It is insanely hard to parent full-time, work from home, and deal with mounting expenses in an unpredictable health pandemic. But we are going to give you some ideas for coping.
Split the Work If You Can
If you have a partner, tag team or split the tasks so each of you has specific areas to cover. You’ve maximized the nap times or kids’ favorite shows to squeeze out some time to concentrate. Realize “This too shall pass” and check your thoughts when you feel overwhelmed. You may need to take a break, breathe deeply, or if you have a partner, turn to them.
Set “Open” and “Closed” Hours
For kids who are in elementary school or older, you can set certain hours when you are “CLOSED (working)” and then “OPEN” hours when you are available to them. It may be 11am to 12pm to get important clients contacted and another hour sometime in the afternoon.
This builds responsibility, as long as clocks are easy to find, and the dog hasn’t gotten out and run in the street, and the kids know to interrupt for emergencies.
Use a Visual Timer for Independent Play
Set up a play center in your house where toys are easily accessible and is a safe environment. Let your child know that you expect them to play independently.
To help them at a young age like 3 years old, having a visual timer that ticks down the minutes helps a child gauge their expected playtime. And you may want to suspend cleanup during the pandemic if you can maneuver around toys, just to ease stress, unless of course stepping on toys creates panic.
Time Block the Day
Start your day gauging the most important things you want to accomplish. Then plan times when work is possible, taking breaks often to interact with your kids. Whether it is snack time, some school project, a walk outside, or a fun activity, this helps to give your child that sense of closeness, while it helps you to change focus.
And whether you only accomplish half of what you hoped to do, begin to realize that the time you share with your child is precious. You might not have had this opportunity before, so when it feels like all hell is breaking loose, step back and refocus your energy. That will help your best self handle the situation. It takes some patience, and you can do it.
Accept that Screen Time Will Happen
We all know how much screen time we this is ok. But hey, we’re in a pandemic. Your kids are going to get bored and they may play video games more than you like or watch what seems like endless TV.
This is temporary, and let them know you are easing the restrictions. Maybe even take a break from work to sit and watch something with them. We’ll all get through this better when we give ourselves a break.
EAP Can Help
Confidential counseling by phone or secure telehealth. This free referral service is available to all employees and their family members. It is provided by FPI to make access to counseling services as easy as possible by trained mental health professionals.
Download the PDF for useful links and numbers
*Advice from THE STORY EXCHANGE, Inspiration and Information for Women Entrepreneurs