I want to preface with a disclaimer: we are not parents, and we only do distance learning 2-3 days a week with our niece. BUT I do believe these tips could help parents who are working from home as well 🙂
- Bump Up your Morning Routine – this one was very difficult for me at first, but I am starting to figure it out! Our niece Jodie arrives around 7:15am, so I wake up 2 hours earlier to have some alone work time. I have been making this Cinderella coffee drink and loving it! (use this link for a discount!)
- Switch off “parenting” – I only put it in quotes because we are not parents. The most pivotal moment for us was when we realized I did not have to do distance learning all day, and neither did my husband. We switch off every couple of hours (I have a schedule below).
- Plan to work on Saturdays – We will not always be stuck in a pandemic world, so for the time being I highly recommend working a 6th day of the week. This gives you time to prepare for the week ahead, or catch up on anything you needed from the week before. (Bonus tip: turn in your Saturday work on Monday or Tuesdays to spread out your deliverables)
- Have “workstations” – to the best of your ability, set up areas in your home that are where you do school and work, and where you eat and play. We also use work queues. For example, when the TV is on, the living room is for play. When the TV is off, the living room is for homework. I do this with music too!
- Use a timer for everything! The average attention span of an adult is 45 minutes (but sometimes it can feel like 5 seconds right?). Our kiddos do not have this long of an attention span. I try 15 and 20 minute timed sessions, back to back. Sometimes it works well 😉
- Get moving and exercise – never underestimate the power of Cosmic Yoga, or GoNoodle NTV for your kids. When I have a zoom meeting, or a chat conversation that I need to be attentive to, I try to not just dismiss our kiddo. Instead I give a few “screen time” options that involve movement.
- Enjoy the ride, and take a breath – This reminder has been very important to me. Having a kid in the house while I am working is stressful. Having a kid in the house who needs help with homework is even more stressful. Never again though we have the time with her that we have in 2020. Never again will she have the bonding opportunities she has with her uncle and I. As much as we are trying to keep all the plates spinning, our relationship with her is the most important relationship of the day. She wants to be independent, and she can be in so many ways, but she is also in 4th grade so of course she needs our help, our attention, and our time 🙂
Your kid loves you. Your kiddo sees how hard you are working to do everything. Enjoy this season of unknown, hard, crazy, weird, and stressful. As much as possible, enjoy the tired hugs, last minute meals, and arguments about tv. We don’t have them forever, but we do have them now!