There are many of you out there that are sharing my struggle. Working from home with a child, sharing a dining room table with my husband and a heap of play dough.
9 weeks in and I am EXHAUSTED. The good news...in the UK some schools and year groups will be returning to school from next week. The bad news...many schools and year groups are not and many that are, will only be going in 2 days a week. Sigh. I understand that the health of our children comes first, I really do, but should we also be thinking of their mental health?
First things first, what about our mental health... I don't mean to sound egocentric, but it is true what the airlines say about putting your oxygen mask on first before putting one on our children. If we do not look after ourselves, then we are not able to look after our offspring. As a mum working from home and a Wellbeing Coach, I am here to offer not only my sympathy but some tips.
Where to start? Yawn. I'm so tired. Get enough sleep! If you are having less than 8 hours a night sleep, then you are not getting enough. Don't tell me that you only need 5 hours, bla bla bla, it's just not true. You mean that you are surviving on 5 hours sleep. Also make sure that you eat regularly. Eat at the same time as the kids if it makes easier to remember. Now that you have addressed the essentials on to the tips for kids and the family as a whole.
You are not alone. There are thousands of us also in the same situation.
Do not feel guilty for not giving your children your undying attention all day long every day. We have created a society that now revolves around our children. Why is that?
Only 50 years ago, parents were unable to spend all day teaching their children phonics or algebra (depending on the age of your child). They didn't have time to play endless games of Monopoly or hide and seek. Why? Because if they weren't working all day, they were running the house without any of the mod cons that we have today. Guess what? Our parents turned out just fine. I am not suggesting that we ignore our children but there is a happy medium.
Try and split the day with any co-parents if you have one.
Allocate time for your child/children each day where they do get your full attention, even if for only one hour a day.
It is OK for your child to have access to more screen time than usual. It is not forever and we need to all get through this time. You can make the apps they use education if that makes you feel less guilty.
TV and films area also in the same vain as above. If your children are entertained and you are able to get some work done, then win, win.
Do not stress about home-schooling. The work that their teachers have been sending home have merely been to keep their hand in. If your are not able to go through the times tables or periodic table, your child will not be disadvantaged. Why not? Because, all of their peers are in exactly the same position.
It is also worth noting that it will not be compulsory to send your children back to school before September. Whatever decision you make, it is the right one for you. You are the experts in your own children and you do not need to explain your decision to anyone.
For anymore information and/or tips on Parental Wellbeing, I run a uniquely designed webinar on the subject.