For the next few weeks and for the past 14 days, we've had to stay at home. Some of us work from home, homeschool from home as well as clean, feed and make sure our kiddos are safe. While we go out for walks every day, we are still feeling “stuck” when nothing is open, when anxiety and the unknown are part of our every day life for the next few weeks.
These past 2 weeks have been overwhelming and I don’t know how I am going to be able to survive in this environment. So how do I stay positive, how do I make sure that my kids feel happy under the circumstances? Even though they are only 3 and 1 years old, they know something is happening. They haven’t been to school, they haven’t been over their grandparents’ houses, everything is different…
So how do I do everything? Work, homeschool, keep kids happy?
The truth is that this is and always will be a work in progress. What works for one person might not work for others. For me I try to find small amounts of time throughout the day to keep me working and keep my kids happy:
- Make sure that I have time for me: this can be done at night (when the kids are sleeping), or a few minutes in the morning. I make sure I still complete and fulfill all of my obligations (or as many as I can). What this means is that I still struggle to find the time to get my work done. When I have a phone call that I need to attend, I just figure out a way to get the kids entertained with something so that I can speak on the phone… It’s not easy, but you can do it.
- Schedule as many things as you can when the kids are sleeping or when the kids have online meetings. My kids school has a 9:30 Friday meeting. I know that I have 15 minutes of entertainment right there so that I can do a 15 minute task… Sounds crazy to think that 15 minutes is enough time for me to do something, but it actually is. 15 minutes to me means coming up with the next 5 blog post for my site, reviewing the results of my clients’ answer, checking in with my Facebook group, etc…
- It’s ok if you have to rely on T.V. for a little while.. Or even use computer games. My 3 year old is finally getting into the ABC Mouse and online teaching. He’s not on there a long time, but at least it gives me time to do something for 10 minutes and YouTube Kids is one of his favorites!
- Books and independent play: There is no reason why any child cannot stay entertained for more than 5-10 minutes. Independent play builds independence. You can have your computer open while the kids are playing and give yourself time to get things done… It’s also a nice rule to have “quiet” time so they also learn these critical skills.
- If you manage to eat during the day, take the time when the kids are eating to finish a task. My daughter doesn’t stop moving.. She’s only 17 months, but she climbs everything. The only time when I know she’s calm is when she eats. I’m of course next to her working on my laptop, but there is a bit of time that I can get when they’re perfectly calm eating their food. I’ll take 10 minutes any day!
- For homeschooling moms: There are so many different approaches and I understand my kids are way younger to call my house a “homeschool”… I get it, but everyone with different aged kids have a task to try to keep up with the school’s curriculum and somehow bring the school to the home. If your child does not understand the material, it can get frustrating to try to teach something that you just don’t know. However, I’ve found so many YouTube videos and so many examples of learning that it really comes down to using our resources. Not just resources as moms, but using our resources online to teach our kids to figure things out.
What I mean by that is that, there has never been a better time to show our kids how to do research, how to find the answers that you’re looking for. This is a skill that will not only save your grade during this pandemic, but this is a skill that you can teach your child to practice whenever he or she needs something. Using our resources is what we all do without even noticing it and the more we practice it, the better we get! So use this time to perfect that skill!
By the way, don’t worry if you can’t teach, that is not your priority, the priority is to be with family and stay safe. Kids can always catch up if they’re falling behind. Don’t overthink this…
- I squeeze every minute of every day. You basically are conscious of the million things you have to do and every time you have a window of opportunity to do something, you just jump on it… You make a list of the things that MUST be done that day and no matter what you get it done whenever you can…
- Being productive has many meanings… Define what it means to you. It can be having a clean house, keeping up with your job, making sure that you’re a good mom and a good teacher at home, it really depends. What is your definition of being productive in times like this? When you first define it, then it gives you the opportunity to focus on the most important tasks so that you can feel and be productive.
Look, there are so many things that people are going through right now. The most important is keeping everyone safe and healthy. So, if you are home with your kids, you’re not just stuck, you’re safe, that is the most important! This too shall pass and it is up to you to define how that will happen. It will either be with the great smile on your face and making the most of it, or it will pass by pulling your hair out! You have the decision in your hands...
With love and the best positive energy!