WFH Moms Know There's No Such Thing As Balance (But We Can Try)
Mothers are heroes without capes—at least they are not wearing them during company Zoom calls while juggling kids' at-home learning, mealtimes, snack requests, and tantrums built up by cabin fever. Parents everywhere are learning to adjust to their new schedules with homeschoolers and the nuances of every summer break or school holiday are extended to their fullest.
While you are wearing more hats than Dr. Seuss, we wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day by sharing some tips and tricks for balancing it all.
1. Set a schedule that works for YOU and your family You deserve “me” time before you step out of your bedroom and conquer whatever your email inbox and children throw at you. Spend 10-15 minutes to clear your mind with AudiOM, 5 Guided meditations we have created for you with CAYA Studios. If your young one has already crawled into bed with you, include them and practice the kid-friendly version! While you sip your morning coffee or tea and sort through emails, listen to Pandora’s 50’s 60’s 70’s Station, music your parents used to play at home while you were growing up!
Kids already asking you what’s for breakfast? Here is a list of easy recipes that might help you clear their request. In short, find what works for you, and set a routine that works for YOU!
2. Set up your at-home office space and designated station for schoolwork If you have an office to retreat to, utilize, and make the most out of it to separate work from life as much as you can. If not, find a defined area (ideally a room) where you can be in office mode, and where others in the house know not to disturb you unless it is absolutely necessary.
As for your children, create easy-to-understand cues to mark off a work area from the play area to minimize interruptions. Create a designated place for schoolwork and a separate one for fun and entertainment. Avoid implanting distractions like toys and electronics from their designated learning spaces to enhance productivity for you and your children. Get creative about visual cues to let your kids know you are working.
3. Develop consistency As schools are using online platforms like Zoom, develop a study and learning schedule for your children, and a set time when you would step in to revise their homework. Help your kid develop independence by marking their own tasks and list the questions they have for you and for the teachers. This will help you stay on a schedule. If possible, tackle subjects your kids have the most difficulties, when kids are more alert. Try to keep your subjects in the same order each day (if possible) because kids will know what is coming. It makes things easier for you both.
4. Schedule break time It’s hard to get up from the laptop when your to-do list just keeps growing, but give yourself and your children a break! Kids have recess, lunch, and breaks at school in between classes; allow this time for you and your children to take a break, separately or together. Have a snack, go outside for a walk (with a mask while maintaining social distancing, of course), and absorb some Vitamin D.
5. Have compassion for yourself, your partner, and your child(ren) We are going through this together. Even though every individual has their own personality traits, this adjustment period can be difficult for everyone. Your children probably miss their friends, their teachers, and the normalcy of school. While your partner is also navigating a new lifestyle. If they exhibit behaviors of frustration, show them love and compassion by listening to them.
Also, be kind to yourself and recognize that you can’t do it all. So what if the kitchen isn’t sparkling clean? Maybe let the toys hang out on the floor for a night. Change your concept from ‘everything has to be done and perfect’ to ‘this is good enough.’
6. Prioritize self-care Make sure you make time for yourself. Exercise, draw a bath, take a hot shower, read a book, or catch up with the shows you love. Do your best to create time and space to do what makes you happy! Don’t forget to stay connected to your friends and individuals you care about and love! Share happiness, tips, and tricks with each other, or even do fun virtual workouts together with upbeat music curated by Soul Cycle.
7. Sleep well Get a good night’s sleep. Doze off in bed and turn on Pandora’ Sleep Station via voice command. Get the rest you need to kick off a new day tomorrow.
8. Reach out to others Remember to be a friend and cheerleader. It is important to support and love one another through this time. Everyone reacts to hardship differently, so make sure to check in with friends, family, coworkers, and yourself.
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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND KIDS (For reference only) Curriculums:
- Reading Eggs: for a homeschool reading curriculum with online reading lessons
- Mystery Science: for a starter list of kindergarten through 5th-grade science lessons
- Prodigy: a free platform for math lessons built into an interactive battle-style game catered to 1st to 8th graders
- BrainPop: for curious learners to stay informed and on-track with free access during school closures.
- Khan Academy Kids: fun educational program for children ages two to seven.
- Online G3: popular online courses for gifted learners
- Scholastic Learn at Home: a twenty-day plan with daily projects during school closures
- Savethechildren.org: tools and tips specific to COVID-19, plus weekly learning activities organized by age
Virtual field trips:
- The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning, and Online Collections
- WebExhibits: for an online interactive museum covering science, the humanities, and culture
- The Art Insitute of Chicago, Boston’s Children Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian for virtual tours and online kid-friendly activities, or go International! Visit The British Museum or Van Gogh Museum
- The Georgia and Monterey Bay Aquariums, the San Diego Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, and the Houston Zoo offer live animal cams for a closer look at the animals
- Arcademics: free, multiplayer educational games for kindergarten through 8th grade students
- National Geographic Kids: online games, science experiments, and quizzes
- All Kids Network: free worksheets and printable crafts, activities, and mazes
Pandora Playlists for you and your family https://www.pandora.com/genre/kids