The order to stay at home sounded like a great opportunity to get some work finished until the first day you tried to do it when the kids were home too. As it turns out, the teachers and staff at the school take a huge childcare burden off of your hands. Now, you are expected to work at home, teach your kids, parent your kids, and remain sane all at the same time. At times, it will seem impossible, but there are some strategies you can employ to make it completely doable.
Set Your Alarm.
Just because you don't HAVE to get up early doesn't mean you shouldn't. Sleeping in should be reserved for the weekends like usual. This is because the things you accomplish first thing in the morning set the course for the rest of the day. Waking up at the normal time keeps the kids on pace for productivity. More importantly, they'll be tired when it's time for bed.
Get Ready Like Normal.
The sweatpants memes hitting the internet due to moms being able to stay at home are expected. It's lovely to dress in comfort. Don't let that translate to lack of showering and getting ready for the day. If you get dressed (fresh sweats are fine) and get ready like you normally would, you're less likely to loaf around the house.
Use Your Space.
Designate space for certain activities. Feed the kids lunch at the table, work in your office, and let them play in their room. Keeping areas separate will limit stress, limit housework, and keep everyone on task. If you don't have an office, set up a workstation, so you can keep yourself organized.
Set a Schedule.
Staying organized when working at home with kids at home requires a schedule. You don't want to be in the middle of your project only to be interrupted by hungry kids wanting snacks. Schedule snack times, lunch times, and activity times. This will keep you and your kids sane because expectations will be met.
Let them Play.
You don't have to fit everything into one day. The truth is, many parents spend too much time trying to keep their kids occupied. Sometimes, they need to do it on their own. Send them to their room, the family room, or outside. Let them use their own creativity to entertain themselves. Try to limit screen time, but let them be kids for a little while, so you can finish some work.
When you are teaching, you're only teaching. When you are working, you're only working. Trying to multitask limits your ability to do both. Instead, separate your teaching from your working, and you'll get more accomplished.
Take a Break.
Don't overwork yourself. You're only one person, and the demands from working and educating your children typically involve a team of parents and educators. Use your resources. Online school tools are wonderfully helpful. And take a break. You're mandated a break at work by law. Make this the law in your home too. Everyone needs a breather, and this will help keep you centered and focused.
If you are able to stick to a schedule and follow the above tips, you should be able to enjoy having your kids at home. Until now, you have not been able to see their minds working at school, and you get to experience a part of their lives normally witnessed only by their teachers. It's pretty special, but it can only be enjoyable if you work hard to make sure everyone, including you, accomplishes their goals for the day.
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