Has anyone seen The Original Kings of Comedy standup when Bernie Mac comes on stage and starts talking about how his life has been turned upside-down due to having a house full of kids? Do you remember the word he used to describe his state of mind? There is one word in particular that stands out and for my mothers’ sake, I won’t use it on my blog, but it starts with an M and ends with an R, lol! If you know what I am talking about and if you can relate can I get a big, yassss!!!! Are you there yet? Have you mumbled that word or similar words under your breath since your kids have been at home with no real date to return to school? Well, I am here to 1. not shame you for being a human if you’ve felt like cussing out your kids under your breath and it’s only day three and 2. give you a few pointers on how to successfully survive being quarantined or working from home while the kids are with you.
Okay, let us dive in…First, breathe mom or dad! BREATHE… I honestly think some parents are loosing it early on due to the state of the world. The uncertainty of what is taking place right now throughout the world is undoubtedly adding a major sense of subconscious or conscious stress and anxiety. You have no idea what is coming next and if you plug into the news or social media all day you will feel like you are doomed. I do believe that it may get worse before it gets better, however, we have no control over this, therefore, let us focus on what we can control and hopefully these 6 tips will add some relief to your life as well as put a smile on your face.
1. Ditch the schedule: Yup, I said it. And right now some OCD mom is probably writing me off and that’s okay. I would recommend implementing a routine more than being obsessed with sticking to a timeline schedule. And parents with little ones should know that schedules get broken at times. Now, if you have a schedule and it works for you where you are keeping it to the “T”, then you are not real and don’t exist, lol. No really if you are then kudos to you! I applaud you and would love to know how you are able to do it. Routine, however, works because it is kinda like a schedule but does not confine you. You can be flexible and still have enough time to complete your goals for the day. Identify what needs to get done for the next day (work and schoolwork) and plan accordingly. Be sure to include some “me” time and follow through with it.
2. Create a reward system for the kids: This really helped me a lot! I found several printables online and customized each one for my two kids. My kids are old enough where we were able to create them together and they were allowed to choose their reward (within reason). I did mine yesterday and it was amazing…so far, lol! I was able to get classwork done on time, worked on my business, and exercised!!! I literally felt like the real MVM (most valuable mom) yesterday. It won’t be like this every day but in my Ice Cube voice “Today was a good day” 🙂
3. Use email templates: Okay, I got this idea from my cool IG friend, Ally Barton and if she reads this, she will see that I gave her a shot out. lol. Also, I love giving credit when credit is due. This is a true gem. It really works. While working from home, you may find yourself having to email a lot more. Have you seen that meme “This meeting could have been an email”? Well, you are in luck because now it is. Creating an email template for those common emails will really save you a bunch of time. Also drafting emails and putting a send time on them helps as well. This is especially a great tool if you are reading/replying to emails after the kids are in bed and you want to get your inbox cleared out. This will allow the emails to be sent the day and time you require.
4. Utilize the Internet/Get Fresh Air: Due to the world going through this pandemic, people are joining together and sharing tips, tools, and resources on what to do with their kids. Google or Pinterest activities to do with or have your kids do. While they are completing these activities you will have some quiet time ( hopefully) to get some work done. My husbands co-worker shared with him this cool list of 200 educational/activity sites to do at home with/without kids. Email me if you would like to have it. Free of course! Also, it has been highly recommended that fresh air ( with social distancing) is great for the kids and for you. Take a walk, hike, or a jog with the kids. I grew up as an outside kid. Maybe it’s time to get back to this.
5. Discuss what Mom or Dad can take on: If you live in a two-parent home then it is time to have a conversation on how the responsibilities can be divided. It should not fall all on one person. Tap into their strengths and pass on some things for them to do with the kids. If it’s cooking, then cook with the kids, cleaning..clean with the kids, playing…play with these kids, lol! You get what I am saying, right? Do not for one second think that everything should fall on one person.
6. Go to a quiet space: Have you seen that commercial where the kids are looking for their mom and she is locked in the bathroom on the floor with a bag of cookies? Well, that is EXACTLY what I am referring to. Take that “Me-Time” and go into a room where you can responsibly isolate yourself and SHUT THE DOOR if possible. Remove yourself away from those emails, work-calls, micromanagers, busy kids, dishes, schoolwork, spouses, whatever it is just take some me-time and take a break. Take with you some cookies or ice cream, wine (after you clock out) or Martinelli’s ( for my non-acholic friends) and have some time to take a break.
Treat this time as if the kids are home for spring or summer break but you have no childcare. You have to be creative. Try not to add too much stress to your life, remember the kids are watching how you handle this situation. Once work is done and the kids are asleep, unplug from the news, social media, and if you can, enjoy your spouse or partner. Spend some quality time together. Continue to stay safe and healthy and look forward to another day.
Until next time,