Life sure has changed a lot over the past few weeks. It all seemed to happen so quickly that it can be hard for moms to get their footing. I'm still working through and adjusting everyday as I try to teach my kids at home while trying to do a full-time job. It is challenging to say the least. Here are some strategies to learn How to Survive Having Your Kids Home All the Time.
Before I start this, let me just get it out there that we all love our kids. We love having them around. We love being moms. That being said, I think that anyone who is together with another human being 24 hours a day or weeks and possibly months on end can start feeling a little crazy. Doubly so when those human beings are children who argue with each other, throw tantrums, and just generally need a lot of attention.
PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
Even if you're not a parent, it's sometimes very difficult to put things into perspective. Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns, many of which are quite frightening as we have come to find out. When you're a parent, these unexpected roadblocks typically seem all the more daunting. After all, it's your job to protect your children and assist them in making the best decisions, now and in the future.
Many of you reading this still have your health, and that is still something to be grateful for. Yes, a lot of things you loved and enjoyed I've been taken away, but if the option is being sick or worse, I will take this new reality any day of the week.
FEEL YOUR FEELINGS
One of the things that has been helping me through this time is just feeling my feelings. Taking the time to feel disappointed, feel sad, feel anxious, to feel cheated out of things. These are normal feelings and pushing them down and pretending they don't exist will only make things worse. So sit for a little while in those feelings.are normal. What you're feeling is okay.
One of the most crucial things to help you survive having the kids around all the time is to remain calm... or at least as calm as possible. Take three or four deep breaths. Briefly, close your eyes and try to envision yourself relaxing on the beach or one of your favorite destinations. I have included a brief 5-10 minute "meditation time with mom" into my kid's schedule as much for them as for me.
Tempers are high as people get used to being together a lot more than they were. Little things are going to annoy people cause them to take out their frustrations on each other. I'm trying to minimize this as much as I can by staying calm keeping the tone of my voice calm even if those around me are not. Doing your best to stay calm allows you to take control of the situation and come to a resolution as soon as possible.
CONSIDER THE FEELINGS OF OTHERS
Having your kids home all the time while you are trying to either work or run a household or just maintain your Mama routine is hard, but if you take a step back and think about how difficult this must be for kids, it can really help. Children had their world turned upside down. Many kids, like mine, love school and looked forward to it every day. They loved their teachers, their projects, and friends. All the routines, along with anything they were looking forward to for the remainder of the school year has been taken away. The rug literally has been swept out from under them. So even though things are very tough for you Mom, try to consider the feelings of your children during this time too. This can be hard for me when I'm stuck in the spiral of feeling sorry for myself and feeling like things are so hard for me, but it's something I need to do more up.
SHOW SOME GRACE
During this time we're going to have to be more patient with each other. We're going to have to be more patient with our kids and our husbands and they're going to have to be more patient with us. If someone isn't in the best of moods or if somebody is feeling cranky try to show them a little grace, be quick to forgive, and move on.
HAVE A SCHEDULE FOR KIDS HOME FROM SCHOOL
This is essential for me. First of all, a schedule helps your kids maintain a routine and feel a little sense of control over knowing what's going to happen. These past few weeks, so much control has been taken away from us, that having something you feel in control of is a win.
Also, with a schedule, kids will be less likely to argue and fight with each other since they are occupied with various activities. How the schedule looks will depend on what will work best for your family and what academic needs are being provided for by the school district. If you have a school district that is giving you lots of support, then most of the day as planned out for your kids already. If you have been left to figure things out on your own, then you just need to be a little more creative. I really love the sample schedules for different grades shared by Khan Academy. I have modified them to meet our particular needs and they work really well. Having your kids on a schedule will also allow you to know when you will have a block of time where you can either work from home or take care of household and parenting related items. It's a win for everyone.
THINGS WILL BE DIFFERENT SO ADJUST TO THE NEW NORMAL
We are all going to have to make adjustments as we figure out ways to survive having the kids home all the time. If you are working from home, it may be that you're not going to be as productive as we were at the office or as you were without the kids around. You may have to find new creative ways to do things that you normally did. For example, I like to meditate daily, so I have added that to my children's schedule, and now we all do it together. I also would walk everyday for fitness and have turned that walk into a family walk that I go on with my kids.
TAKE A BREAK
All this togetherness is enough to drive anyone crazy. One way to combat that is to make sure that everyone in the family gets a break and has the chance and time to be alone. What that looks like can be different for every family member. I like to wake up a little earlier than everyone else and have my alone time as I eat breakfast. If you have a husband who is also at home right now, find time to give each other a break. Even just half an hour in a different room can be a lifesaver. My kids (even the middle schoolers) have rest every day from 1:30-3 where they stay in their rooms and read, write, draw... When things are especially crazy in our house, I will just sit in my car in the garage and either read or listen to music or a podcast. Centering yourself and recharging is vital during this time so please don't skip this.
YOU'RE THE ADULT
In the end, the thing to remember is that you are the adult. Your children will take their cues on how to respond to this crisis from you. If you are panicked, stressed, angry, or depressed, you can bet they will be too. If they see you're making the best of the situation and using this as a chance to grow and improve, odds are they will try to do the same thing.
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