Wow what a year it has been for everyone, and if anyone says that Home Schooling and Home Working together has been a breeze, I have one thing to say…
“It’s a BIG FAT WHITE LIE!”
Here, I am going to give honest parents account of juggling an 11, 7, and 1 year old, whilst working from home. I would love to know your thoughts and experiences, as the more we share these, the more we realise “WE ARE NOT ALONE!”
I am going to start with the Bad. This is not to be negative, but to mean that I can finish on a positive. So here goes-
THE BAD BITS
- Let`s face it, as parents it is hard enough to get our kids to brush their teeth, to go to bed, to get dressed, to eat their meals, and do all the basic things. However when you have to get them to do school work also, you really do become the BAD GUY, and feel like a CONSTANT NAG!
- The is NOT ONE JOB in the world that is advertised as-
- A parent
- A friend
- A cleaner
- A teacher
- A dinner lady
- A nursery nurse
- A counsellor at a time when they are struggling in these times
- Another career/job
But, we were expected to manage it!
- You have to make sure that you are on mute on zoom when you do let off steam and fall of the pathway of being that perfect parent, that the books suggest is easy!
- The fact that you are all in the house more, and doing more means, far more mess but less time to sort it. You have to try and let things go a little, and just hope that when anyone walks past they are NOT a NOSEY NEIGHBOUR, or when the postman delivers something he has his mask pulled to far up to cover his eyes!
- Timing can be a bit tricky when there are multiple zoom/teams meetings going on for different people and a baby that needs nap times also.
- Expectations need to be managed and it can be frustrating when you cannot jump at all opportunities in your work life.
- Bed time goes off track as kids think they are in holiday mode.
- As much as we all hate kids being on devices, they are the way of the world and have been a god send for communication. It has meant though that they have spent far too much time on them.
Now let`s cut to the chase and discuss the UTTERLY UGLY
- This is one of my major bug bears…”YOUTUBE PERFECT MOTHERS!”. If my kids tell me one more time how these wonderful mothers never raise their voice, have a labelled tub for everything, and buy their kids everything, I think I will be tempted to put them in a labelled tub! We need to be so mindful that our kids absorb this nonsense and do not realise it is not real life, it just the bits filmed that these stars want us to see,
- My dress sense (along with my hair, nails, etc!) has gone down the drain! I seem to wear the same outfits over again and have actually forgot what is in my wardrobe, or what it feels like to wear a dress and heels!
- Mind games about wanting to do the right thing for everyone takes up so much headspace. Everyone seems to interpret the guidance differently and when you have to say no to your kids because you`re trying to protect them, and other people, you feel really mean. I guess though it is a time when you really have to keep what is important to you in your heart, and hope your kids will reflect when they are older and know you did what you had to do for the best.
- In the middle of home schooling with a child that insists she writes with her left hand (but is right handed), and another that repeats and mimes under her breath everything I say, we have Horrid Henry the 1 year old who has learnt to put 6 pieces of bread in a toaster at once, emptied many cereal tubs, had a cracking time smashing eggs on the floor, washed up constantly, tried to clean the toilet, tried to attack the older ones work, etc. We will look back and laugh!
- The worst though is the circle of shouting at the kids, losing patience, crying because you feel bad for not being the parent you want to be, apologising to them, reflecting on the day and deciding that tomorrow will different. BUT, then you wake up and they have not listened to anything and it repeats!
On a positive note though it`s time for the GOOD
- It has made us all have a reality check and realise what is really important in life. My girls say that their favourite day this year what when they could see their nan for the first time and went for a picnic. A year ago you would have had to take them to Disney Land to get that appreciation.
- I feel really blessed and grateful at the strength the kids have shown during this time. The little one showing strength and bravery with his health and the older ones being so caring and string during the challenges they have faced.
- In many ways it has meant that we slowdown in some areas of our life such as rushing around to after school activities, rushing around to see everyone, saving time on commutes and even spending less time worrying about pleasing everyone.
- Home workouts have been a life saver! It is also a great for kids to see you working out, and the things you do to keep mentally and physically strong. I hope they will remember these coping strategies as they grow up and use them for their strength at difficult times. My kids know that a 20/30 minute youtube workout makes Mummy feel happy, and they can join in or play whilst it`s on. It must not be forgotten that a major plus also is that I can train in my PJ`s!
- In addition to getting movement in the day, it has been a time to really dig deep and understand what works for us as individuals to get through times like this. For many of us sleep has a huge impact, maintaining a nutrient rich diet, getting fresh air, making time for connection, and finding things that make us laugh.
- As a mother who admittedly is one of the last to the school gate, it has felt like heaven to get 3 children ready and out of the house early! Zoom lessons are far easier to be on time for!
- Realising my productivity potential has been really motivating. With a smaller window to do high focused work tasks I have definitely become more productive and increased my work rate. Ensuring that I make the small steps which a big impact on me physically & mentally, enables me to be focussed on my work priorities.
- This last year’s challenges have really given me an accelerated drive and motivation to live out what I really believe in. Through Leap Health I have been able to reach many corporate organisations and their individuals to challenge the norms of working, by putting health at the heart of what they do so that they are physically and mentally stronger, and most importantly increase productivity and happiness.
- My kids have realised that it is ok to struggle, it is ok to cry, it is ok to say sorry, and it is really important to cuddle and say how much we love each other.
- Talking to and connecting with other people who are in the same boat really helps you know that you are not crazy…it`s just a crazy world!
- Most importantly I`ve learnt that we are NOT INVINCIBLE, this is not a normal situation, and our reactions are because we love our kids so much that we want to keep them physically and mentally strong, help them learn, be a perfect role model, and the best parents ever BUT WE ARE ONLY HUMAN!
As a final comment I would like to suggest that if anyone wants to make their millions a “Fly on the wall documentary on home schooling” would get millions of viewers hooked!
I really hope you enjoyed this.
If you would like more support at an individual, or organisational level around improving your Physical & Mental Health, so that you can improve Personal & Professional, Productivity & Happiness, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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