Hey there, Collaborators! I finally had my “full house” breakdown this past week and I was definitely not the only one. Trying to balance working at home and teaching our kids hit a tipping point.
I’ve had quite a few conversations with other parents, who work at home, about the challenges. Each and every one of us had a moment where we just needed to let all the emotions out so that we could move on with a solution.
I’m letting you know right now, that it’s absolutely normal to let go and let it all out. In fact, I think everyone deserves a moment or moments to just breakdown. The most important part is that when you’re done, take action.
The Tipping Point of Working at Home While Teaching Your Kids
For me, I’m a natural worry wart. My husband is much more centered between the two of us.
We had mentally been preparing for our son to go into surgery this week. Nothing serious, just a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Most colds turn into croup, ear infections, and all the things. So the surgery was supposed to help him.
We absolutely agree that it wasn’t urgent compared to what’s going on when they cancelled the appointment the day before. I think it was more the heightened anxiety leading up to it mixed in with the everything that’s going on.
I decided I was going to take the day off anyway, I could tell that my nerves were shot. Then the school packets rolled in…
“How am I going to do it all?” I asked myself.
The answer is simple. I’m not.
I’m part of a team.
My dear hubby, who loved to surf back home in Hawai’i, rides every single wave of anxiety with me. He’s learned to paddle hard before it hits, pops up on the board when it crests, and rides alongside knowing soon it’ll dissipate.
I know I’m blessed and not everyone has a partner to depend on. I was raised by an amazing single mother, who taught me how to get up every single time you get knocked down. Which explains why I always go back to thinking I have to deal with things solo.
Sidetracked sorry, I’m digressing.
Our Solution for Working at Home and Teaching our Kids
In order to get to the solution, I had to figure out my triggers in this situation. You’ll have to do the same for yourself, since they will most likely be different from mine.
Identify the Triggers
Assignment due dates. Some assignment packets are due on one specific dates while others are due daily.
Some lessons are online only, some are available both online and in printable form, and some are just printable. Not being able to see them all in one place to organize and make a study plan bothers me.
Feeling like there wasn’t enough time. I’ve worked from home for 10 years now. I had just gotten used to having quiet office hours while the kids are at school and my husband and mom are at work.
When I looked at my list of triggers, I realized there was one all-encompassing issue that many of us are dealing with: lack of control.
Therein lies the solution. I could identify what I could control and what I couldn’t. I remind myself daily to let go of what I can’t.
For at home learning
If there wasn’t a clear schedule for kid’s school work we were going to make one ourselves.
Create your own weekly overview. Feel free to grab the PDFs that we made.
- The multi-block version works better for my junior high kiddo because she has different teachers for each subject and multiple assignments in each class.
- The single block version works best for my kindergartner.
Organize packets into daily work. This has helped reduce overwhelm for everyone.
Just think about the last time you worked on a big project at home or at the office. Wasn’t it easier to process when it was broken down into actionable tasks?
We space out certain assignments based on the tools we’ll need.
If your family is sharing a limited amount of resources – devices, internet, etc. then schedule those tasks out to reduce the stress.
When everyone is working from home
As soon as we found out there’d be 3 of adults working at home we knew we’d have to tweak our home network a bit so.
We ordered a powerline extender to ensure that we’d have a wired connection in the bedroom, along with the existing line in the office.
A wi-fi extender also helps to ensure that the other devices in the house can be connected without any issues.
Keeping separate work spaces is essential to everyone’s sanity. I’ve been able to maintain my office, since we created small work spaces in each of the bedrooms.
Our dining room has turned into a command center for the kiddos. I tried to be on top of it and create an actual schedule. See below.
I’m going to be really REAL…that schedule didn’t last past the moment I wrote it out. The idea was grand, but making a schedule that meets everyone’s needs is impossible.
We’re chaotically structured, HA!
We know what needs to be done and we make it work as it goes. We flex as a family. It’s not perfect, but it works for us. Really for one main reason…
I have a better half that reminds me to smile through it.
He rides the waves, friends!
I want to remind every single one of you that having a support system no matter what’s going on in the world will always make a HUGE difference.
Video chat with your best friend.
Take a moment to pause and just breathe.
Whatever you need to do, take action. You got this! And together with our support systems, we will come out better because we value the things that we took for granted.