Since the lovely Covid-19 has turned our lives upside down a lot of us have found ourselves being told that we have to work full-time from home, while simanteanously ensuring all of our children’s needs are being met. I think it’s very important that we as women, and mothers, remember this “new normal” role is virtually (no pun intended) impossible and none of us will nail it every day. Some of us (ME) will fail it 3 out of 5 days of the workweek.
We may not be able to nail it every day, , however, there are some small things we can do can do to make our lives easier. I’ve been working from home 3 days a week as a paralegal, while home with a toddler and teen. The other two days I’m lucky enough to escape to the office. Through lots of trial and error I’ve found a couple of tips and tricks I want to share with you.
My first tip is a combo of bribery and routine. When this all started I thought I was going to lose my mind. It took us a good two weeks before we found our way. I’ve found that if you establish a routine, and talk about it the night before with small children it can make things go more smoothly. For example, every Friday during my lunchbreak I take both of my girls for ice cream. This is a routine we’ve had for months, and it’s also something I can use (where bribery comes in) to remind them to be on their best behavior so I can finish typing something or wrap up a call. I also remind my toddler the night before that mamma has to work in the morning so we can get ice cream.
Food. UGH! Now that we’re all home all the time I feel like in addition to my full-time job I’m also a full-time chef, albeit not a great one. We’ve run into so many obstacles with food: everyone is sick of the same things for dinner but has no new suggestions; favorite items are no longer in stock or difficult to find; or local takeout isn’t as exciting as it once was. I decided to give Hello Fresh a try. When you sign-up you get a decent discount, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I have to admit it has been a real game changer for us. The serving sizes can be small, but with each order they give you a recipe card so I’ve been able to replicate the meals on my own. My family has really loved it and it took a lot of stress off of me. Currently, we get a family meal once or twice a week, and one meal for my husband and I only.
Fresh air and ending the work day as soon as you’re able. This took me longer than two weeks to fully appreciate. It can be so tempting to keep on working past your punch-out time – don’t. When my work day is scheduled to end I end it. I shut down my laptop and walk away from work. a If it’s nice out I make a point to take my toddler outside, and make my teen go play basketball. I invested in a water table and blow-up pool and I will say both have been lifesavers. They allow my toddler to play on her own, and I’m able to decompress in the sunshine. Some days we go for walks too, but honestly, alot of days I’m exhausted and prefer sitting and not moving in the backyard.
No matter what your schedule looks like you need to take some time to recharge. I get this is easier said than done, but it is extremely important. Figure out how you can carve a few moments away each day and recharge, mama.