The new normal has changed our lives significantly, and one of the most affected groups is parents. Parents are now having to manage a delicate balance where they telecommute while ensuring their children have a good environment for online learning while trying to preserve a sense of normalcy for the household.
In many ways, parenting has become harder as the amount of work and time they need to manage their home and work obligations have increased. Thankfully, parents are resourceful people, and many are finding ways to balance the various obligations without additional stress and anxieties.
Various childcare options offer safer and socially distanced solutions for your children. Being able to maintain your child’s routine, albeit with some changes in timing and protocol, may be exactly what they need to get through this difficult time with equanimity.
Chart Your Time Out Clearly
You and your partner will have to negotiate a schedule as brutally as if you were in the boardroom. This is because there will be times when you both have non-negotiable work obligations and will require the other to step up and handle the childcare needs.
Plan out a weekly and daily schedule so that both of you are on the same page and respectful of the needs of the other. It can feel rigid, but this sort of disciplined approach may be exactly what you need to keep yourselves at peak work efficiency while ensuring that your children always have an attentive parent available.
Schedule Personal Time
Make sure to schedule alone time so you can both decompress in your own way after a tough week. It is just as important to schedule together time so you and your partner can reconnect and focus on being happy and involved parents.
Children thrive when their parents are fulfilled in their lives. Schedule family fun time as well and put the children in charge of choosing the activities. This will help them look forward to the time and feel actively included in the planning of the family schedule.
Include Your Children
Older children will have opinions and requests regarding their online schooling obligations, homework time, chores, and scheduled relaxation times. Try to understand that your children, being young and inexperienced, maybe finding it hard to express how much the disruption in their lives is affecting them.
Allow them to make changes to their schedule and give them enough leeway in their alone time to feel a sense of control over their lives. Children desperately need to make sense of their world, and giving them space and guidance to figure themselves out is the best thing you can do for their mental health.
Chore-Time is Together Time
Chores need to be done, but where they used to be individual activities, begin assigning two people at a time to each chore. These moments are a wonderful way to connect with your children in a pressure-free environment. Any chore is easier with help, and completing tasks together helps pull families closer.
Allow your children to perform more involved chores such as laundry and cooking with you as well. They will learn a valuable life skill, and you will have someone to help you enjoy what would otherwise be a tedious task. A small child can enjoy just about anything if they are happy, and indulging in this will help you feel less stressed about the tasks you have to do to keep the home running smoothly.
Create a Work Zone
Children understand physical boundaries before they fully comprehend emotional boundaries. Give them structure by having a designated workspace. Convert a room in your house or an easily closed corner in the house into your home office.
Layout clear rules such as stating that when the door is closed, they cannot disturb you or your partner. But, if the door is open, they can come to you or your partner for any reason.
Establish a work zone for your children. This area will be where you expect them to conduct their online learning and homework. Teaching them about designated spaces and their uses is a good way to help them learn about work ethic and establishing a line between work life and home life.
In all advice to parents, the common thread you will see is that they must be there for their children. They are experiencing something unprecedented in their young lives, and you, as their steadfast and unchanging emotional anchor, must help them weather the storm.
It is also important that you do not hide your parenting needs from your managers or your colleagues. They can be one of your biggest resources in creating a workable schedule that allows you enough time to be an effective employee and a dedicated parent. This is a time when everyone must pull together to continue giving our children a solid foundation in which to grow up and make happy childhood memories despite the circumstances.