There is no manual for how to be a superstar employee and a super parent during this challenging time.
We are all doing the best we can. But after many months in this new experience of daily living, I’ve started to find a way through the chaos, which I’ve nicknamed the three R’s – Routine, Reward and Rest.
Routine is your friend. Say what you will about a daily routine, but for me it has proven to be a lifesaver as I juggle home schooling with working from home. I believe that I’m luckier than most parents though since both of my children (twins) are at an age that makes is easier to manage their daily school lessons. I can only imagine the struggle that parents with children of different ages are going through as they try to manage different school assignments for each child. Even with this, setting a daily schedule can help to keep things moving smoothly through the school hours.
For example, with my girls (now 8 years’ old), I get them up and ready for the day as if they were going to school. They follow the same routine: get dressed in their school uniform, have breakfast, brush their teeth, wash their face, and brush their hair before they start the day. The day includes a timetable of activities starting with PE by Joe Wicks on YouTube, and while they are completing this, I go into my home office and conduct my daily call with the TechComms team to discuss work activity for the day. Once the PE session has finished, I work with my children to complete the main schoolwork tasks -always sticking to the same order of doing things -starting with English and then math’s, followed by lunch. During lunch, I typically spend the hour working, and after lunch, the children will work on topics such as science, history, design or art.
Our home school day tends to end between 2:00 – 2:30pm. and I then continue working and the children get to play and relax a little.
My working day has gradually changed over the last few months: from 7:00-08:30am, 11:30-12:30pm and then 2:00-6:30pm. Fortunately, this new work time has worked for me so far, as I believe most people are now working similar hours. It’s really been about adjusting and being flexible and understanding that during this time I can’t be everything to everyone – no one can. I have set working hours and we have set school hours and with this, we’ve found a balance and a routine that works for us.
A simple reward can mean so much. Let’s face it, the days can be long, overwhelming and test our patience. Finding ways to experience joy and celebrate small successes is possibly more important than ever. I reward my kids with time to watch videos they love like Mystery Science or use educational apps like Busythings which they enjoy. Other rewards include their favourite ice cream or a visit to the local park for a ride on their bikes. Small pleasures have taken on a whole new meaning and “rewarding” ourselves with little joys can help make this time more bearable.
Rest is essential. This is very important – not only for children, but for us parents as well. My children also have a nighttime routine that consists of a bath, book reading, and guided sleep mediation before falling asleep. I have found through this time that taking more moments away from my devices and allowing myself to take a deep breath or simply opening the door or a window for fresh air has been restorative. And, to this point, a quote from Julie Andrews comes to mind, “When in doubt, stand still and have a nice cup of tea!” We have to allow ourselves the time to take a break and care for our minds, bodies and spirits in whatever way we can right now.
About the author
Rahme, the founder and managing director of TechComms, brings a wealth of solid experience in creating, directing and managing strategic communications campaigns for leading technology clients across the globe. With over 18 years’ experience in the technology communications sector, she uses her extensive contacts in the media and analyst community and knowledge of PR and AR best practices to help clients consistently achieve optimal results.
Rahme believes in bringing together experienced, self-motivated and best-of-class experts to help TechComms clients achieve success. Rahme started her career as a research analyst for InfoTrends, and has strong analyst expertise which she taps into when commissioning and managing projects to meet her client’s objectives. Her client successes include press coverage in national titles, including The Telegraph, Financial Times, and BBC Click, as well as across business and vertical sectors, and coverage in influential analyst reports such as Gartner, IDC, Strategy Analytics, Juniper Research and Analysys Mason.
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