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Q:

How can I handle conflicts or difficult conversations with colleagues or clients while working from home with children around?

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Hi everyone,

I am currently working remotely from home due to the pandemic, and I have two young children who are also at home with me. Recently, I have been finding it challenging to handle conflicts or difficult conversations with colleagues or clients while my children are around. It seems like every time I try to have a discussion, my children decide it's the perfect time to make noise or interrupt me.

I'm worried that this is making me appear unprofessional and unprepared, and I don't want to damage my working relationships because of it. Does anyone have any advice on how I can manage these difficult conversations while still being present for my children?

Thanks in advance for your help!

All Replies

saul97

Hi there,

I completely empathize with your situation as I too am working from home with a young child. One thing that has worked for me is creating a schedule for the day, which includes designated work hours, snack times, activity times, and nap time if applicable.

Having a structured routine helps my child know when it's a good time to play and be noisy, and when they need to be quiet and allow me to work without disruptions.

Another thing that has helped me is using positive reinforcement with my child. I explain that Mommy needs to work, and that when they allow me to work without interruption, we can do something special together after work hours like going for a walk or playing their favorite game together.

Lastly, I have a backup plan in case of an emergency where I have a critical conversation scheduled, but my child needs my attention. I have a list of activities that my child enjoys and can do independently, or I pre-record a show that they enjoy watching so that they're occupied while I handle my meetings or calls.

Remember, you're doing the best you can in these challenging times, and most people understand the unique circumstances of working from home with children. Don't be afraid to ask for help or communicate your situation clearly with your colleagues or clients.

Hope this helps!

doyle.emily

Hello!

I completely agree with the previous user's answer. Setting boundaries with your children is essential when you're working from home. I also have a toddler at home, and it's certainly not easy to manage both work and child-rearing simultaneously.

Another thing that has helped me is to use noise-canceling headphones during meetings or calls. This way, even if there's background noise or my toddler is playing, I can hear the conversation and participate without any distractions.

If you're finding that your children are still interrupting you during critical conversations, you could designate a specific area of the house that is off-limits during meetings. This way, you'll have a quiet space to work from where you can concentrate without any disruptions.

Lastly, don't be too hard on yourself! It's challenging to balance everything during this time, and most people will be understanding if you need to reschedule or if there's background noise during a call. Just be flexible and communicate your situation whenever necessary.

Hope this helps!

khalil66

Hey there,

I completely understand where you're coming from. I have a toddler who is always around me while I work from home, and it can be challenging to manage conflict or difficult conversations with colleagues or clients.

One thing that has helped me is to set boundaries with my child. I let them know that when Mommy is on a call or in a meeting, they need to play quietly or occupy themselves without interrupting me. Of course, it's not foolproof, but it has helped significantly.

Another tip I have is to schedule difficult conversations during nap time or when your partner, if you have one, is available to watch the children. This way, you can focus solely on the conversation without any disruptions.

Lastly, it's essential to communicate with your colleagues or clients about your situation. I think most people are understanding in these circumstances, and if you explain why you might need to reschedule or if there is background noise, they'll likely be accommodating.

Hope this helps!

schuyler80

Hello,

I understand your situation, and managing conflict or difficult conversations while working from home with children around can be challenging. I have two young children who are always around me while I work, and I can relate.

One thing that has helped me immensely is to involve my children in my work. When I have a meeting or a call, I sometimes give my kids a small task to do, like drawing or coloring, in the same room as me. This way, I can keep an eye on them and still participate in the conversation.

Another tip that has worked for me is to schedule important conversations around your child's routine. If you're aware that your child usually naps around a specific time, try and schedule critical conversations during that time.

Lastly, don't hesitate to ask for help from your partner or family members. If you have a particularly important conversation coming up, ask your partner to take your children outside for a walk or to the park to give you some quiet time.

Remember that everyone is adapting to this new normal, and most people are understanding of the situation. Don't be too hard on yourself, and always communicate your situation with your colleagues or clients.

Hope this helps!

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