As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, many parents are left working from home, taking care of their children, and trying to continue on with their lives in the midst of a global pandemic. Parenting before the quarantine was already a challenge, but now many are trying to keep up with the demands of work, life, and home all while trying to stay safe. Trying to juggle all three definitely gives parents a steep learning curve, but there are some tips for parents to utilize in the process. To make it a little easier on parents in Coon Rapids, Blaine, Isanti, and East Bethel, Compass Child Care has kept its doors open! For more information, or to enroll your child with us, contact us today.
Create a Comprehensive Schedule
Whether your kids are at home, or they are at our childcare center in Coon Rapids, creating a schedule will give you some much-needed structure to your day. Incorporate the things that you want or need to get done, and then include things like 20-minute rest periods where you can scroll through your phone, read a couple chapters of a book, or lie down. Don’t forget to pencil in lunch and maybe some creative time as well.
The schedule might replicate that of a normal school day, but it will give you some structure and maybe even help you realign some of your work goals during this time before you pick your kids up. Further, creating the schedule also lets your kids or your significant other know that you still have work and other life responsibilities. That being said, there can definitely be some leniency in your schedule, given the circumstances.
If you live in a two-parent household, then it is important to communicate with your partner to discuss workload and establish a loose schedule of when you can take turns caring for your children. Whether it’s putting them down for a nap, picking them up from daycare, making them lunch, or playing with your kids, it’s important to divvy up tasks so the responsibilities can fall evenly.
Communicate With Your Kids, Your Colleagues, Your Partner, and Your Friends
If you are working from home, then you’ll want to keep an open line of communication between you, your employee, and your coworkers. Depending on your child’s’ needs, you may need to restructure your work hours to reflect your current availability. Be open and honest — your boss is more than likely to understand and be open to working something out with you! Share this information with your coworkers too, and make any adjustments to meetings as needed.
In addition to this, have this conversation with your friends and family so they also know when you are available to talk and when you should not be distubed. The same goes for your significant other. On the same note, however, now more than ever is a necessary time to reach out and make sure your family is doing OK. Since loved ones are unable to see each other, communication — whether it is over Zoom, text, Facetime, or phone calls — can be vital for helping maintain a sense of emotional well-being. This is a trying time, and a little connection can go a long way.
Focus on the Positives
During this time of extreme uncertainty, it’s important to count the small wins, no matter how meaningless they may seem. Firstly, it allows you to see the silver lining in every day, even though life is far from normal. The positives, no matter how small they are, allow us to appreciate the small things, which do add up. Learn to appreciate the small things you do have control over: when you wake up, the food you put into your body, the walk you take around the block to enjoy the fresh air, or the movies you watch at the end of the day to relax.
Also, don’t blame yourself if your kids’ screen time is at an all-time high. These are extraordinary times, and not all are trained in how to respond to a global emergency. Nothing has to be perfect from day to day, and stressing yourself out, at a time like this, can have negative effects on your mental health. Embrace the small things and the things, and try to ebb and flow with life a little bit more.
Have a Designated Work Space
Working from home can make it hard to separate work time and relaxation time, and you may not have an office in which you can completely focus on work. In this case, create a spot at the kitchen table or somewhere in the living room where distractions are limited. Some sense of separation can help with productivity and can help ensure that your home still feels like a place you can relax in. Avoid working in your bedroom, as your bedroom should be a stress-free environment reserved for relaxation.
Spend Time With Your Kids
Your kids are experiencing this time with you — probably not to the same extent, but it’s weird for them too. If you can, spend extra time with them, whether it’s a part of your downtime, or a part of your after-work routine. Have some arts and crafts handy so you all can let your creativity flow and just relax into what you’re making. You could even just watch a movie with them or play outside (in a safe distance from others, of course).
Don’t Forget About Your Health
Trying to juggle various obligations and responsibilities can be extremely overwhelming and can burn you out quicker than you think. Prioritize your mental health, and make sure you are still able to have your downtime, whether it be in the form of taking a nap, drawing, painting, walking, or simply doing whatever you want. If you can, take some days off of work and spend time with your children or do nothing at all. Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself — for anything. Whether it’s not being able to workout as much or not having the same productivity as you did before when you were able to work at an office. You are not simply working from home, you are at work trying to work during a pandemic. Give yourself a pat on the back.
We know how difficult this time is for parents, which is why our doors have remained open. Your child safety is of utmost importance to us, which is why we are practicing safety precautions. If you need some extra help in your day, call us today, we would be more than happy to help take care of your child while you work! Contact us now for more information.