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These are exceptional times and everyone’s been affected one way or another by the impact of Coronavirus. Things are changing rapidly and we’re all having to adapt to survive (just like parenting in general!)
If you’re now working from home with your family, we’ve got some great tips and advice on how to manage the chaos and keep sane.
Don’t set the bar too high. That might not sound like the most positive start but a healthy dose of realism will be your friend right now. We weren’t prepared for this. Households around the world are in a state of confusion and panic but we can and will get through this. The first step to survival is to be realistic about our capabilities. Get back to basics rather than set yourself up to fail. Good things can come out of this, but we might not recognise them if we’re beating ourselves up about what we’re not doing well.
There’s no need to go it alone. Find support, there’s loads of stuff online and some superheroes have come to the front with some great ideas and resources. Use them. It’s been amazing how quickly people have been to offer useful guides, tips and resources. There’s a wealth of stuff available online to help grown ups and kids so find the ones that appeal to you. Speak to your friends to ask for advice and tips. Set up a whatsapp or Facebook group to keep in touch and help each other through.
The day will seem overwhelming both for you and your kids without one. Don’t bust a gut to put too much on the schedule, but break up the day to make it manageable. Don’t put too much pressure on following the normal routine, be flexible but try to keep things consistent e.g. reasonable bed times, mornings and meals. Break up the day to build in some educational and fitness sessions.
It’s a universal bug bear for parents around the world. Once they’re on, it can seem like an epic battle to get them off. Be more relaxed in these unique times and don’t stress too much. As long as they’re breaking up their day with other activities and have regular breaks, let them indulge in some extra tech sessions. Remember this is a disconcerting time for kids and sneaking in some screen time may reassure them. You never know what skills they’re picking up along the way (my daughter informed me Roblox was teaching her how to be an interior designer!).
We’re all guilty of it; putting ourselves last on the list, behind our work, kids, partners, parents, pets and chores. Just remember, we’re no good to anyone if we’re not looking after ourselves too. Go back to the very early parenting days and remember to follow the ‘sleep when they sleep’ rule (not that we did when they were babies, but hey!). Make the most of this time for their ‘routine’ help you too. Have breakfast when they do, take a break when they do, keep stocked up with plenty of fluids; yes, tea counts, but maybe leave the wine for later! Importantly, get yourself outside for some fresh air and sunshine. Exercise is a great way to boost your mental and physical health and without the daily commute, you should have more time to fit this in.
Things have moved pretty fast recently and everyone’s been affected one way or another by Covid-19. Workplaces have had to move their staff out of the office quick smart and many of us now find ourselves in the same position. Let’s lean on our colleagues and also offer them support. This will only lead to stronger teams for the future. There are so many ways we can adjust the way we work to be able to fulfill our roles from home. This can be challenging but it may also lead to us discovering innovations and better ways of working that will be adopted when things get back to ‘normal’.
Here are some other useful articles to help you manage working from home with your family during Coronavirus:
WEF Coronavirus: 5 ways to work from home with your kids (and stay sane):
Vox: Working from home with kids feels unsustainable. Here’s how to ease the burden
BBC: Coronavirus: How to work from home the right way
Whilst this will probably change us forever, remember this too shall pass. Until then we wish you well and hope you stay safe.