As we settle into the rhythm of isolation and remote working it can be challenging to juggle the various roles professionals play while dealing with the pandemic and the new normal. These are exceptional times and we need to allow ourselves time to adapt to them. Especially if you are also a parent, juggling various things including kids, homeschooling, housework and office-work can be challenging. At this point our work-life and home-life are merged and we need to keep our sanity intact while also help our children deal with the current scenario. Please find below 6 simple and effective tips to help you manage and survive these times:
- Go easy on yourself
We are living in a very strange time. Forget expectations, we never knew such a time existed. You and I and everyone else has literally been socked in the face and now we’re reeling from the shock. Please go easy on yourself. If you are not able to perform like normal, IT IS OK. You are doing your best in every role you play and if it’s seeming hard it’s because it is very hard right now. Allow yourself to go slow and easy. Give yourself permission to take all the time you need to adjust to this new scenario. Trust me you need it. So please go easy on yourself.
- Go easy on them
Children don’t know the impact of what is happening and we should try and keep it to that. We should allow them to be children instead of constantly reminding them of how difficult the times are. That will involve a little more of screen time, of letting them do things you never allowed before. That’s how you are going to be able to stay sane and allow your children to be children and stay sane as well. Let’s be honest: Spare time is probably going to involve a lot more screens.
- Let them be children
These are exceptional times. Rules that you followed or thought have to be followed and done in a particular way, may not work at present. You need to accept that you have to be fluid and go with the flow right now. Infants and toddlers arguably require the most hands-on care and the most attention, but all age groups come with their own challenges for working parents. If you have teens or pre-teens, they may have just tasted freedom and suddenly they are stuck in the house with people they want to be far away from – their parents. Expecting them to be normal and just go with the flow is not fair. Let them be. Allow them to go through their emotions and deal with them. Be there when they need support but try to avoid getting too perturbed if they don’t want to talk to you or stay locked up . We’ve been there, we know how hard being a young adult is. If you dictate rules and force them to do stuff, they are going to move further away from you so let them be.
Their expectations have all crashed. They are dealing with a lot themselves too. So much of what is central to the teen experience is their social life which has abrubtly ended.
- Give them freedom
Sounds odd but let your children do things they have never done before. Give them the freedom to be themselves. Even little ones are always bound by regulations. Exceptional times call for exceptional measures. Sometimes give them the freedom to choose play over work. We all have enough time in the day to do everthing we like. No one’s going anywhere. The kids might as well enjoy it even if the adults are hell bent on not.
- Don’t force learning
Distance learning is a challenge for all age groups. You’re not a teacher. Unless you already were planning to homeschool your children, there’s no way to truly adapt to this. Most of our kids have home based learning other than the very little ones. However, no teacher or educator will reprimand a child or parent if the work is not up to mark or not finished in the given time. Everyone knows and understand the times and will definitely not mind if your child was having a bad day and did not feel like studying. Kids go through moods and emotions as well. Allow them to have their bad day and throw those tantrums. Don’t force them to study especially in these unprecedented times. They need that leeway as well.
- Don’t expect to work at your normal capacity
Take the to-do list you have for the day and reduce it by maybe 25 percent. I know that’s going to be tough to do. You will need to set expectations correctly with first yourself, then your kids and family and your boss and co-workers. Managing all those expectations is not the easiest thing to do, especially managing expectations for yourself. You have always been a go-getter striving to have it all! You have been at the top of your game but with this pandemic and all that’s happening around you, you are struggling to keep it all afloat.
No one can tell when these unprecedented times will pass. What we can do, is make them easier for ourselves by adapting to them rather than ignoring their presence and expecting to run our lives normally like how we did before. There is no shame if you are finding it hard to adjust. Please know that you are not alone, most of us are feeling the pressure of the changes taking place. Hang in there! And, please be kind to yourself.