I haven’t been a working-from-home dad for long, only three months in fact (and one of those months was December with all its boozy festivities, so lets ignore that one), but I’ve had to learn fast, or ‘on the job’ might be more appropriate here, with regards to keeping on top of everything.
Being at home all day brings with it some unwritten expectations, such as keeping on top of the housework, running errands, doing the school run, walking the dogs and excessively picking my nose, whilst trying to fit in some actual work that might put bread (or at the very least, crackers) on the table.
So, here are 4 (I would have rounded up to a more aesthetically pleasing 5 if I could have thought of another one) AMAZING life hacks for any working from home parents to help keep on top of things:
- Use the clean crockery and cutlery from the dishwasher. As I said, one of the unwritten expectations of me is to keep on top of the housework, and this includes emptying the dishwasher. With the 47 cups of tea, 18 slices of cakes and 4 rounds of cheese & pickle sandwiches you’ll get through during the day, before you know it, the dishwasher will be empty without having the palaver of having to put things away in cupboards.
- Similar to the above, unless you absolutely must get the iron out or wear a suit (weddings, funerals, getting to the FA Cup Final on Football Manager), dress yourself and the children in clothes from the ironing pile. Let’s face it, ironing is a pain in the arse, and a couple of thousand creases here and there won’t matter if you’re at home all day making those 47 cups of tea, and the kids are kicking the crap out of each other in the sitting room.
- Only go out once (ok, twice if you must collect your child from school). If you have errands to run at the Post Office, tea bags to buy at the CO-OP, kids to drop off, or dogs to walk, do it all in one trip. I take the dogs with me on the school run, so as soon as I’m child free, I whizz the hounds around a boggy field before stopping off on the way home for any admin tasks. With everything out of the way, I then know I have a solid few hours at my laptop and I’m a step closer to becoming a fully-blown hermit.
- Working from home and working for yourself can mean financial worries – who knows when the next pay cheque will come in? So, instead of adding to your banking woes with huge fuel bills, a simple money-saving tip and hack is to not put the heating on. The only people I might see on a daily basis (except for school run mums and muddy dog walkers) are DPD delivery drivers dropping off more(!) ASOS packages for my wife, and they don’t give a damn if I’m dressed in two pairs of trackie bums, a stained woolly jumper, gilet, fingerless gloves and bobble hat. Whilst I might look like a complete and utter fruit loop, I’m super cosy. And a little richer. Win, win.
So there you have it. If you’re already working from home or thinking about making that huge leap soon, I hope I’ve made it sound a little more manageable. Also, you can’t deny how glamorous I’ve made it sound…