As if being a working mom wasn’t a big enough task, now you have to be a working mom and a mom-mom 24/7.
With the kids constantly at home during this pandemic, the lines between working adults and mom have seemed to blur. Our kids see us at home and automatically think it’s playtime. As much as we love hanging out with our kiddos, we still have responsibilities to our jobs that can’t be put on the back burner. So, what do you do when your daily schedule is somehow completely filled with work and family, and no time for yourself? Here is the Mom Squad guide to unscheduling your schedule during the pandemic.
DEVELOP A ROUTINE
Developing a routine for everyone in your household is the best measure to ensure you stay on track for the day. Maybe you all start the day by having breakfast together, and then once it’s time for work/school to start, you each go to your respective zones of the house to focus. Then, schedule in some time for breaks, meals, and parent-kid time. By developing a routine and sticking to it, you give your kids some much-needed structure, and yourself peace of mind.
Whether they are physical or emotional ones, boundaries need to be set. Remind your kids that, although mama is home, she is working and needs some time and space to focus. You can also work with your kids to establish for the both of you. One physical boundary you set could be respecting closed doors. If a door is closed, that means you are in class or a meeting and shouldn’t be bothered except for emergencies. If the door is ajar, it means you are trying to focus, but are open to interruptions. Then, if the door is wide open, it means that visits are welcome.
MAKE NAPTIME COUNT
If you have younger kids that take naps during the day, don’t let this time go to waste. Use it to focus on your most important projects uninterrupted. Or, if you’re feeling extra worn out, use this time to do a little meditation or some breathing exercises to recoup.
No matter what boundaries and rules are set, with kids, you can ALWAYS count on interruptions. This could be because your child got a paper cut and needs a bandaid, they lost their favorite pencil and need your help finding it immediately, or they just miss you and decide to burst into your office while you’re in the middle of a meeting.
I get it, we’ve all been there. But there are some ways to prepare for these moments. For instance, you should be transparent with your boss or co-workers. Let them know your situation and that there’s always a possibility of interruptions, although you try your hardest to mitigate those. They will be understanding as long as you’re open and honest.
TAG TEAM WITH YOUR PARTNER
If you happen to have a partner who is also working from home, then you’re in luck because you have someone to help you out with your schedule. Work with your partner to take shifts during the day to entertain or be available to the kids. If you have an important meeting coming up at the end of the week, warn your partner ahead of time so they can be sure to clear their calendar for you and distract the kids during that time. The same goes both ways. You’re in this together.
ENJOY THIS TIME
As busy as your schedule may be right now, you have to take a moment to step back and realize that this is time with your kids you never would have had otherwise. Unless you’re homeschooling or a stay-at-home mom, there’s no other time in your life where you can spend weekday mornings and afternoons with your kids. Use this time to get to know your kids and form bonds stronger than ever. It’s an unfortunate circumstance we are all in, but getting to spend an extraordinary amount of time with our children is a beautiful silver lining.