How working parents can keep safe and sane during COVID-19
Are you a working parent juggling working from home and crisis schooling? It’s not easy! We recognise that. So when was the last time you gave yourself credit for what you are doing now? Probably never. That’s why we recognised the achievements of working parents and shared our tips for working parents on a webinar with The Coach Link and Pam Durant last week.
No transition for working parents
On 4 March 2020, it was announced that schools would pull their Spring Break forward by 2 weeks and move then to online schooling. For many working parents, a period of uncertainty began. How could we manage going to the office while our kids were home? If you have teenagers, it may be easier. They can go over to their friends’ houses and look after themselves for a few hours. What if you have younger children? Parents felt trapped and completely at the mercy of their employer’s giving them flexibility.
A new routine
Once it become clearer that offices would also closed, working parents had to quickly come to terms with the new reality. By now, it’s all about flexibility. A lot of families have created new schedules that work for them.
But this didn’t come without stress, anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed for a number of parents. How can I be a teacher when I’m supposed to be marketing executive? If I’m honest, I love my family, just not 24/7.
Tips for getting through the next weeks
Create a schedule for work days
Younger children need structure. This structure can give them the sense of normality and puts order in a world which is full of chaos and uncertainty. Decide what your morning ritual will be. Will you let them sleep in a little bit longer and spend more time eating breakfast together?
Wearing the school uniform can also help feeling your kids are in school. Set aside their regular snacks to maintain consistency in their life.
Use different rooms for different purposes
Just like wearing different clothes can trick your brain, use the same for your room. If you spend all day in your living room, it becomes difficult to understand when you are working and when you are relaxing. Rotate your rooms for different purposes. You could use the dining table for home schooling, while art projects are created in the kids’ rooms.
Tidy up after home school
New York State Department of Health has devoted a page on clutter, understanding the health issues caused by it. Give your mind some rest by clearing up all school work once your kids have completed their schooling for the day.
Set a time in your day, for example, before dinner or before going to bed, when your kids are collecting their toys and helping to clean up your home.
Switch off on weekends
Working parents have commented on the constant connectivity, especially since there’s no commute. Make the weekend (or one weekend day) about you and your family. Put the laptop in a drawer (I’m not joking! You still have your phone for urgent messages).
Carve out some me time and pursue an activity that brings you joy. Whether that’s reading the book that’s been on your night stand for the last 4 months or attending an online course, you decide.
Give yourself some credit
We’ve seen so many working parents who doubt their efforts. Am I doing enough? Stop these questions and step back. You are there to support your children emotionally. You are not their teacher and don’t worry. Teachers have already said they’ll bring any child to the desired level in the next academic year. Your job is to ensure they are safe and that’s what you are doing. None of us have ever experienced COVID-19. You ARE doing the best you can. Give yourself a pad on the shoulder!
Join our webinar
Do you want to have more tips? We are offering another live webinar on Wednesday, 29 April at 9:00 pm Dubai. Register here and join us! It’s FREE!
Until next time,