Staying sane, balancing a hefty work schedule and keeping your children occupied is no easy feat. As parents, we all have the best of intentions when it comes to home schooling, but it’s not always easy to adhere to a detailed lesson plan when you have deadlines to submit for, meetings to attend, or a demanding remote working schedule. It can be an enormous struggle to keep your family educated and entertained while holding down a job; here at JobsExpo, we commend your efforts - but at the end of the day, once your kids are safe and well, you’re doing a great job. Here's our Jobs Expo Survival Guide to working from home with kids.
Discipline is a limited resource. One way to avoid throwing in the towel too early is by prepping what you have to do ahead of time, and sticking to it as best you can. If you have the lunches prepped the day before, and the lesson plan ready to go at the beginning of the week, it makes it that much easier to persevere when all hell breaks loose on a Thursday, and your boss needs all hands-on deck for a client presentation as your child's teacher hands out that lengthy assignment list!
This is what Pinterest was designed for. One way to make your time at home more bearable and keep kids - big and small alike - entertained, is to add a bit of fun and creativity into your day. Sure, the onus might be to focus on the relatively dry staples of Maths and English when it comes to home schooling. But get ordering those paints on Amazon, start coming up with fun projects; sewing, painting, crafts - you might even find something you enjoy yourself that helps your blood pressure levels stay low!
Maintaining a routine, getting up, getting dressed and getting ready for the present forms of ‘school’ and ‘work’ all help when it comes to maintaining the structure and balance of each day. Keep your workspaces separate from those chill out zones, and make sure to divide up the home-schooling responsibilities equally between parents to keep things running as smoothly as possible. It’s important to lead by example, no procrastinating - at least visibly - on your own ‘homework’ too.
It’s important to remember that you are not alone in all this - although it can feel like it sometimes. There are so many parents across the globe, struggling with this impossible balancing act at present. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your employer. Let them know what problems you are facing and find a workaround that works for everyone. Is there flexibility to your working day? Could some of your tasks be done in the evening, or at the weekend when your partner has more time to pitch in?
When it comes to your kids’ class, there are so many parents in the same boat;why not group together and share some of the home-schooling responsibilities as a unit? Set up ‘remote study groups’. Having those external appointments at set times is a great way to keep to a routine.You might not be in the same room, but you can certainly cover lessons and get through that extensive homework list one Zoom meeting at a time.
As parents, it’s too easy to keep going 24/7 with the focus on your work and family and not take any time to unwind. Whether it’s playing Xbox with your work friends or sitting out the back with an ice-cold white wine, take the time to enjoy a few moments of calm each day. Make sure you and your partner cover for each other on all those duties; personal time and space is precious and does wonders in restoring the well of patience that so often runs dry after a long day of home schooling.
Starting out, we all had the best of intentions; how many times did you tell yourself that screen time will be kept to a minimum and you’ll be up doing PE with Joe Wicks every single morning? However, there will be times when that just isn’t feasible - and that’s perfectly ok. Don’t let those other parents with Instagram's full of crafts and freshly baked cupcakes fool you. You won’t be the only one resorting to iPad time / Frozen 2 /Playstation -depending on the age bracket - so you can have enough peace to get through that important work call. And OrganicVeganYogaMom29’s carefully curated social media account shouldn’t guilt you into thinking otherwise.
As the old proverb goes: this, too, shall pass. Yes, there will be many, many times over the course of this pandemic where you’ll be pushed to the limits of your sanity - and you’re not alone there. That’s why wine was invented. However, there will also be those quality, fun, rewarding moments - so don’t forget to take the time and savour those too.