Working from home with kids can be a challenge. If you’re lucky enough to be working from home with an au pair, you have assistance with childcare covered – check! But how do you keep clear boundaries between work and home while working from home?
Here are 6 tips for managing working from home with an au pair:
1. Keep the routine
Set up a schedule for meals, rest time, academics, walks, bedtime, and activities. Make it visual and age-appropriate – pictures for little kids, words for older ones – and let your family have input on how the day should run. Let your kids know when the au pair will be running the show.
2. “Let’s talk”
Have a weekly meeting with your au pair to discuss feedback, scheduling, and anything noteworthy for the days ahead.
3. Don’t get involved
Even if you hear fussing or a tantrum, let the au pair handle it.
4. “Pretend I’m not here”
Pretend you’re leaving for an office job. Give a kiss, say goodbye, and let your child know you’re excited to see them after work and hear about all the fun they had during the day.
5. Review resources and screen time rules
There are so many great online resources for activities to keep kids busy and learning at home – including great lessons and activities via Facebook live and similar platforms. Sit down with your au pair to decide which activities feel like a good fit for your children and how much time should be dedicated to screens each day.
6. Visual reminders
Use age-appropriate signs and barriers to protect your work time and workspace. Make a construction paper stop sign to signal “mom is working” or use a baby gate to wall off your laptop and paperwork space. An easy visual reminder? A closed door means “do not enter unless you’re having an emergency.”
Most importantly, be realistic – there will be some hiccups along the way. Don’t expect perfection – from your schedule, your kids, your au pair, or yourself, especially in the beginning. Be kind and patient with yourself and others while you navigate working from home with an au pair.
There are so many benefits of having an au pair join your family. Learn more about hosting an au pair with Au Pair in America!