By Elizabeth Lampkin, Contributing Writer, Chicago Defender
Working from home and homeschooling is part of the new normal. Parents have a chance to see how their kids work and children have the opportunity to see what their parents do on a daily basis. For some, this is an excellent way for children and adults to bond on a different level. For others, many are struggling to find balance with adjusting to having their children home while fulfilling work requirements.
Some parents establish daily routines for themselves and their kids that include allowing children to sleep in and ensuring they are doing schoolwork while parents complete early morning work tasks. Others allow their children more screen time (educational and non-educational) to prevent boredom and select different subjects for their child to work on every day. A few parents provided some great tips on how to balance work, home, and school while staying sane.
One mom, a lawyer with a three-year-old son, stated that she gets up at 3:00 am to get work done before her son wakes up. She said her biggest adjustment was getting used to having him home instead of at daycare. The best thing about working from home for her has been saving money on lunch, no morning commute and spending more time with family. Her advice for parents during this time, “Be kind to yourself. You’re doing the best you can.”
In an interview with a father of two who is a Web and Media Designer, he recommended that parents embrace this time together. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)
An elementary school Librarian with daughters, aged six and eleven, said that she doesn’t have a lot of work to do from home, so she can get things done before her girls wake up. The hardest part of this is being unable to take her kids places after they have worked so hard, but the best part is spending more time with them. Her advice, “Switch up your kids weekend days. For example, Monday’s and Tuesday’s are no school workdays. Saturday and Sunday, they can work on schoolwork while you’re off.”
In an interview with a father of two who is a Web and Media Designer, he recommended that parents embrace this time together. He suggests that they build a culture where their kids are welcomed on your calls, but let them know that you need time to work. He also urges spouses to support each other, so all responsibilities are not in one person’s hands. Many parents of teenagers suggested that you continue to encourage your child in any way you can to work through to the end because although they are not in the building, work still must be done.
Helpful Tips from Parents
Here are a few practical tips parents found helpful for balancing their home workload and maintain a sense of sanity.
- Schedule time daily for prayer and meditation to center yourself. The best time for this would be in the morning before the kids get out of bed.
- Take lunch breaks together with your kids away from all screens. Use this time to talk about how your day is going and make fun plans for later on.
- Enjoy getting to know your kiddos more. Take time to learn who your kids are during this stage in their life. Begin or complete a journal with them and see what their thoughts are about this time. You would be surprised to see what their thoughts are.
- Be flexible and creative with your routines. It is okay to deviate from your schedule as long as you have achieved something positive for the day that supports everyone’s overall health.
- Establish your self-care routine. No matter what you decide to do, be sure it is centered around your needs within your home.
As everyone continues to adjust to this new normal, let us be sure to see the good in what is going on. Create a space of peace and productivity at home by taking small steps and understanding what works best for you and your family. Grasp a better understanding of the way your kids learn, the way you work, and how combining the two can benefit everyone.
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