Six months in, there’s one thing every parent in America agrees on: working from home while homeschooling is nearly impossible. No matter how hard we try, no matter how many resources we have, the chaos is real, the exhaustion undeniable, and the stress and guilt hard to cope with. Of course, every situation is different, depending on how old your kids are, how many you have, and where you live, but we’ve gathered a few ideas and thoughts from other parents in the same boat to help you through it.
We want to hear from you! Do you have any pro tips, ideas, tidbits of advice that are working for you and your family and that you’d like to share with the community? Please let us know at email@example.com. Thank you!
Routine is your friend
You’ve heard it from pediatricians since the day they were born: routine is good for our little ones. Of course, routine is not a word that is necessarily compatible with the freelancer’s lifestyle but in this day and age, what choice do we have but to adapt?! So it’s time to establish routine both in space and time. For kids who are attending school via Zoom, try to set up their own desk space (just like mom and dad, they’re going to like that!). Then instead of constantly fighting for alone time, try to establish windows of time dedicated to their play and others dedicated to your work. If they have your full attention for an hour, they might be more willing to play on their own the next one.
Many parents are also waking up early to enjoy this long period of undisrupted time. Hey, we always hear “The early bird gets the worm,” let’s put that theory to test right now!
You’ll need bribes. Pick ones you’re not guilty about.
If routine is your friend, TV screens and snacks are your absolute BFFs. You just don’t have a choice. So make sure you feel comfortable with them. Pick food that they like, but that won’t also give you an F in parenting every time you hand it over. Same for TV. Put on high-quality movies, movies that have shaped you as a child, stories you can talk to your kids about later. You have no clue what’s happening in episode 189 of “Paw Patrol,” but you know what Timon and Pumba like to eat for breakfast. If you’re in a multilingual home, find shows and films in your kids’ secondary language (Disney Plus and Netflix often offer multilingual options). Then, you can tell yourself you’re turning the TV on for their education, and the advantage here is that it’s actually true.
The schooling pods
Parents across the country have already started to organize for this unprecedented situation by creating schooling pods where one household takes a group of kids on a specific day, then another household the next day, etc… This system has the advantage of giving you full days of quiet work time as opposed to only a few hours each day, and giving your kids social time with other kids while still staying safe. If you can’t do it with neighbors, you can try to organize something similar with your partner. Some parents have also started to rent out small office spaces or Airbnbs nearby where they can escape to when they need to focus.
Coffee and wine.
Nothing else to say here. 😉
Again, none of these solutions are perfect or fit everybody’s needs. But we hope they can be a start… A new phase of 2020 is starting, and we’re all beyond exhausted, but we’re also all still in this together. You are not alone.
We want to hear from you. Do you have any tips or ideas that work for you that you’d like to share with the community? Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.