School is CANCELLED? Now what?
If you're like me, you're still adjusting to having the kids at home full-time during a time when they are really supposed to be in school. I think we can all collectively share a HUGE sense of gratitude for teachers, administrators, program directors and anyone else who plays a part in the educational experience of our kids.
That said, it's now on us. We now have to figure out a way to get work done, while entertaining and educating the kids, and somehow still find time to cook, clean and do laundry. We have had to learn to adjust to this new normal and figure out a dynamic that works for our home, and our kids. Everyone's house is different and with emotions running high and so much bad news being circulated in the news - here are a few simple tips to help take the edge off of you working parents.
In the weeks that we've been quarantined at home, these simple practices have helped me get through my busy workday:
1) Allow the kids to practice independence - We can set their alarms to encourage them to wake up at a reasonable hour, but if they are able to clean their rooms, make themselves breakfast, and dress themselves; then let them do so. They may not make the bed exactly how YOU would, or make some silly wardrobe choices - but we're all staying in, so it's OK.
2) Alternate between education and creativity - I read so many posts about putting your kids on a rigorous schedule while they stay home, but that advice wasn't helpful for me. The hours simply FLY BY as I sit in my home office, working. So instead, I allow the girls to alternate between academics and creativity. For example, Monday they spent an hour doing online school work, then on Tuesday they pulled out their crafting materials and spent an hour painting on fresh canvases. Expecting them to 'act like it's school time' when they are at home with all their comforts at-hand, is unrealistic. Start slow, and work your way up to a schedule that works for your kids.
3) Get some fresh air - We have alternated between walks around the neighborhood to shooting hoops on our basketball court in the backyard. Just a few minutes of fresh air and sunlight can make a world of difference.
4) Allow some down-time - Just as it's important for you to take a break from the phone calls and emails, let your kids do the same. A short nap, some quiet time in their bedrooms, watching a movie, or watching funny YouTube videos - don't judge yourself so harshly for allowing them some down-time. It doesn't make you a bad parent. It makes you a human and allows your kids to feel human, too.
What are some working parent tips that are working for you? Please share! Would love to hear about your experiences.