Coronavirus restrictions may be easing, but millions of us are still working from home and schools won’t reopen fully until September - leaving many parents juggling work and homeschooling.
The following ideas might help you manage the tricky balancing act more effectively:
Establish a routine
Set time for schoolwork, quiet play, outside garden time and maybe even texting their friends or some screen time. The more they are occupied, the easier it will be for you to get on with your work tasks.
Let your boss know that you are juggling childcare with work, and that your productivity may take a dip as a result.
Establish what your key priorities are for work and use the clear time you do have to focus on those.
Make your own office area
Create a space for yourself, off-limits, where you can work without interruption. Give your children their own workspace too and see if you can leave it set up that way for the time being.
Keep your windows open to let in fresh air and get some natural sunlight.
Get out if you can
Outdoor play areas may remain closed, but if you have a garden, get the children to do some activities outside and join them for a break when you’re free - or visit your local park.
Maybe have lunch outside with them in the fresh air or go for a bike ride when you’ve finished work.
Take the time to plan healthy, simple meals and snacks for the whole family.
You might find this easier to organise in advance, maybe the night before or at the start of each day, so you and the children know what to eat and you’re not all tempted to reach for the biscuit tin.
Use technology to your advantage
Try to find suitable educational tools for your children to use while you’re working and make the most of technology. There are lots of entertaining and educational apps, games and programmes on TV and Netflix. There are also educational sites such as BBC Bitesize and TED-Ed.
Focus on the positives
The prospect of having to combine home working with looking after children might be unnerving to many parents, but the situation does provide an opportunity to improve your work-life balance and spend more time as a family.
Try to find a balance that works for you and your children. Don’t worry if they watch TV while you’re busy for a short while - and remember that these are extraordinary times.