By Sunny Jordan, Strategic Partnerships Manager
Bouts of laughter, periods of crying, and exclamations of “I’m bored!” come from a kid. Then as soon as those issues are addressed, an unexpected shout of "I'm hungry!" fills the house.
As a parent, you are frantic because, despite our rapidly evolving societal responses to COVID-19, you now have to work from home. In addition to staying in harmony with your email inbox and getting nonstop COVID-19 alerts, you now have become a full-time chef, janitor, and homeschool teacher. How do you manage this quarantine madness without going insane?
As the mother of a 10-year-old boy, this has been the story of my life these past few days. Eight months ago, before deciding to put my son back into public school, I was balancing working from home and homeschooling. For two years, my son and I tried to figure out how to balance homeschool with "mommy has to work" time.
I soon discovered that schedules often were dismantled and mealtimes were my son's happiest moments. Lo and behold, here we are again – faced with the uncertainty of how to manage it all. What is going to be left neglected and seemingly uncared for? During the early phases of this journey, I immediately knew that my child, my job, and my household duties had to be treated as priorities. So, by default, I neglected to care for myself.
Parents, during this time of forced multitasking at home, I strongly encourage you not to put yourselves at the bottom of your to-do list and instead make self-care a priority. The truth is that we are the anchors of our households and if our health and sanity decline, so will everything else.
Here are a few self-care practices for parents during Coronavirus home quarantine:
1. Take it one day at a time
Curb your enthusiasm when tempted to control an uncertain future. Recognize that even the best-laid plans can get tossed out the window when you’re juggling numerous new priorities.
Motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy states, "99% of the things that you worry about will never occur." Every day will be different and will come with new adventures. Take advantage of this time as an opportunity to embrace your kids and witness their growth from a refreshed vantage point.
2. Acknowledge your strengths
As we experience all the changes associated with COVID-19 precautions, good parenting can seem more complicated than it has to be. In the eyes of your family, you are the superhero. Now is not the time to dwell on your weaknesses. Instead, ask yourself, “What are my strongest parenting skills?” Examples can include compassion, motivation, understanding, organization, listening, patience, etc.
As a parent, your unique advantage is your core set of strengths, skills, talents, or crafts that position you to add value to the lives of your children … because it is you! Focus on your unique advantage. I encourage you to simply love your children and be their light in this time of uncertainty. Make sure you aren't demanding perfection from yourself or your children.
3. Forgive yourself
I can’t deny the countless times I didn’t get “it” right and failed to achieve the expectations I had for my son’s homeschool experience. In doing so, I invited unnecessary stress into my world that sparked unproductive days and tense interactions with my family.
I knew we could no longer function under this type of pressure. I sought forgiveness from my son, but I also forgave myself. As Les Brown so eloquently stated, “Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.”
I hope you find these tips helpful. If you have any additional tips you’d like to share, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.