Here is the bottom line. One child is a troop of children. Six children is a troop of children.
A child is a troop.
And currently, in this weird state of emergency we find ourselves in, we are called to be troopers. In all senses of the word.
If you worked from an office before and have had to move that office home, this is written for you. If you do not work for another another, but instead work for the household you claim as your own (except when you refuse to claim it and that’s great too) this is written for you. If you do a bit of both, or a lot of is all, this post is also for you.
These tips are for you – because your one child, or your twenty children, exist. End of story.
Here it goes. My top 5 tips to getting anything done that is on YOUR list while also keeping children alive.
- Charge the iPad. This is not the time to slap your own wrist for letting them use it. They will be ok. There are some amazing resources out there that will stimulate your kids’ while also giving you some time. Our most recent favourite it TVO’s Science Max. They are free on the TVO web site. Each episode is about 20 minutes long and teaches the kids all about science, while giving them an experiment to try at home. So far, my kitchen houses a few new surprises, including a marshmallow catapult launcher. Try to find shows that will turn their screen time into creative time.
- Ride it out a bit. My initial reaction to kids’ demanding needs and sibling fights is to step in and fix it all. Right now. But lately, I’ve been stepping back a bit and giving it some time. More often than not, they learn how to fill their own demands and work it out with their pesky brothers.
- Get them moving. Build some sort of physical activity into as many days as you can. Some are lucky enough to have outside space of their own to run and stretch in. Others live in condos that have no outside “safe” space right now. This requires extra creativity but can be done. Find an online dance party for kids to join. Make a playlist of songs they love and turn one song on every hours and encourage (yes, you must participate) collective dancing. I promise – if they have the endorphins from exercise, they will be much more likely to give you the space and time needed to get a few things done.
- Be honest with your boss, if you have one. Everyone has increased demands right now, in one way or another. Trying to be exactly what you were “before” just isn’t reasonable, and trying to be probably isn’t possible. Talk with your work team about ways to adjust and be honest when it’s too much.
- Shorten the list. Instead of washing out that toothpaste filled sink every week, move to every two weeks. Recognize that tomorrow is coming, and tomorrow is just fine.
The summary of the story is to give yourself a break. Realize that the kids will have their academics covered. They will not lose their social skills.
They will be ok. Make sure that you will be, too.