There is no freaking doubt this is a hard time for many people. This includes our sweet (ok, mostly sweet) kiddos. We’re all in a season of change. A lot of change. Those who have never worked from home, are working from home. Some with kids. Some are teaching kids and working full time. I don’t know about you, but I never wanted to be stay-at-home-momma (God bless those who are, I know it’s the hardest job on the planet), but I also never wanted to be a teacher. Yet here we are. And let me tell you, it’s easy to start feeling like you are failing. Anyone else feeling like she is failing…and big time? (You can’t see me, but my hand is raised, like really high.)
This is hard. I’m just gonna say it. Hard. But, with the hard times there are always lots of little blessings, little moments that make me know each and every day we’re going to come out so much stronger on the other side.
So, now that we have been doing this working from home + homeschooling role for a billion weeks, (ok, only 6), I have a few tips to share, 10 to be exact. Disclaimer: My kiddos are older and therefore if you have little kids some of these are not feasible, so give yourself grace momma, you’re doing freaking awesome! Also, these are in no particular order. Annnnd lastly, these do not go down each day perfectly. I try for three and feel on top of the world. Pick the ones that will work best for you.
1.. Power Hour for you.
I get fired up when I can check things off my list! Yes!!! It may be my favorite part of my day. I start my day with 1-2-3. I write three things down to complete before 12. These are usually client tasks that I know I can get done with the time I have, then I have time in the afternoon to help my kiddos with homework. (see lunchtime below with them too)
2. Have the kids write their questions down.
Like noted above, I like to get my 1-2-3 done, which means my kiddos are on their own for a bit. For my little one, (she just turned 10) the first few weeks she would come to my office with each question she had. It was a constant interruption and I was getting nothing done. I asked her to start writing her questions down, skipping that problem, and we would visit it together and for her to keep going on with her work. It worked! She does a great job with this tip and I am able to stay focused.
3. Have your own office hours.
Again, after a few weeks of homeschooling, I realized, like my kids teachers, I needed to have office hours. Each morning after I get the kids set up for the day, I tell them I have work to do too and what time I will be available to help them again. I try to make it consistent. It’s not always with client Zoom calls tucked into that timeframe as well, but it does help to communicate when I will be available next for questions and help on homework.
4. Kids have their own “office”.
My kids already had their own desks, but they didn’t use them very often. They enjoyed lying on their bed or lots of times they’d get it done at school so they didn’t have a ton of homework. Now that they have to do all of their work at home, we looked into what we could do to make it an organized space teed up for learning. We have a space for all their pencils, books and computers. (Each of my kids have their own laptop now. We caved for the 10 year old. Now that all learning is online and mom needs hers for work, my little got her very own.)
5 Schedule lunch as a group.
You all have to eat. So make one of your check-ins with them to review work completed or check any work while you have to take a break anywhere.
6 Stay on the same schedule.
My kids went to school each morning at 7:30, 7:45 start time. Now I get them up at 8:30, we take vitamins, eat breakfast, brush teeth/hair and get our work space organized. Then I go to work and so do they.
7. kids help with the chores.
Each day the kids are also tasked with at least one chore. It’s usually simple like emptying the dishwasher, doing their laundry (yes, our 2 older kids do their own laundry), tidy up the bathroom, clean your room, etc. But it is built into their day as a small break from school work as a way to help with the home, now that we’re here all. the. time.
8 Wake up earlier.
I’ll be honest, I am still working on this one, but I am up usually at least one hour (working on making it 2 hours) before the kids. I usually do a few small things around the house, make a cup of coffee and have quiet time. This usually means read a book, pray and do my daily intentions. It’s really my time to use as I need to set my day up for success. I LOVE this time.
9 Get outside each day.
I know this isn’t always easy with our MidWest weather, however lately it has been gorgeous and I have been taking full advantage of getting outside. I have been running as I am training for a half marathon, walking my dog and really any reason to leave the house I take it. I recommend getting up and moving for 30 minutes each day, get outside, breathe in the fresh air and bring the kiddos with you. Kick a ball around, walk, or even just sit and take in the warm sun. Whatever you do, get outside. It will change your day.
10 Give yourself some grace.
No one has ever done this before. There is no wrong or right way to serve your family, clients, and yourself right now. Give yourself grace and hug your babies. Tell them again you love them. You’re doing just fine.
I hope and pray for all our momma selves out there. Self-care is important, make sure you are taking even a little time for yourself each day to stay centered. It makes us all better for our families and better to ourselves. Love you ladies ❤️