All across the nation parents are gearing up for what’s surely one of the most stressful and hectic times of the year: Summer Break. Unfortunately, we don’t mean a break for Mom or Dad. (We wish!) No, it’s time for school to be let out and for kids to wake up with nowhere to be but at home. With you.
Even though this is an annual reality for many parents who’ve worked from home for many years (or even just since the pandemic), it never seems to get easier. That’s why we’ve asked a few of our team members to share tips, tricks, and schedule hacks for surviving summer all while working from home with kids. From all of us at The N2 Company, we wish you the best of luck! Deep breaths…
Solid Advice from Working Parents of N2
Alex Wassil, Production Success Team Leader
When Alex works from home with her son Hayden, she follows the 50/10 rule: 50 minutes of mommy work time, then 10 minutes of uninterrupted Hayden and Mommy time. She sets a timer for work time and a timer for Mommy time. “It helps to hold myself accountable but also Hayden is excited when it’s his time,” says Alex. She repeats the 50/10 process each hour (minus lunchtime, when she gives him a full hour of one-on-one attention).
Alex says the key to this formula is to not have rigid expectations for your workday. Let’s be honest, you may get lots done… or maybe less. And that’s okay! Her words of wisdom: “Working from home with kiddos is tough, so give yourself some grace.”
Jeffrey Vossler, Hyport Digital Designer
For Jeff, who works from home as a digital designer for N2’s digital marketing division known as Hyport, his workspace is basically within his daughter’s playroom. This was especially useful when she was younger as the room acted as a safe zone she couldn’t escape from. (Fellow parents know how that goes.) Now that his daughter, Ophelia, is older, Jeff has “stations” set up for her: a toy corner, a book corner, a mini-trampoline, a ball pit with a slide, and a crafts and paint section. It’s all about keeping her busy in short bursts when she is home from preschool. Like many parents, Jeff tries to really limit screen time and shows, but does leverage them for good behavior and focused play.
Another piece of advice from Jeff: Whenever the weather is good, try to work outside and let your child play in the backyard as much as possible. Inevitably, Ophelia will want to sit on Dad’s lap, so his desk is covered with little toy trinkets for this reason. Jeff and his wife are expecting baby #2 and he admits he’s not sure how his current setup will work for both kiddos, but he suggests parents find and capitalize on work windows. Maybe you have bursts of work earlier and later in the day, during nap times and tv time, but always be flexible. Lastly, have patience – both for yourself and your child.
Macy Knoble, Area Director + Andrew Knoble, Creative Success Manager
For Macy and Andrew Knoble, it’s all about teamwork. Macy is an N2 franchisee who runs both a neighborhood magazine and a BeLocal publication – and manages to be a highly sought-after Performance Coach for fellow N2 Area Directors. Her husband, Andrew, is a long-time N2er and is our Creative Success Manager. Working from home, they take turns caring for their two young daughters and have found a daily schedule that allows both to knock it out of the park as top N2 team members while still providing the care their kids need.
A short stint of Disney channel viewing allows both Knobles to tackle their email inboxes first thing. By 9am, their littlest goes down for a nap and Andrew watches their older daughter while working on his computer, giving Macy full reign of their home office to attend virtual sales meetings and make coaching calls. Throughout the day, it’s a mix of taking advantage of nap times for both girls and switching shifts being the “primary caregiver” of whichever daughter is up and active.
No two days may be exactly the same, but it all works out in the end. If you’re lucky enough to have a partner working from home with you, lean on each other! Communicate what your schedules look like each day and be willing to step up on child watch if your partner needs the extra time to focus on their work.
Parenting is the hardest job. Having a career outside of raising tiny humans is also very challenging. Doing both at the same time… utterly exhausting! We get it. There is no perfect answer to the inevitable scheduling dilemmas, but as long as you are willing to get creative with your caregiving practices and have an employer who treats you like a person (not a cog in the machine), you’ll do just fine! Fall will be here before you know it.
Looking for a flexible, parent-friendly work opportunity? Check out our current openings at The N2 Company today!