These are the strangest of times, and having the kids at home all day everyday is proving to add another layer of complexity to our days.
“Are we doing enough by them?”
“How do I control my temper on the toughest of mornings?”
“I feel absolutely frazzled!”
These are all things parents up and down the country have been asking themselves over the last few weeks, so I spoke to some parents with little people at home on the best ways to manage.
1. Don’t beat yourself up.
You’re not a teacher, you weren’t trained for this. If you can, step away from the pressures of ‘home schooling’ and just get done what’s in reach. Limit the high expectations and be kind to yourself if some days all that gets done is one worksheet and a lot of Lego. It’s fine.
2. Remember the kids are feeling it too.
It’s not just us missing coffees with colleagues, or Sunday afternoons with our families. The kids are out of their social networks too, and like us need to connect. If they’re frazzled or irritable, like us, sometimes a video call with friends can help them like it helps us.
3. Bit of ‘me time’
Nobody will blame you for taking some time. Everyone needs their own space and if that’s five minutes alone in the kitchen or popping to the garden for a breather, do what you need to.
4. Stop the comparisons
Social media is awash with perfect banana breads and amazing kids craft activities, making us feel guilty for not having achieved the same with our day. Don’t. Step away from your social feeds and see the joy in the small wins you’ve accomplished today, without comparing it to others.
5. Keep moving
Having the kids at home is exhausting, but where you can it’s important to get that exercise. Either as a family on your own, a long walk or really getting stuck into Joe Wicks’ morning workout burns off some energy (and some tension!) and helps everyone feel a little bit more relaxed.
By Jo Irwin