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Millions of parents across the globe are now faced with the task of being a parent, worker and teacher.. whether they were prepared to take the leap or not.
Getting through your day is difficult enough when you’re trying to work while your kids are home. Add in the layer of school and it can seem nearly impossible.
Finding the right balance in this situation is paramount, so let’s look at some tips you can implement to acclimate to your new role(s) without losing your mind along the way:
Create a schedule and hold to it
I’ve spoken about creating a routine HERE and HERE, then about time management HERE and how to stay focused by scheduling your day HERE because holding yourself to a schedule is important. If you’re home with kids, the will thrive with a routine too.
Start with your kids and map out their schooling and routines. Include actual school time, educational activities, play time and meals. Knowing what’s happening and when will make things easier on everyone.
when in doubt, shake it out
Fact: kids have way too much energy! It can be tough trying to help them burn off that energy so you can work in peace.
Schedule a “Gym class”. Pop in an old exercise video (I recommend “Sweatin to the Oldies”) and let them go to town trying to do the moves. Physical activity does help wear them out, but it’s also good for their health.
If the weather is nice, suggest running around in the backyard. You could create a mini obstacle course or invest in some lawn games. You just might be able to work while they’re occupied.
Once they’ve finished expending that energy, they are more likely to be more willing to play quietly for a while.
Don't teach if you're not a teacher
If you’re not a teacher, then you’re not a teacher.
If your kids are home temporarily, you might be feeling pressure to step into that teacher role.
You don’t. You might be familiar with the topics they are covering, but you might not be familiar with how they are taught.
Focus on educational activities, such as reading or an app/game on your phone. A simple search on Pinterest will tell you all about sensory buckets, which is something the littles do in school all the time.
Look online to find some educational websites. Your kids are probably bugging you to use your computer all the time anyway. Now’s the time to indulge them in the educational side of technology. If your kids are home due to circumstances, contact their teacher and see if they have any digital work for them.
bring your issues to your boss
If your employer isn’t a complete jerk, you should be able to discuss your struggles with them. Ask for a couple days off to adjust to your situation and establish a routine. Maybe you can drop to part-time then gradually move back to full-time.
Remember: lots of people are going through the same thing. Reach out to an online group if you need to.
Reminder: the insanity is only temporary. You’re going to establish a routine and schedules so you don’t lose your mind.
I believe in you!