Quarantine Essentials to Keep Work-at-Home Parents Sane
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the lives of everyone upside down, especially those who are parents of young children. If you recently found yourself working from home while also trying to juggle the responsibilities of parenthood and taking on the role of teacher, then we don’t have to tell you how quickly things can go from calm to chaos.
Whether you’re taking care of a new baby or working alongside your kids as they wade through class videos and lessons online, you may be feeling like your sanity is at stake. Fortunately, we’ve pulled together a collection of products that can make your new life (for however long it lasts) a little easier.
Finding the Right Products to Maximize Your Quarantine Time
One of the biggest challenges of the work at home/parent struggle is figuring out how to stop feeling like you’re being pulled in two directions at once. This can be especially tough for single parents and those whose partners are working outside the home each day — while they remain stuck at home.
When searching out products to help you thrive as a work-at-home parent, it’s important to keep a few key points in mind. For one thing, kids tend to thrive on schedules, even if it feels like all they ever do is complain about following it. With many restrictions and rules still in place, now is the time to teach them about the power of time management.
Additionally, having kids at home with you all day may not be the way you imagined doing your job, but it’s actually a great opportunity to encourage the development of some healthy habits. To help with that, look for items that can keep your kids entertained while building some life skills. For younger kids, alphabet building blocks might fit the bill, while older kids might love a half-hour of Minecraft, an engineering-based video game that parents can feel good about their kids playing — in moderation.
Keep Mealtime Easy and Healthy with a Crock-Pot
With the kids at home and many restaurants closed or offering limited service, you may have been forced to join the throng of people getting more in touch with their kitchens than they had been in years. If you have yet to discover the joys of cooking in a Crock-Pot, then this is an excellent time to look into taking one for a test drive. The seemingly magical Crock-Pot slow cooker can help you whip up everything from dips and sauces to full-size entrees.
If you don’t have time to slave over a hot stove — or you just don’t enjoy it — a Crock-Pot could literally be your new best friend. Simply do a quick search online to find thousands of tasty recipes. Most require nothing more than tossing all the ingredients inside and closing the lid, leaving you free to focus all your time on your other responsibilities for the day. Just be sure to throw in some healthy recipes to help you and your family avoid the dreaded “quarantine 15.”
Unwind with Soothing Sounds
These days, stress can be a very real daily struggle. Between working from home, parenting, helping kids with virtual school, and dozens of other tasks, it can be hard to unwind at the end of the day. If you’re having trouble sleeping, then look into getting a sound machine like this one from Big Red Rooster.
Among others, this machine allows you to enjoy the sounds of a fan without forcing you to deal with unwanted cold air. Not only is it a great tool to help lull you and your children to sleep, but it’s also an effective way to mask out background noise. Switch it on the next time you need to focus on a Zoom meeting, and it will block out everything from barking dogs to conversations in other parts of the house.
Nurse Anywhere with a Nursing Pillow
If you’re a new nursing mom, then the Boppy Nursing Pillow is a must-have item to add to your baby arsenal. Available in a wide array of adorable prints and patterns, this handy little pillow helps you boost your baby to a more ergonomic nursing position for either bottle or breastfeeding.
Not only will it give your arms and back a break during feeding time, but it’s also great for propping your baby up in a variety of positions for play time. Machine washable and lightweight, this pillow offers an easy way to make nursing on the go just as comfortable as nursing at home — once you’re back on the go, of course.
Keep an Eye on Naptime with a Baby Monitor
If you’re looking to get a little work done during your kids’ naptime, then check out the iBaby Monitor M65. Once the monitor is set up in your child’s room, it allows you to watch them from afar via a 1080p HD video feed that goes straight to your phone, but the perks don’t stop there. It also comes with night vision, 360-degree viewing capabilities and two-way audio with echo cancellation.
You can set up the monitor in less than 60 seconds, and when it’s time for kids to settle down, built-in lullabies and bedtime stories are ready and waiting to calmly lull them to sleep. You can also share video feeds with users of your choice or use it to talk, take photos and record videos.
Keep Kids on a Sleep Schedule with This Interactive Alarm Clock
Let’s face it — quarantine-altered world or not, there’s nothing worse than working until the wee hours of the morning, only to be greeted by your four-year-old at the end of your bed at 5 a.m. ready to play. That’s where the LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Children’s Sleep Trainer comes in.
This cool little alarm clock uses color and facial expressions to help your child know when it’s time to go to bed and when it’s time to wake up. Thirty minutes before it’s time to wake up, Mella will start glowing yellow and then switch to green when it’s actually time to get out of bed. It can even help soothe kids to sleep at night with a built-in nightlight and sound machine.
Avoid Distractions with Noise Cancelling Headphones
Okay, to be clear, we don’t recommend using these when your toddler or small child is unattended in the other room. After all, silence is golden — unless you have kids. Silence with kids in the house could be cause for concern. However, if you have another adult in the house to watch your child and you need a little time to hunker down and work in silence, then the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones are a gift from heaven.
Not only do the headphones include Bluetooth connectivity to your favorite device, but they also feature a microphone that’s perfect for conference calls. If your kids are old enough to use devices like tablets, you may even find yourself encouraging them to use headphones as well. Imagine being able to work — or even watch your own entertainment media — without trying to block out the constant sounds coming from a nearby kid’s device. Amazing!