Working From Home with the Kids

Dr. Elaine Kim, Co-founder and CEO, Trehaus
11 May 2020

As a working mother of three boys who runs a business from home, the challenges of balancing working from home with my children around are definitely not lost on me.

Every expert out there has shared the importance of a routine, and how crucial it is to maintain a schedule to make work-from-home and home-based learning possible during this period.

Other practical tips I can add to include:
- Making the most of kids’ nap times and bedtimes to schedule tasks or meetings that require the most focus and concentration.

- Talking to your employer about a flexi-work hours arrangement that allows you to put in hours after kids are in bed.

- Coordinating with your spouse on staggered work hours to take turns spending time with the kids while the other focuses on work.

- Scheduling in fun family time, such as cooking meals together and family game nights, that everyone can look forward to.

However, beyond providing such advice, I feel that it's more important to share how we can really thrive, and not just survive, in this difficult time.

At Trehaus School, where educating our children places a great importance on instilling values and building character, and where our motto is “Raising Changemakers”, we put together 5Ls for parents to remember in these Covid-19 home quarantine times:

Learn together. “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something,” said Thomas H. Huxley. Don't try to teach your child, learn together with him or her. There's much to discover together. Fuel your curiosities and inspire each other each day.

Look after yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness and forget to look after yourself. Self-care is important so you can take care of others, too. Rest, take a walk, go for a jog on your own (observing social distancing, of course!) to get some headspace. Meditate, sleep a little longer, make nutritious meals—do the little things to show care for yourself. Enjoy the little pleasures in life—a warm bath, a book, a kiss and cuddle.

Let go. In this time of uncertainty, fears and anxieties can easily creep up and consume us. Pray. Encourage yourself. Remember that some things are beyond our control and worrying does not help. Look around and appreciate the blessings in your life, and give thanks.

Listen. Your child may be scared and anxious, too. This is the most important time to practice active listening. You may be surprised what is going on in your little one’s mind. Show empathy and help them learn how to have empathy. Ask them how they feel and help them identify and label their feelings. Let them know you are listening and are there for them. Let them know they are loved.

Love others. This is a difficult time for everyone. For every struggle we have there is someone whose needs are greater than ours. Can we look beyond ourselves to show love to others? Talk through ideas to give back to those in need with your little ones, and act upon them together to nurture that love for others.

Notes on the Author:
Dr. Elaine Kim is a medical doctor, entrepreneur and mother of three. She is the co-founder and CEO of Trehaus, an integrated co-lifestyle space for families with a preschool, office space/ business club with creche, and family club. Dr. Kim practices medicine part-time as a palliative care doctor.