Habits Parenting

How Work-at-Home (Homeschooling!?) Parents Can Stay Sane During This Pandemic

By FocusMe Team on 06 April 2020

It is an uncertain scary time we are living in – shelter-in-place orders around the globe, schools closed, people sent home from work, and a dangerous virus travelling around the planet. It’s just an unprecedented time…

And, for some of us – we’re trying to keep up with work, home, children, and our children’s education at the same time in the same home. Day after day after day.

It’s nearly impossible! And enough to cause parents to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and just beside themselves…

But today we want to share with you some sanity-saving strategies to cut down the stress by at least half as soon as you implement them.

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#1 Lower Your Standards

This could go without saying, but you might not have realized it yet. Because life got crazy.

But it’s time to lower your standards in the home, of yourself, of your partner, and of your children.

What this looks like practically is letting the house get messier than usual and letting meals be simple. You can sweep the floors less often, eat rice and beans for lunch, serve a simple pot of oatmeal for dinner, and focus on connection to your loved ones instead.

Trade out the stress about household cleanliness for sitting down to read a book to your child. Connecting with your family in a loving way matters more right now than keeping up the standard of how you are used to living.

It’s a different time.

At the same time, if you’re on edge and easily irritated, be compassionate with yourself. Understand your humanness, and let it be okay. You do actually love your family members, but you’re stressed. Every day is a new day and you can start over anytime.

Speaking of your partner and children, are you sort of on top of each other constantly now, in the same house, isolated, and social distancing? That. Is. Hard.

But it will be less challenging for you when you decide to be kind to your family members. This means treating them with respect and patience. Lower your standards of what you expect from them, and be more flexible. Try to understand what life is like for them.

Lowering your standards as much as you can automatically reduces tension because you’re choosing to be okay with the pandemic messy life you get to live right now. Accept reality and find more peace instantly.

#2 Create Your Daily Rhythm

You have to have a rhythm to the day, because the opposite of rhythm is actually chaos. Sorry to break it to you!

But you can make your rhythm, or schedule, work for your family instead of it becoming a self-imposed pressure-filled prison. No – don’t do that!

Here’s an example of a simple doable rhythm to keep your family flowing with the days ahead:

  • 8:00am Breakfast + Chores
  • 9:00am Homeschooling
  • 10:30am Kids Play While Parents Work
  • 12:30pm Lunch + Chores + Rest
  • 3:00pm Kids Play While Parents Work
  • 6:00pm Dinner + Chores + Bedtime
  • 8:00pm Lights Out for the Children

Your life will obviously look different, but the essential thing is to get into a routine and keep it simple.

Regarding homeschooling, do yourself a huge favor and lower your expectations on this too!

Your children will survive and can become healthy thriving adults without you pretending you can recreate school at home.

Do you know what will help your children right now?

  • 30 minutes of creativity or time outdoors
  • 30 minutes of reading/writing
  • 30 minutes of math practice

If they do the above 4-5 days a week during the pandemic, you will have supported their education and you can rest well at night.

Your rhythm is there to reduce chaos and power struggles. Let that calming rhythm wash right over you.

#3 Set Up Healthy Boundaries

When we’re stressed, we turn to our coping mechanisms and addictive behaviors…

Eating more food lately? Binge-scrolling on IG like never before? How’s your sleep and self-care?

Be strong for your family and get into some reasonably healthy habits. This supports each day of your quarantine life to be one of integrity and genuine connection.

Spiraling downward into your lower-self, on the other hand, makes it more likely that you are arguing, unhappy, feeling sick, and losing energy.

What are some healthy boundaries you want set up right now?

Here are a few ideas to consider (you know which ones you need!):

  • Going to bed at a reasonable time
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Waking up at a reasonable time
  • Eating three healthy meals per day
  • Creating balanced screen-time habits for yourself and your children
  • Taking care of your mental/emotional needs
  • Getting enough physical movement
  • Getting enough recreation and downtime

This pandemic is not an excuse to throw your healthy habits out the window. In fact, it’s your cue to increase those things that make you feel good about life, about your loved ones, and help you keep perspective.

Take Care of You

This work-at-home/homeschooling/social-distancing life is truly remarkable. And in the background of trying to stay focused and just function at home, is terrifying news and a world of anxiety and distress.

We need each other to keep it together.

Your job right now is to manage your own life, at home, as it is, children and all – and you can do it.

When you lower your standards, create a simple rhythm to your days, and uphold healthy boundaries you’re setting your family up to support other families who are struggling.

Be the leader of your life, your family, and in your community. We’re all in this together.

Do what you can with what you have and know that that’s enough!

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