This isolation period whether we are alone or with your families, and not having physical contact with others outside is going to wear on you. It has already for me! I will be honest.
Here is how everything quickly went downhill for me….
We started last Monday with a strong plan and schedule. I felt prepared and ready and Monday went great. We followed the schedule to the tee.
I was able to get work done and we co-existed in work mode. Bedtime was a little shaky but hey when isn’t it?!
Tuesday, we had to abandon some of the schedule due to impromptu meetings with panicked clients and doctors/ therapist phone calls but for the most part – we stayed on track.
By Wednesday – the schedule was scrapped. We had a lot of changes, a lot of behaviors – we were sick of the schedule. That night, I sat down and evaluated how things were going because this was how things were going to be for several weeks – at least until April 15, when school was to be back in session, but it could be longer.
And then I received the notice that the teachers – yes, the amazing people that are paid to educate my children – were going to teach them virtually. I could have jump with joy.
For a parent trying to work from home, my ability to do so relies on certain factors from my children and the layout of our home. When the quarantine started, I did not take in account on how that would help or hinder my working environment. So changes had to be made for us to live within the circumstances that we were in today.
Here is what I learned in the 3 days of trying to be a homeschooling mom – which I am not.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY – Let the kids have their Spring Break.
Not going to lie, I forgot that if we were not in this pandemic, my kids would have been chilling on Spring Break. But this pandemic caused us all to jump and react and not remember that we are not supposed to be in full blown homeschool mode.
My oldest son has been on Spring Break since last Monday. My littles start their Spring Break, today.
School is back in session on March 30, 2020. And it will be with the virtual learning program that their schools are setting up, not me being an impromptu homeschooling mom.
The teachers are the professionals – they know what to do and how to teach my kids. I am going to let them and be their support partner. It is the role that I am good at – an attentive academic focused parent that collaborates with the teachers but does not try to do their jobs.
- Get your family on the same page
Now, although, we are on Spring Break, the boys know that this is not a free for all. We will still wake up, get dressed, clean up, have family meals, maintain our bedtimes, etc. Daily structure and organization are still very important.
I would suggest that you talk to your family about your daily schedule, especially if you are working from home, so that they know when you need a somewhat quiet time for meetings and such.
My sons know that when mommy says, “She is on a call.” This means that she is not able to get up and break up fights or grab Gogurts or find that game on their tablets. I will pause a call to wipe a tush though.
When I am on a call, they know that they can use technology at that time. They are all for that.
- Take breaks – often. Seriously!
You are going to butt heads with your kids. There will be tears – possibly yours and theirs. There may be fussing and yelling. It’s going to happen.
Uncertainty of what is happening, being in close proximity of each other for so long and having routines interrupted have tensions running high.
Okay – I am going to say this and please don’t shoot me but… wake up every day, of quarantine, knowing that you are not going to have a perfect day. Knowing and accepting this will help you stay calm and collected when things aren’t going as smoothly.
Which is why taking breaks and ensuring that you have Me-TIME is soo important.
Also, if you are new to working from home – take the same breaks that you do at work. Do not park yourself in front of your laptop or computer – stretch often. Eat lunch away from your virtual desk, spend time with your family during breaks – if you position permits you to do so.
- Grant yourself grace – lots of it!
There is no way that everything will go as planned every day. What is happening is not the norm. Even if it was…as you know things still never go as planned.
I don’t care how early I attempt to leave the house -something always goes wrong; someone always has to go to the bathroom. You get my drift – nothing goes as planned.
And that is okay. Don’t expect it to. Embrace social distancing with your family too. Personal space is a thing.
With three clearly different little boys – we are utilizing several areas of the house for personal space. And when we all go to our separate spaces for a little alone time – we all try to respect it.
When the quarantine first started, I envisioned us all together interacting as a family all of the time, and when it did not happen, I tried to force it.
We have our family time and we have our own personal “Me-time,” our quarantine time alone. Allow it – it cuts down on the fights and time outs during the day.
- Use your support network
Being a single mom, I am craving adult conversation. This can be a lonely time being isolated.
Even if you can’t get out of the house, it is truly important that you have a support system in place! Write down your five “go to people” and then send them a message or call them and setup time to chat during the isolation period.
After the kids go to bed schedule wine dates and show binges with your best friend on Zoom or Google Hangouts. Use the different technologies to create playdates for your kids as well.
You are not alone in this – heck, the hastag is #alonetogether – so embrace it and be alone together with those that you love. There are tons of ways to stay connected to the world without actually risking your family’s health.
As we wait this pandemic out, do things that you would never think of doing – maybe starting a side hustle or working from home. This is the time to start this while you have the time to do it.
This is the time to get to know your children in ways that you could not if you were a working parent or they are in school most of the day.
This is the time to connect with family and friends that you have been meaning to connect with. There is so much that you can do with this time. But mostly – do not forget about yourself and what you need to ensure that you are healthy strong and ready for What’s next when the quarantine is over.
I would love to hear what creative things you are doing with your me-time and for self-care during this break. Let’s stay connected and remember that I am here for you.
Also tune into the 25/8 MOM Podcast – The Tap Out Corner for some fun and real talk.
I am here thinking about all of you. Stay safe. Stay Healthy
The 25/8 MOM