This is certainly, not business as usual.
Today, with schools closed and daycares canceled, many parents are still trying to find that sweet balance between work, family, and personal self-care.
Maybe you’ve found your stride. Maybe you’ve had total success in pivoting to this new full-time at-home caregiver role. But if you still haven’t quite found your balance, or you’re wondering how you will fill your child’s days that used to be occupied by school and daycare, what else can you do? What haven’t you tried yet?
Well, we’re here to help.
The following tips are packed full of guidance and inspiration for your everyday use in your role as both a working parent and a full-time caregiver.
Rework Your Schedule
We are now months into this pandemic and with classes beginning to wind down for summer, it might be time to do some reworking of your daily or weekly schedule. Reevaluate what’s been working well for you thus far and what needs some finetuning. Ask yourself, “what am I missing from my current schedule and how can I fit it in?”
From a pulmonary nurse who is a mother of three, to nonprofit program director who is a mother of 1, take inspiration from the stories of these eight working moms.
Looking to create an entirely new schedule? Photographer and mom of three, Jessica McHale made a handy COVID-19 daily schedule for her own family to provide a sense of structure and comfort in their daily lives. McHale’s colorful and simple schedule is now being shared all over the internet and has been picked up by teachers, doctors, and behavior groups. View her COVID-19 Daily Schedule on her website, and even download a copy.
Make Time for Self-Care
One aspect of your busy day that can easily slip through the cracks, is personal self-care time. As we all continue to push forward, it’s important to remember that no matter the circumstances, it’s still essential to take some time for yourself each and every day. Even if it’s just five short minutes.
Mediate, jog around the neighborhood, read a book, or savor something. Invest time in any self-care activity that will allow you to take care of your own spiritual, physical, psychological, and social needs on a daily basis. After all, when you feel your best, you’ll be the best parent you can be.
Take a look through Verywell Family’s simple, albeit effective, 15 Self-Care Strategies for Parents and apply as many of them as you’d like to your daily and weekly schedules.
Naturally, you probably want to limit your children’s screen time. However, in these extenuating circumstances, now is the time to cut yourself a little slack and easy up on the screen time.
Kids are naturally social creatures, and when summer hits in just a few weeks, they’re going to want to spend time with their friends. So, carve some time out of the daily schedule for FaceTime and Zoom sessions with family and friends.
And what else is so great about technology? Between educational resources and online games, you have access to so many technological tools that will help your kids stay amused (and hopefully out of your work meetings).
Here are some great online resources for you to add to your technology toolbelt:
- PBS Kids for Parents – Parenting resources and tips on raising children, planning birthday parties, and kids activities. You can also sign up for their weekday newsletter here.
- Amazing Educational Resources Facebook Group - An education community filled with endless suggestions, inspiration, apps, and links to help you educate and entertain your children.
- Scholastic Learn at Home - Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing
- ABC Mouse - More than 9,000 online activities for children ages 2 to 8
- Fun Brain - Games, videos, and books for students, Pre-K to 8th grade
- Kids Discover - A cross-curricular experience packing science, social studies, and ELA into one easy-to-use, online reading platform, for students 3rd to 8th grade
- Have a real astronaut read a book from outer space! You (and your kids) can watch and listen to astronaut Anne McClain read Astronaut Annie or Astronaut Michael Hopkins read Max Goes to Mars.
Talk About the Upside of Quarantine
- The Upside of Quarantine: 4 Fascinating Lessons to Teach Your Kids – Jessica Larson
- 11 real-life skills you can teach your kids at home during a quarantine, according to experts – Business Insider
- 5 Lessons Learned From Quarantine We Can Teach Our Children – Playground Professionals
Lastly, as the academic year comes to an end and summer camps are no longer an option, a common and rather growing concern for parents is wondering how they can continue to support their children’s development while keeping them safe, happy, and entertained during the coming summer months.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post where we look at some of the best stay-at-home and socially-distant activities to do with your kids this summer.
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