Yesterday we got the dreaded email that schools are closed due to Corona Virus. Dreaded- because my husband and I still have to work, like most of you. So now we are doing double duty of managing the kiddos and our jobs.
We had a similar scenario happen to our family last year. Our younger 2 daughter’s school was damaged during a storm that lead to school being canceled for the remainder of the year. It was a big learning lesson for our family in learning to juggle childcare, but in the end I feel it has better prepared us for the situation of this week. Where schools across the country are closing and parents are working from home.
So, what are we doing based on what we learned last year?
1.Feel the feelings
It is ok to express that disappointment and feelings of being overwhelmed. But do not let these feelings take control of you. (And I am speaking from experience on this one, I talk all about it on Season 2: Episode 1 of the Mompreneur Tribe Podcast when I let my feelings control my mindset). Need help getting a control of the feelings, make a gratitude list. Making a gratitude list is simple, just take a inventory of your life and the things you are grateful for. Have enough toilet paper for the next 3 years- write it down. Family is healthy? Write it down. The new found time at home allows you to potty train a tolder? Write it down. Ok, maybe not the last one, but you get the point.
- Make an Action Plan
After receiving the email that our kids schools were closed we immediately put together a plan of action.
We opened our calendars and time blocked out who would be on kid duty at what time for everyday for the upcoming week. This creates clear expectations to both my husband and I, something that we both need.
When doing the calendar it took getting creative , such as next week I am going to work on Sunday afternoon to allow time to be off on a day later in the week when my husband is on shift for 24 hours and not able to help with the kids. We called family to ask for assistance with our girls for times where we both need to work at the same time.
(We use Gmail calendars to time block, it is easy to share our calendars with each other. Plus you can color code for activity type and person)
- Set Clear Expectations for your Kids
As much as we are thinking about how our schedules have gotten interrupted, our children’s schedule and routines have as well. They like to know what to expect and when to expect it. In our house when schedules are unknown it can easily lead to question overload and whining. Then the worse, they will ask for snacks all day long.
So how can you set clear expectations?
- Post a schedule for the day with snack and meal times outlined.
- Explain the new routine with your kids letting them know that you will all be home together, but that mommy/daddy will need to be working part of the time. Make it clear that you have time to play but also must get work done too.
- Let your children know what times that you will be working and they will need to play by themselves.
- Remember self-care
It is easy to forget about self-care when working through this season with new routines. Still get up early and pour into yourself before the kids get up. Remember to drink water and eat healthy. Finally move your body, as being stuck at home can easily feel sluggish.
But most of all, remember you can do this! It may be hard but you can do it and have a tribe of other moms cheering you on.
Come join the conversation and support group of other “Mompreneurs” at Mompreneur Tribe on facebook.