I took a week hiatus from my blog to get my house in order, well as in order as can be during this time. I have two toddlers, 3 and 5 that are now home with me and my husband. And while I am taking care of my children, I am also running my business. Are you facing the same challenge?
Here’s a few tips and resources to help
- Take care of yourself For me, I need coffee in the morning! I make a deal with my children – they can watch 30-40 minutes of TV while I drink my coffee in “peace.” All they need is some water, the TV on, and then I sit with my coffee to prepare for the day. Please take care of yourself, if you don’t your children will bear the brunt. And you will feel guilty. So, get your head prepared in the morning however works best for you and your family.
- The children need school, right? I read somewhere, please forgive the lack of citation here, that children really only need 2-3 hours of schooling. Remember, we are at home. Our children are use to some learning, but never a school setting. I find myself splitting the day into chunks, where I can. For me, the easiest approach has been centering learning around a book. Here’s an example –
Yesterday we read the book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” Before we read the book, I hid a stuffed bear under one child’s bed. After, we reenacted the book throughout the house as we went on a hunt for the bear. Then we had a snack and I sent them outside to play. After “recess” we came inside and did an art project see this link we’re going on a bear hunt
Here are the pics, my three-year-old’s is on the left and my five-year old’s is on the right. I made do with the materials I had in my house, e.g., the water is made from old birthday streamer I had around the house.
I am not crafty, I know it looks like I am, but if I find simple instructions, I can follow. Why is this important? Because providing this for my children allows me to not feel guilty when they are in front of the screen for an hour, two hours, etc. If I ensure they are learning, I feel free to do my work.
3. Distracting our children Yes, I let my children watch more TV and have more screen time than recommended. The reality is that we still must work and keep our households afloat. The best we can do is be present with our children when it’s their time.
4. Handling the emotions of ourselves and our children My kids also get rewarded at their schools at the end of their day for good behavior. So, I found 60 behavior charts with stickers on Amazon. Then I grabbed a bunch of candy and little trinkets around the house to use for a weekly “treasure bag.” Each day they exhibit good behavior during our “school time” they get a sticker. If they get five stickers by the end of the week, they get to choose a prize from the “treasure bag.”
For myself, I try to be flexible. I try and remember that they are nervous, anxious, and have had their worlds rocked as well. I also practice grace in self-assessment. We are all doing the best we can. Things will fall through the cracks because we are living through a global pandemic.
Finally, I am having meltdowns and my kids are having metldowns. Be realistic. People typically only show the “best” stuff online 🙂
5. Remote work I cannot stress enough how important it is to WRITE THINGS DOWN and place them in your CALENDAR with reminder notifications!
Try to create some type of schedule that works for your household and work. My schedule is open after 1:00 pm for work related projects. That may not be possible for your work but find out what will work. Because we are accustomed to having a tight schedule at work. If you do not create some sort of schedule at home, you will not get things done. And your anxiety will shoot up. During worktime, let your children have their screen time, and fingers crossed, nap time. If they are too old to nap – uninterrupted quiet time, IN THEIR ROOMS.
I also suggest www.Calendly.com or some type of scheduling link to provide clients, colleagues if this works for your business. You can block out time for calls and meetings.
6. Headphones Utilizing headphones for your phone calls, zoom meetings, and to listen to a good podcast or good music while you work is a must. I use headphones for all of my calls. I find it helps me focus. And I love listening to music while I work. It helps me get in good creative, and a Zen-like place in my mind.
7. Keep a ‘to do list” Every Sunday I make a to do list for the week. As I find openings in my daily schedule, I pull from that ‘master’ to do list. I find that helps me get my mind open and ease stress, while avoiding cramming too much into one day. Remember to give room in your schedule as tasks will take longer than normal. Even if you don’t have kids at home the underlying uncertainty that comes with daily changes will make your tasks longer than usual. And that is okay.
8. Get Engaged and Make Connections Right now, we are in a unique situation where the world is dealing with the same event. Find new networks, work on referrals, and really connect with those in your larger circle. Are you on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, platforms that drive your business or industry? Remember people gravitate towards those they know, like, and trust. You can build trust with by connecting and adding value to your network.
Here are a few resources for crafts and more learning to help while we are at home.
Free resources and prints https://www.lakeshorelearning.com/resources
Daily live book reading at 12:30 pm PDT https://www.facebook.com/sdcdm/
For the artist in you and your child https://www.teachkidsart.net/
Also, for lunches, I grabbed my kid’s lunch menu and made slight adjustments for what we have in our house. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it 😊
Until next Tuesday…