I’m sure this whole pandemic situation got us all surprised, unprepared and forced to adapt to the new situation quickly. Many of us started working from home, many of us were working from home all along, and all of us faced a new situation where all the family is at home all day long, together. As expected, the hardest were hit parents with small children – they now have to juggle their job, home chores, and to be fully dedicated to their kids. Not rarely all at the same time.
If you have kids under 5, I feel your pain. You are not able to take the kids out as you used to, don’t have any help, kindergartens and pre-schools are closed. You find yourself letting them be in front of the TV watching Peppa Pig much longer than you want to admit, just to keep your sanity. Good news – it’s perfectly ok to leave Peppa Pig to do some parenting instead of you when you feel overwhelmed. Many of us have been there and we survived, as well as our kids. My advice for you would be: lower your expectations, and then, just lower them some more. Work with your partner in shifts, try to be flexible, and try to create a daily routine for your child if possible.
If your children are going to school like mine, there is a different drama going on right now. Your child is doing a distance learning now, and you end up doing literacy entire morning every single day instead of doing your work. Not to mention other subjects. Sounds familiar? It is difficult, but again, you have to adapt. It is great if you can share this burden with your partner. If you are a single parent, this, on the other hand, requires developing some supernatural powers.
The irony is, you have so many posts and articles across social media that give you good advice on how to work from home, but many of them are just not applicable if you have small kids. Those who advise you to “have a special work area separated from kids”, or to “work in the evening when they are in bed” clearly don’t have any idea what they are talking about. If you are a parent, you know very well that you cannot avoid your toddler even when you go to the toilet, or that small kids sleep at night only when they are in your bed. With you next to them.
So, dear parents, hang in there, this will not last forever. Try to enjoy the time with your kids, they grow up so fast and every moment is precious. When you are next to them in the evening, putting them to sleep (feeling exhausted and hating the entire world), just try to remember one good and funny thing that happened that day. That small, funny thing will give you new energy to face another day as a parent. At least, that is how I survived.