I don’t know about you, but I’m waiting to wake up and realise all this pandemic stuff is a dream, and I’m not even talking an average, can’t quite remember all the details dream– I mean a full-on dripping with sweat, waking up screaming, nightmare!
These are incredibly sad and challenging times. And even the not so critical issues such as our home dynamics changing and
learning to cope with being a stay at home parent can be very demanding and taxing.
With this in mind and with the kids facing long periods of time off school, we did some research into things to do that will make life easier for a stay at home mummy or daddy.
- Stick to the same routine - where possible. Obviously, they don’t have the routine of going to school but if you have a schedule in place during the school holidays like bed times and getting up times, what they have for breakfast, etc. – keep these the same.
- Try and limit your screen time during the day. It’s tempting to be on your smartphone, tablet or computer all day but try and make sure it doesn’t interfere with the kids or responsibilities.
- Change out of your pyjamas. Even though you’re at home and no one is going to see you, pyjamas are made for sleeping or lounging – not managing a household, which is now your job.
- Stay hydrated – being at home with the kids all day is hectic with no opportunities for going out for coffees or taking those breaks you would usually take at work.
- Exercise. This could even include the kids by going for a walk.
- Stay connected with the outside world.
- Get enough sleep. It’s tempting to stay up late watching just one more episode of your favourite box set because you don’t have to get up for work the next day. But you will soon realise that staying at home is a full-time job.
- Make peace with the mess. Don’t stress about it.
- Teach the kids how to play on their own to enable you to have time to do chores or have some time to yourself.
- Have some time away from the kids to recharge your batteries. This could be to go out and do some exercise, scroll through social media or Facetime some friends or work colleagues.
- If one of you is still able to go out to work, do not leave to do lists. Keeping the children entertained and doing the basic stuff like tidying up, cooking and sweeping the floor keeps the stay at home parent busy enough!
- Also, if one parent is still working - Don’t make any suggestions to the kids about possible activities without checking with the stay at home parent first! The children will get all excited about the prospect of it and make the stay at home parent a baddie if it can’t happen.
Let’s face it, at the moment there are worse problems being faced by people across the globe than being stuck at home every day with the kids.
I once watched a reality television show in the UK where they put a family from today into homes of the past. They had to live life as that family did in different decades gone by. Their favourite decade was the 70’s! You see in the UK during that time there was a three day working week (I won’t bore you with the reasons why) which meant that they had much more time to spend as a family – they all absolutely loved it, and it bonded the family in ways they didn’t realise were possible.
So, there are lots of positives we can take away from what we are experiencing at this dreadful time. Perhaps a suitable subject for another blog in weeks to come?