but it can also benefit the toddler by keeping them engaged in their own activities while you’re working.

Setting boundaries with your child

Having boundaries while you work is essential to maintaining productivity while also helping your child understand expectations. The key to success when working from home with a toddler is laying clear boundaries.

Designate certain areas in the home where your child can play safely such as the living room or their bedroom. They will understand not to enter the workspace if you give clear communication and continued reinforcement.

Depending on your opinion on screen time for children, a tv can help the toddler be occupied while you work. 

Establishing boundaries with your child is a great way to ensure that they are kept safe and that you have time to focus on work. Schedule regular breaks throughout the day allowing yourself and your child an opportunity to refresh. It’s important to create a consistent routine for you both.

Give them structure, such as having designated meal times, nap times, and play times throughout the day. This helps to develop an understanding of when it’s acceptable to chat with you.

Prioritising tasks and delegating responsibilities

No one said “Working from home with a toddler is easy” EVER.
But prioritizing tasks and delegating responsibilities when working from home with a toddler can help make it a little easier.

If you do not regularly work from home with your toddler, you might not have a lot of routines and boundaries established. Like if your child is sick and you need to stay at home. Then you possibly need to prioritize and delegate tasks for the day to your colleagues. And be creative to maximize the time at hand. 

If you can, get out of bed a little early before your toddler is awake. Determine which tasks are necessary for your day and which can wait until later.

The morning may include writing emails, attending virtual meetings or completing essential paperwork. Factor in time for play and activities that will keep your toddler occupied while you take care of business obligations.

When you have identified the most important tasks, create an organized list and set aside specific times throughout the day to get them done. Consider delegating certain duties to colleagues who may lend a helping hand.

This will allow you time to focus on what is most important without feeling overwhelmed or distracted.

Some tasks may have deadlines, so prioritize those first. Then break the remaining tasks into smaller chunks of time throughout the day that work for both your and your toddler’s schedule. 

If you are happy knowing your tasks are handled, then you can be a better parent for your toddler
If you are happy knowing your tasks are handled, then you can be a better parent for your toddler

Setting boundaries with coworkers and clients

Setting boundaries between work and family life can help to ensure that your commitments are met while giving you the flexibility to meet your child’s needs.
With the right strategies, you can effectively manage your workload with minimal disruption.

It’s important to set work expectations for yourself as well as others when setting boundaries in the home office. Communicate with clients, colleagues, and family about what you need to do to focus on your job while also taking care of a young child.

Ensure they understand that certain tasks or meetings may need to happen during designated nap time or evening hours so that you can manage childcare duties during the day.

Additionally, create clear guidelines on how often you will check emails and respond so there is no misunderstanding regarding availability.

Setting work boundaries is professional and gives clarity. It communicates to others that you are a parent who needs time for childcare and self-care but also values your professional career. Communicate clearly with your coworkers and clients about what workload is manageable for you without compromising on quality or self-care.

Often, you will be surprised at how welcoming and understanding clients and coworkers are. If you need to work from home with your toddler and take a professional approach, most likely you will be met with understanding and approval. 

Seeking support from your partner or family members

Seeking support from your partner or available family members is beneficial. It can also be helpful to have another person there to provide support during toddler tantrums when nothing you do can calm your little one.

If you and your co-parent can both work from home or the other can take the day off, working from home with a toddler will become much easier.

Having supportive family members close by who understand what you are going through can be invaluable in helping you cope with the pressure of working from home with a toddler.

It is important to realize that you don’t have to do it all alone – seeking help from your partner or a family member can make it much easier. Your support network can help with some of the childcare duties such as feeding, napping, and playtime so that you can focus on working without feeling guilty.

Above all, having your family around and helping you out is the best solution for both you and your child. Your family will probably also love the chance to spend more time with their tiny family member. 

Seeking outside help, such as hiring a babysitter

For parents who work from home while caring for a toddler or young child every day, having someone there to help out can make all the difference. Not only can it help minimize distractions, but it can also provide children with valuable social interaction and educational activities.

A babysitter or nanny can offer professional care by providing important educational activities and entertainment while allowing parents to focus on their job. supported and respected.

Finding the right babysitter is essential for making sure your child is safe and you feel supported and respected. Ask friends and family for referrals or check online job boards. Seek out professional caretakers that give you the ability to scroll through their CVs online before making an interview.

Experience with children and references from other families they have worked with in the past is essential. Many will have completed police background checks and provide working with children certificates. Establish clear communication about expectations and responsibilities upfront so there are no surprises later on.

Taking breaks during the day with your child is really important and beneficial for both of you
Taking breaks during the day with your child is really important and beneficial for both of you

Remember to enjoy it and take breaks to spend time with your child

Although it may be difficult at times it’s important to remember that there are some great benefits to working from home with a toddler. Some are truly above all else in life, so to speak. 

The most rewarding benefit to working from home with your toddler is the ability to spend more quality time together while still getting your work done. So often, parents who are working full-time in an office miss precious moments with their kids; however, with the benefit of working hybrid or from home you can attend meetings and complete work tasks while also keeping an eye on your little one.

You get a chance to enjoy them growing up in another way than you would by being away every single day.

Reading their stories, playing games, or participating in other activities that help stimulate their development and dedicating quality time will allow you to create memories that are integral building blocks for lifelong learning and growth.

Finding and maintaining the balance between family and work life without sacrificing either is what we aspire to when we work from home. And you get the absolute best of both when working from home with a toddler. Even though it is hard sometimes.

Working from home with a toddler can be rewarding and challenging but you can make it work

Working from home with a toddler can be rewarding and challenging, but it is possible to make it work. As mentioned before:

  • Create a child-friendly workspace in which your toddler can stay occupied while you work.
  • Create a play box that includes toys or activities that will keep them entertained for short bursts throughout the day.
  • Design an organized schedule for yourself and your toddler.
  • Communicate and collaborate. Discover ways to save time and money and bring balance to your life.

Working from home with a toddler is not only possible but extremely rewarding. You may have to adjust your expectations and be flexible with your approach, but the rewards are worth it.

Taking breaks throughout the day to enjoy time together, setting up an area for your child to play near you, and carving out time for yourself are steps to make working from home with a toddler successful. They can be a constant source of joy and delight as you watch them explore the world around them.

We are experiencing a new work-from-home environment that we are navigating for the first time. No other generation has experienced this opportunity to spend so much time with their children while taking care of one’s careers. So enjoy it and take these tips and tricks with you. 

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My name is Frederik
I am a passionate marketeer who loves the freedom that comes with working from home whenever I choose to do so.
I love getting nerdy with every single detail about making everything related to my home just a tiny bit better.
That is what motivates me to write about home stuff on this blog.