Work Life Plus Kids: The New Normal
Now that home is the office, school, and center for all social activity, many are adjusting to the new normal of working at home with children. We are maintaining a steady schedule of emails, conference calls, and virtual meetings with toddlers, pets, and math lessons all going on in the background.
Changes creates stress, on top of feeling isolated and overwhelmed, and change is happening daily, even hourly. The good news is that you are not alone! Here are some ways we can approach our work with creativity and flexibility:
- Create some buffer in schedules and expectations with yourself and everyone in your home. This experience is unprecedented; give yourself permission to adjust.
- Aim for regular bedtimes and other routines, but don’t worry over keeping rigid schedules.
- Create learning communities with other parents and students: learn together virtually on a specific subject or reading time. Connect with other parents regularly to share experiences, laugh, vent, or cry!
- If you feel like your child is “in the way,” take the time to teach them a task that you can do together.
- Create a work/school playlist together with your children that’s not too distracting. Music can help us concentrate. Have a playlist for “work” and a more fun, energetic playlist for cleaning up, fixing meals, or exercising.
- If you anticipate needing private space for calls, create a space or routine that communicates you need privacy, and talk about it with your children ahead of time, so they won’t feel “banished.”
- It’s a beautiful time of year: take walks and go outside regularly. Research shows connection to nature and sunlight is a de-stressor, and even just stepping out for a few minutes to do some deep breathing is good for the body and soul.
- For those of us spending lots of time on ZOOM, let’s be real: we love seeing each others’ messy homes, babies, partners, and cats. We all know we are working in our pjs. This is a special time of getting to know each other in different ways, so let’s have fun with it!
- Celebrate the victories no matter how “small.”
- Be intentional about connecting to your support person or group when you need help.
Remember: we are all in this together, and NCCASA is here for you!
By Courtney Dunkerton, NCCASA Anti-Human Trafficking Specialist