Once the office door closes, the family knows that I’m working and not to be disturbed. For the most part this is effective, but there is one family member that has a tough time understanding the concept: my granddaughter.
To save everyone’s sanity, we established a plan. We call it co-working with grandma. It starts by sharing morning routines with her.
Ziva is 3 years old. She has a basic understanding that I work at home and I spend a lot of time in my office, but doesn’t understand why she can’t come in and play. Her cries to be with me and her promises to be quiet often crack my resolve.
To save everyone’s sanity, we established a plan. We call it co-working with grandma. It starts by sharing morning routines with her:
- she must clean up her toys or pick up clothes before she can work with grandma
- she turns on my computer and my phone
- she helps me arrange my desk, my calendar, my pens and notes from the day before (this requires supervision otherwise she’ll scribble all over my papers)
- she has her own desk, chair, mug, pens, pencils and papers for her own ‘work’
- we share a morning snack together (10 o’clock snack time usually means chocolate)
- while I check emails, phone messages and review my schedule, Ziva works at her desk and creates her own masterpieces
By this time, it’s either time for her to go to day care or she has moved on to another activity. Whatever it is, we exchange toddler hugs and promise to see each other soon.
It isn’t entirely toddler-proof, though. She has her moments and that’s where tried-and-sometimes-true attempts are applied. My daughter will attempt to bribe or distract Ziva with other activities. Sometimes I’ll have an early call that requires a closed door, which Ziva understands. Sometimes it takes hauling a screaming child away.
On the occasions when I fill in for babysitters or daycare (mostly holidays or when Ziva is sick), it’s a little easier. Grandma carries a little more clout when mommy isn’t around: time-out, ignoring the hissy-fits and the evil eye work quite well on a 3-year old. Collaborating with other grandparents in business helps, too. Lory Laughter, RDH MS of Dental IQ, LLC, also Ziva’s grandmother, contributed an easel for our co-working space.
If you find yourself sharing office space with a toddler, adaptation and creativity are the best option for maintaining productivity.
This article originally appeared here
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Kristen Edens
I live on the edge.
Born in 1964, I’m among the youngest baby boomers or the oldest generation x. I’m on the edge of both but never quite fit in to either.
I’ve lived in 3 time zones, 8 states, and have moved 10 times, 9 of which were in my first quarter century—it’s amazing to rate life by decades or quarter-centuries!
I’m an introvert living in a fast-paced, technology-absorbed world.
I’m a grandmother, mother, daughter, adoptee, divorcee, a non-married partner, the oldest child of oldest children, an entrepreneur, and a caregiver, often balancing several titles at once.
And yet I’ve struggled to be me.
Until my late 40s, I spent most of my life playing the Game of Life as the ultimate goodie-goodie: graduating in the top 10% of my high school class, obtaining a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s degree, then getting married, having children, contributing to society (YEARS of volunteering), being a dutiful employee. I paid taxes, rarely was late, never smoked, drank, or cussed, and always set a good example.
Behind the scenes however, I was too busy living the good-girl life that I never got to know myself. Like many, I put off discovering the real me. Perhaps these statements describe your thoughts:
- Once the children are in school, I will…
- When I pay off my student loan, car, mortgage, medical bills, I could…
- When I’m 40, I could…
- As soon as I retire, I will…
In the early 2000s, I realized I kept putting off my life. I also made the discovery that unless something drastic happened, I would keep putting off my life. I was fed up with the stagnant life, yet I loved it—stable and predictable is safe, comforting, and reliable—right?
It didn’t help that others kept putting their life off too. Most of us were in a rut, putting ourselves last, waiting for that ideal opportunity. It was no longer comforting to know I wasn’t alone in my emptiness.
I chose to STOP living on the edge!
So I took action that most obedient, example-setting, introvert, oldest children would never consider: I chose to do WHAT I WANTED TO DO and pursued my lifelong dream of becoming a writer.
In 2006 I dedicated my free time (once family, work, volunteering, and household maintenance were completed) to writing. By 2008, I was frustrated with the slow progress so quit volunteering AND my job as a part-time exercise physiologist (a job that paid a whopping $8.94/hour) totally unaware of the economic climate.
In 2009, I divorced and moved across the country with a truck, $729/month, and a small retirement account (which I vowed NEVER to touch no matter how great my need).
Too soon I realized my decision to jump off the edge was poorly timed. But I didn’t care. I needed a nudge. In truth, I was too afraid to make that move myself so the universe made it for me.
Then the wild ride began! Seeking employment elsewhere was pointless so I forever abandoned that idea to build my own business. Despite the advice of well-meaning family members, I abandoned the traditional game of life to make my own rules and to discover who Kris really is meant to be.
Since 2010, my leap of faith has had its share of highs and lows, failures and successes, randomly sprinkled with feast and famine.
Although I have cussed and cried since then (yes, I cuss on occasion), I wouldn’t trade it for anything because I’m living MY LIFE! Not one made up from the expectations and demands of someone or something else.
Want to know the best discovery of all? This process helped me identify my WHY.
My purpose is to help you make your jump! Whether that be personally or professionally, I will help you find YOUR way too. If you need guidance, I’ll be there. If you’ve been through the wringer and continue to struggle with business, branding, living, and thriving, let me help.
Learn from me, grow with me, and let’s make discovering who you are—as an individual, a business, or both—be the best part of your life.