We’re living in unprecedented times. Though we’ve always believed we can have it all, times like this have taught us it’s okay if we drop the ball. We’re not superhuman. We are human. Go easy on yourself.
For the last several weeks, families across the country have been forced into social isolation with their kids at home as schools and businesses closed. Offices moved their operations to employees’ homes, and the world virtually stopped, except for the true superheroes- the first responders and frontline workers.
Our children’s educations have been handed to us while we try to navigate a new normal and continue to work for a living. For parents and anxious children, the situation can be overwhelming and feel like the end is nigh. For single parents, the pressure is tenfold. Our try to do it all way of thinking has been given a significant blow by reality.
We can all acknowledge our lives have been disrupted. Accept that and move on. This is the way it is for now. This won’t last forever. Try to remember your sacrifice is keeping you, your family, and people in your community safe.
Here are a few suggestions to minimize the strain:
1.Don’t overschedule yourself or the children. You never know what the day will bring, so keep things as free-flowing as possible to keep yourself sane.
2. Make a list of your absolute must-dos. You can’t do everything. Prioritize. What are the most important things that need to be accomplished?
3. Set realistic expectations and deadlines. Plan for interruptions.
4. Utilize screen time for children. Yes, it’s not ideal, but in this situation, it may be necessary to help you get work done. Have children work next to you so you can monitor if they’re young. Set time limits for them and teens.
5. Stay in touch with your employer and coworkers. They are in the same boat. Tell them what you’re struggling with, and maybe they can offer suggestions or ease some of the strain.
6. Take advantage of nap time if you have younger children and the children’s bedtime. If you can wake up early to get your work done before the chaos begins or transition to night owl hours, so you’ll have uninterrupted time to work.
7. Acknowledge that you won’t be able to work at standard capacity.
8. Create dedicated workspaces for yourself and your children. Having a dedicated space will help you, and they get “in the zone” when it’s time to work.
9. Check-in with other parents.
10. The most important thing is, don’t lose hope. This is our new normal. It will take some adjustments. Give yourself a break. Cut yourself some slack. Remember to breathe.