I was reading an insightful (at least for me) article this week about how Kim Kardashian was losing her mind just a little bit lately. She felt over-whelmed taking care of her crew, over-seeing at home school, and trying to still get her own job and school done. Especially affected, were relations between her and Kanye, as she felt like she was carrying most of the weight these days. I hear ya, Kim!
I remember at the start of the quarantine, the panic-attack laden thoughts that left me wondering how am I going to do this??!!
I work as a PR professional from home for a multitude of clients. Luckily, my heaviest clients allow for some flexibility during the summer months when my kids are home, but right now in the middle of a pandemic, my schedule and work-load is huge. Literally I was working over-time, and seeing schedules like the one below that floated around the internet left me feeling like a failure before the day had even begun.
So for all of you other working at home moms during the quarantine, here are a few real-life tips for working at home and “momming” that will help to keep your sanity firmly in place.
1. Set a schedule for main functions
This is clutch. Get your kids to bed at the same time every day and make sure they get up at the same time every day. Also, make sure meals take place around the same time every day. This allows for you as a mom to know when you have a little free-time independent of their constant, hovering presence.
For me I know that my kids get up at 8 am in order to start online classes, so I get up a little earlier than them, and take care of a large portion of work before they even get up. I do the same thing at the end of the day to catch some of those client concerns that may have come in later in the day.
Your day doesn’t need to be rigidly scheduled, just the basics so that you can plan accordingly.
2. Make your kids a partner in your work
I set them up next to my desk space and have them do their work in the morning. I am able to pop over to help them, but we are doing work together. Even if it is worksheets or online learning games. This in-tandem work time makes a big difference in helping me to oversee their work and stay on top of mine.
3. Let them be bored
Luckily, I have never been the kind of parent who felt the need to fill every moment of my chid’s day with activities, but now that we have a lot more time on our hands I have been amazed to see what my children have filled their free time with.
One of my children is writing their first book and has found an online group of peer editors that he uses to test some of his material on. Additionally, he has published a few short stories in some of these online forums to see what people think of his writing. He has received some really good feedback What?! Dang is this awesome!
Another of my children goes outside and sits on a chair under an umbrella and has found a whole new genre of books to read that she loves. This is something several months ago that just would not have been possible in our rather busy and hectic lives. She looks forward to finishing her schoolwork so that she can curl up and read a good book.
My youngest child has found that she likes to set-up pretend worlds. She turned her bed into a boat yesterday and she and some of her stuffed animals went on a rather long and intense journey. I went in to check on her and she said that I was interrupting her visit to Africa.
I am not making this up. They were bored and found ways to fill their time with something that interested them. Gosh my parents would have been proud of this type of parenting!
4. Give your children chores
Have them help fold laundry, prepare lunches, clean up toys, or anything else that needs to be done around the house. You will need to teach your children how to do these chores, and it may not get done exactly how you want it, but let them do it. My 7 year old can even scrub a toilet and run the vacuum. She likes spraying the foam cleaner… and sometimes the foam gets elsewhere than inside the ring, but hey I figure it’s disinfecting powers can’t hurt.
Don’t let the chores overwhelm you. Instead teach your family how to help you do them. Going forward I promise this will make a big difference in your family life.
5. Be realistic
You are not their camp or activity director. You are a family and together you can work out a plan to help one another during this unprecedented time. Talk about how you are feeling and what you need to get done. Yesterday I was trying to edit a video for a client and two of my children saw me struggling. They stepped in, found a software to help me, and took over editing. They did a really good job, probably better than I would have done. They felt happy being able to help me just like I feel happy when I help them.
Hugs to you my working mama friends. I would love to hear what you have been doing that works!
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