Being a Working Mom During a Pandemic Part II

Where has the month gone? I read my last post about Being a Working Mom During a Pandemic Part I and realized how far we’ve come in 30 days. We left off with the overwhelming transition into homeschooling and remote work. It was a huge undertaking to get familiar with the Google classrooms, lesson plans and class conference calls. We’ve been joking that our daughter is having more conference calls than we are during the week.

All joking aside, it’s been a tough transition. I wonder how other moms and dads are managing everything each day. I’ve seen funny pics with kids climbing around during Zoom calls and attended calls where the presenter was locked in a closet to get an uninterrupted call done. Many parents have thrown in the towel on homeschooling all together.

It’s your call whether you’re full steam ahead with homeschooling or decided it’s not something you want to attempt right now. There’s no right answer other than to do what works best for you and your family. It was always an option to say no to things even before the pandemic. Now it feels like survival mode between staying employed, keeping up with school work and feeling sane.

What can we do when things feel out of control? Take it in stride.

Homeschooling
Some days I’m all over it like a ninja. I maneuver lesson plans during a work break or lunch. We complete lessons before dinner and things flow together seamlessly. Other days, I’m completely overwhelmed and just don’t feel like doing it. So I don’t.

Honor your feelings in that moment. It’s harder to push through when you aren’t up for it. Take a deep breath and pick it up later when the moment feels more aligned.

 
Working Remote
I have found many things I love about working remote. I don’t feel the morning rush like I did when I had to get two kids and myself out the door each morning. On the other hand, it can be harder to focus on the work day at hand when you have the kids home with you. Here’s what has helped me get into the work groove.

1. Establish a Workspace
I go between my kitchen table and my office, depending on the day schedule and the conference calls I have throughout the day. Both areas are laptop and video-call friendly. My kids understand now what it means if mom or dad have a call. That was part of their learning curve.

2. Define Your Work Hours
Stick to your work hours as best as you can. It’s a nice feeling to sign off for the day, even if your commute is from the home office desk to the couch.

3. Communicate Often
Keep in contact with your manager and coworkers, especially as you’re working on projects together. Communication is key. You and your team can establish the best way to communicate, when and how. It will help everyone in the long run.

Remember, do what’s best for you and what you determine works best with your manager. These are unprecedented times where flexibility and remote work mean something different than they used to. And that’s positive progress from where we were three months ago!

Below are a few more resources that may help you with your remote work.
7 Coronavirus Work From Home Tips
Working From Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Six Essential Tips for Working From Home During the Pandemic

Exercise
Exercise may seem like the last thing to do when you feel overwhelmed. It helps though. It reduces stress, helps with depression and anxiety, and gives your brain a boost. Exercise can provide the mental break you need and has health benefits. You can do it solo or exercise with the kids.

One of my daughter’s occupational therapists had a great suggestion for a fun way to exercise together.

Take plastic Easter eggs and fill them with activities that you can do with the kids. Have your kiddo pick a few eggs. Open one at a time and then complete the exercise together.

Some may exercises may be:

      • Jump up and down 10 times
      • Run in place while you sing the ABCs
      • Do frog jumps down the hallway
      • Practice crab crawls across the family room
      • Hop on one leg for a 10 count, then switch to other leg for 10 count

Spell Your Name Workout is a great activity and you can pull the exercises from it to include in the egg activity.

We don’t know how long we’ll be in the world of remote work and social distancing. It feels like we still have a long way to go before we’re safe again. Don’t get discouraged. You’re doing a great job. Even when you have moments of frustration with the kids, that just means it’s time for a deep breath and to take a moment you need to regroup.

There’s no perfect way to manage life during a pandemic. We do have things within our own control though. Look for those things and focus your energy there. We have great strength and resilience. Sometimes we just need to take a step back to refocus our energy on what we can do. You got this!

Stay safe, sane and healthy. ♥

Looking for ways to create calm in your world? Take a look at Being a Working Mom During a Pandemic Part I.

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