Once again, working parents are finding ways to tackle the new normal: working from home and home-learning for the indefinite future. As we've mentioned in an old blog, life at the moment seems to be way off the work-life balance most of us would like to have. The strategies that you put together last year may not be as effective the third time around - and as parents, you may be feeling entirely frazzled from the months of worry and 24/7 child-care.
Between supervising your children while trying to keep up with your job demands, we truly know how tough it can be. That's why we've put together five tips to help you juggle home-learning and working from home during COVID-19.
Set a Routine As If You Were Going to School
One way that can help juggle home-learning and working from home is to carry on your daily routine as if the children were still going to school. It can be incredibly tempting to ignore your Monday morning alarm clock and let the entire family stay in their pyjamas all day. However, begin your day as if your child were going to school to help you, and they get into the right mindset to begin the day. Yes, that includes keeping your morning alarm, getting washed and dressed - you could even include the morning walk to school in your very own garden - all before 9am!
Although there's no obligation to stick to school hours, when you have set hours to work alongside homeschooling, this can benefit you from spiralling out of control.
Plan Your Breaks
Our second tip on how to juggle home-learning and working from home is to plan and schedule your breaks, Try to plan time into your day that is dedicated to family time - not only does it give you all something to be excited for but it can also stop any interruptions! You could treat them like any other meeting in your diary and align them with your children's lunchtimes. The goal is to designate pockets of time—wherever works with your schedule—when you can focus on nothing but your children and parenting.
Our stylish and portable Wellbeing Ritual Aromatherapy Mini Balms in a Tin contains 5 balms to help you tackle the everyday, no matter what you may face. In your short breaks, practising our Well being Ritual can be hugely beneficial as you transition between homeschooling and working from home.
Build Your Kids' Independence
Learning new things and becoming more independent can really boost your kid's self-esteem - while also empowering them to learn more on their own in the long run. So, the more your kids can do on their own, the less likely they'll be to interrupt you for help.
Depending on your child's age, Ava Diamond, director of wellness and counselling at The Elisabeth Morrow School recommends parents encourage their kids to choose one independent living skill to learn and practice. You could create a sense of ownership and accountability around their schoolwork; children are more likely to buy into a system that they helped design.
One of the key takeaways to surviving the working from home and homeschooling is to be flexible in your approach to work. Businesses are more understanding than ever, so make sure you have open and honest conversations with them. Perhaps you can talk to your employer about whether you could do more flexible hours if you think this will help? If they're not sure how this will work, ask if you could do a trial period and then review it with them.
Give Yourself A Break
We're all imperfect parents at this time so give yourself a break. Right now, you're carrying a mental load unlike ever before, so don't expect yourself to perform in your job the same way you did before the pandemic began. Likewise, don't beat yourself up if your child isn't getting through all their schoolwork, or if you're letting them spend far more time on screens than you would like to. We're in unprecedented times, and it's difficult to juggle homeschooling and working from home. Just try not to feel guilty and remember, we're all in survival mode at this time...together. So, don't be afraid to ask for help - this could be tips from other parents, asking your own parents to do story time over zoom in the evenings or help from your child’s school.
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