Parents across the world have had their routines flipped upside down in recent weeks due to COVID-19. Right now most of us are in self-isolation or social distancing and trying to stay healthy. At the same time, we also have to juggle having the whole family at home. The lack of time to prepare and not knowing for how long is also a cause of stress, especially as there’s no end currently in sight.
Balancing working from home while keeping the kids entertained, prepping meals and keeping the house (somewhat) organized is not an easy task. The sudden distribution of added responsibilities could also take a toll on any relationship. Is any of this sounding familiar to you? If so, you’re not alone.
There’s no textbook to follow here as all of us are in completely unknown territory. As parents, we are going through a wealth of emotions right now including feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, as well as frustrated. So, how do you manage as a parent during self-isolation? Here are our top tips to bring you some clarity and focus during this uncertain time.
Call a Meeting
If you haven’t already, find some time to sit down with your significant other after the kids have gone to bed to reassign roles and responsibilities. Start by writing down all the tasks that need to be done on a daily basis. For instance, if one parent was responsible for outside tasks (i.e. picking up and dropping off, groceries, etc.) the other for inside tasks (cooking, cleaning, homework), it’s time to share everything between you. While this seems like a task in itself, it’s important to create at least some sense of normalcy that we’re all craving right now.
Everyone needs their own space too. That’s why it’s a good idea to block off time in the day where each person has time to do their work/school work etc. After all, even though we’re stuck at home most of us have businesses to run or work to complete remotely. Our kids are also missing out on their education. Having set times in the day where everyone focuses on these factors will really help create a routine. More than that it will minimize the fallout as much as is possible once things eventually start to get back to normal.
Keep Things Simple
Here at Journ, we believe in keeping things simple from our products to the way we live our lives. Although it’s easier said than done right now, it’s still possible to focus on what’s important and block out what isn’t necessary. Our focus should be that we’re all staying healthy, happy and safe. While your job role as a parent may have extended into teacher and entertainer, it’s important not to get too overwhelmed. Once you’ve nailed your routine don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
It’s important to constantly remind ourselves to be kind. Recognizing it’s impossible to be all things to all people is a must. Take care of the most important stuff first thing in the morning when you’re fresh to deal with complicated tasks. After that, it’s time to put the energy into being a parent. Also, resist the temptation to stay glued to the news past the main updates as this can be a drain on your energy and wellbeing during this current situation.
Take The Time To Appreciate Yourself and Each Other
Right now parents are incredibly stressed which is understandable. What’s important to remember though is that everyone is in this together. Instead of putting too much pressure on yourself, try to stop and realize you’re doing your best here. There’s not a single parenting book in the world that has a chapter on “How to parent during COVID-19.” All you can do instead is carry on taking care of your family.
It also helps to talk about it. Although you aren’t able to meet with other parents right now you can still call them or even set up a meeting over Zoom. The reality is none of us know how long this situation is going to last for. We all have to carry on everyday raising our kids, running our businesses and just trying to stay sane. It’s not easy for any of us which is why support is vital. At the same time, stopping to appreciate how much effort we are putting in is a much healthier approach than getting frustrated or beating ourselves up - after all, we are not in control here.
Top tip: Even though as couples we’re cooped up together it’s still important to make time for date night - albeit a stay-at-home version. Set aside 1-2 evenings a week together to do something after the kids have gone to bed. This could be a nice meal, a movie or even take a bath together. As testing as these times are you should still make the effort to say one thing you appreciate about each other before bed.
To Sum Up
The best way to deal with self-isolation is to find the positives wherever possible. Despite all the stress and frustration - it’s imperative to find the bright side to get through this uncertain time. For starters, as parents, we are in uncharted waters. As we muddle through it’s important to give ourselves a break instead of putting excess pressure on ourselves which doesn’t help anyone, not least our kids who might not even understand the situation. By taking each day as it comes, creating a routine and learning to focus it will bring about a sense of clarity.
Are you a parent currently at home with your kids trying to self-isolate? If so, know that you’re not alone. Here at Journ, we want to offer our support. If you want to reach out with your tips on how to cope, be sure to leave us a comment below. You can also follow us on our Facebook page where we post simple hacks to simplify your beauty routine. Our husband and wife founder team Sara and Mir are also juggling parenting with running Journ. As we’ve said many times, it’s important to remember to be kind to yourself. You’re doing great!