It’s not easy juggling work, family, and remote learning. Business owners are too well acquainted with the impossible balance that takes place simultaneously – WFH (working from home), kids, and remote learning taking place all at once on a daily basis since the lockdown started. The reality is there’s no way of avoiding lockdown, so how do we go about doing this lifestyle efficiently without losing our sanity when an issue blows up? We asked some parents for their real-life experiences — issues and tips on managing them — to see what they had to say.
Scheduling conflict and screen fatigue
“I turn down video calls in favour of old-fashioned phone calls.”
“I removed triggering notifications on my phone, whether it was email or messaging app. Then I started blocking out time in my work diary just so that I could attend to my kids’ online learning, because my schedule is easily back-to-back.”
We like these ones because they’re about prioritising, scheduling, taking care of mental health and screen fatigue. During focus times, silencing your phone altogether doesn’t seem like a bad idea either. Adding your kids’ online class meeting times on your phone calendar for a quick reference is another tip we heard from a working parent.
Lack of structure and preparation
“My child and I started the day with our laptop and iPad in bed and jumped straight into Google Classroom. Highly unrecommended.”
“I haven’t been out of my pyjamas in a week. The days just blur.”
It’s important to maintain some sense of structure and routine when you’re not physically at work or school. Without the usual emphasis on these things, it can be easy for us to think that we don’t need them anymore – but this is false! Your morning rituals are more essential than ever before. If you want tips about how to best schedule in order to make this stressful time a successful time, read this blog we published last year.
“Tech issues are the worst!”
Whether it’s error in accessing class Zoom via an iPad or syncing issues with OneDrive and Teams, we’ve heard it all. There’s only one thing to do about it: be extra prepared and get the tech stuff ready ahead of time. Whether it’s downloading the necessary apps, troubleshooting with school tech, or removing the camera lens cover on a brand new laptop: try to do it prior to start times, whenever possible. And if you have to miss one session, oh well. There will be another session to jump into soon enough.
The mum guilt
“I have to admit there were a couple days this past week where we didn’t even get outside the apartment once!”
“It got too hard. As a result, they did not do much on online school.”
“My boys are spending so much time on screen. I worry about them turning into zombies.”
“One thrived in home-based learning and the other hated it like hell.”
“I’ve been chasing deadlines all week.”
Get over the guilt. It doesn’t matter if you’re a single mum, a part of a couple that both works full time, a business owner with multiple kids and diverse needs, or an executive with a child that loathes online learning. You cannot do everything (you’re not Michelle Obama), so you do your best to get it done. Sometimes that means not behaving like Mary Poppins at the end of the day. The kids might just have to do yoga with you at home. Or have another frozen chicken nuggets waiting for them in the oven again. Fed kids are the best kids. It’s all good. Be kind to yourself.
“Comfort food is a must. Because happy hormones.”
This is probably not the best time to detox. By all means, eat healthy food that nourishes you but make sure you are also surrounded by comfort food that makes you smile. In Australia, we are blessed with knowing that we’re never too far from decent fish and chips, Thai food, and fresh prawns in our grocery delivery. We recently heard a former Masterchef hopeful delivers his dessert menu around Sydney now. If you’re cooking from home, make it big enough so that you have leftovers for lunch the next day.
“I run 10 kilometres a day and stretch for 20 minutes.”
A lot of us are barely making it to a 10 minutes-walk a day and that’s fine. Moving your body and getting fresh air are important things to do, whether alone or with family. If that doesn’t work for whatever reason, you can do a 5-minute stretch at home, even by the desk. There’s plenty of apps and YouTube instructions for this.
“After months of lockdown in Melbourne, I started day drinking to cope.”
We sure hope this is not the case for you (although it’s 5 pm somewhere). Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we’re all in this together, because we’re ordered to stay away from one another. Whether you abide to the terms grudgingly or not, at the end we all do it because we care about our own and loved ones’ safety and the community’s. We wish you the best of luck — tell us how you’re surviving.
How can we help?
We can’t help you with babysitting and tutoring but we can certainly help in other areas relevant to your business. If you’re ready to take the next step in your growing business, we can help. HR can be painful. Our team of HR experts do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on running the show. Get help now. Contact us today!