The recent COVID-19 crisis has seen many parents having to work from home, temporarily unemployed or having to entertain children who are usually at school. While there is a big focus on keeping the kids on track, Mykidstime parents have asked us to give them some sanity-saving tips for parents who are stuck at home:
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If you have been thrown into the world of working from home or are trying to keep kids active and engaged, it can seem overwhelming. My top tip would be to have a routine to the day for everyone in the house, take the weekends off and don’t worry if things slide a little.
Don’t obsess by watching every news bulletin. Follow the new rules, stay away from others and stay safe. This will pass.
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Stuck At Home Tips For Parents
Working From Home
For those used to going into an office daily, the need to now work from home can be a big adjustment. Especially if you have children who also need your attention. There are few things you can do that may help ease the transition.
- Have a dedicated work space for everyone. Set the kids up at the kitchen table or at desks in their rooms and find a spot to set up your workstation too.
- Don’t be tempted to work from the couch or bed, it won’t work! You need somewhere you can walk away from or you will be online more than you need to be.
- Take breaks. Step away from your desk and stretch, have a cuppa or a walk around the garden and check in on the kids.
- Work while the kids are busy/entertained. If school has not sent work for them to do, set some work for them yourself or encourage them to play a game or get outdoors in the garden when the weather is ok or learn a new skill.
- Don’t worry if you are on a call and they are making noise, everyone is in the same boat at the moment.
- If you and your partner have to work from home, take it in turns to check in on the kids while the other works.
- Use smart tech like zoom, skype, messenger, slack and other tools to stay in touch with work colleagues.
- Get up earlier or work later if you can choose your hours, this will make it easier to juggle childcare.
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Structure Your Day
- Get everyone up and dressed by a set time each day during the week. While it is tempting to lie in and let the kids stay in bed, this may go on for awhile, so it is best to have some normality in place.
- Set tasks for everyone in the house. If homeschooling is proving difficult, get the kids to choose topics to learn about and get them to write an essay on it each day. Or get them to learn some new skills, from cooking and sewing to laundry and cleaning!
- Don’t be too rigid – if the sun is shining and everyone can get out safely, get outdoors and enjoy a bit of fresh air.
- Stop for lunch. If you have older kids or teens, get them testing out their cookery skills and involve younger children in the process of getting lunch sorted.
- Build in time for exercise. There are many free online classes from yoga to circuits that you can all do together or alone. The kids can get out in the garden and you can pick a time that is not busy to get out for a walk.
- Clock off. It is so easy to fall into the trap of constantly checking emails, phone messages or doing one last thing online, but it is important to have a clock off time and stick to it.
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Set aside some me time. Be as inventive as you can, there are ways to stay in touch with family and friends without having to meet.
- Call your neighbour and see if they fancy a cuppa and chat over the wall.
- Catch up on all those books you haven’t had the chance to read yet. Or move the book club to a virtual book club meeting using Skype, Zoom, Facetime or other technology.
- Organise a virtual pub quiz/drinks party! Use one of the many communication tools available. My husband and his pals from around the world organised a Zoom Drinks Party and they were even able to upload an image of their favourite pub to have as the background while they caught up.
- Get back into a hobby that you normally don’t have time for like knitting, gardening, yoga, meditation, etc.
- Have a date night with your partner. You could cook a meal together or the person who usually cooks, gets the night off, set the table as if you are in a restaurant, watch a film and catch up with each other.
- Listen to a podcast or some of your favourite music.
- Give yourself a facial or a pamper bath with bubbles and candles.
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As this continues, I will add to the list as I am sure we will all start to get more inventive with the passing days. Do you have any more tips for stuck at home parents that you would like to add to the list? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!