As moms, One of the biggest challenges that COVID-19 has thrown our way is childcare. Schools across the country have shut down and left us with a mixture of excited, bored and hungry kids with nowhere to go. For some, our work shut down too, making us the reluctant solution to our new childcare problem.
How will we manage?
Can we be productive workers from home?
Will our kids fall behind from our lousy teaching?
And are these sweatpants going to fit by the end of this lockdown?!!!
With an uncertain future ahead of us, and more work and school disruptions on the horizon. Here are some tips for working at home with kids!
Set out your expectations
To make sure your transition from boss in the office to Zoom-call-queen is a smooth one, you need to set out some expectations. Explain to your little ones that this is not a holiday.
This is a difficult, new experience for all of you and they are going to have to get used to some new rules around the house. This doesn’t have to be all bad news for the kids, you can always bring in a reward system for good behavior.
We aren’t just talking about the kids by the way! Make it clear to your employer and colleagues that you are not going to be as productive as you were in the office, your day may involve wiping more snotty noses and cleaning more spillages than they are used to.
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Establish a boundary
You should try setting up a work-mom and play-mom boundary that is clear and obvious to your little cell-mates. You can set certain times on the clock for older kids or a traffic light system for tots.
A physical boundary will work well too if that’s what you are comfortable with. Having a closed door between you and the tiny-tornadoes will allow you to have your own space to focus and be productive. You could try making a secret knock that they can use on the door if they really need you.
Don’t sweat about screen-time
So what? You made a couple of jokes about ‘Ipad Moms’. Times have changed and (unlike our outfits for the next few weeks) we must change too. Using technology as a tool to get the kids off your back so you can get some work done is nothing to be worried about.
Find some of the brilliant trustworthy playing and learning apps out there, or set up a virtual play-date with some of their classmates.
If you really want to experiment with using tech to give you longer working day, The Washington Post and Forbes Magazine both have awesome articles about virtual babysitters. It’s definitely something that won’t work for every family, but it could take away some of the stress of home-schooling.
Don’t forget to take a break
Helping with homework, making lunch or sticking down pasta shells on an art-project is not taking a break. Having short breaks for a snack (or snacks, plural), a coffee or to play with the kids is important for many reasons.
Firstly, it’ll stop you from LOSING IT from all the stress of working and mom-ing. Secondly, you’ll be able to keep an eye on the kids and make sure the house is still standing. Thirdly, because you deserve it lady, relax!
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