We just finished up week four of homeschool. Holy moly. We are still alive and kickin…thank goodness. Trying to work and be a full time mom and teacher is…completely unrealistic.
As difficult as it has been to be fully in charge of the kids’ education, there’s a few key points I wanted to share about how we have kept our head above water.
Have a plan. Yep, I preach about this regularly. Now more than ever – if you don’t have a plan for your daily routine (if you have kids or not), you’ll go crazy. Here’s our routine…. I make sure the kids are up by 9 a.m. and working on school work by 9:30 a.m. This means, they change into non-pajama-like clothing too…they make their bed…eat breakfast and clean up after themselves…and then get to their school work. We take a break around lunchtime…go for a walk, eat lunch, and then finish up school work.
Schedule time for you/your work. When we finish with school work after lunch, I tell the kids to leave me alone for a few hours and they can go play. Believe me, after me playing teacher for 4-5 hours, they are more than ready to leave me alone too. I use this time to catch up on client email and to-do’s, take a quick walk around the block or whatever it takes to take a breather and get things done for my business.
Schedule time for your spouse or partner. If you both are trying to work, managing kids and dealing with the stress of the environment in general, you need to make sure you’re allotting time without kids for your partner. Here’s what I do…. After dinner, I tell the kids I need 1-2 hours to spend with my husband without them around us. My husband and I typically hang out on the back patio for awhile…sometimes we talk…sometimes we listen to music or nature…and sometimes we’ll catch an episode of Ozark. Whatever your thing is – the kids will be fine for an hour while you decompress.
Communicate to your family and employer/employees your expectations for the daily/weekly plan. This means you need to let your boss know if it won’t be available until noon to check email. This means you need to let your kids and partner know the schedule and who is responsible for what (i.e., who is cooking or picking up dinner, letting the kids know the schedule, etc.).
I can’t reiterate enough that in order to keep your sanity and remain productive, you must have a plan to manage everything.
Give yourself plenty of grace too. If your child doesn’t get to that assignment or you can’t check email until the afternoon for work, do what’s best for you and your family. This is a crazy time, and we all need to give each other plenty of kindness.