We’re a little over a month into summer vacation, and with so many of us working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s “summer fun” feels a little more overwhelming than it has in year’s past. Though it may feel impossible to keep your kiddos entertained while you’re busy living your 9 to 5 life, luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to make the experience a little less stressful for everyone. Take a look at our favorite tips below!
Stick to a set schedule
There’s a reason why schools stick to a pretty serious routine: it works! Kids thrive in organized environments, which means that if they are given a schedule to follow, YOU will thrive too. We also recommend giving your kiddos a say in the summer schedule, a trick that will help them buy into any restrictions you impose on their summer “freedom.”
Plan for interruptions
Unfortunately, schedules are never foolproof. Expect your kids to make a guest appearance during a work call—or five—during your work-from-home period, however long that may be. But if you plan some time throughout the day to give your little ones some TLC, they may feel less inclined to bother you during your big pitch to the boss. Play games with them, help them with their summer reading, or make time for video calls with family and friends. That way, you simultaneously spend time with your mini co-workers and train them to be patient during periods when you are extra busy.
Communicate with your colleagues
Make sure your boss and your co-workers know that in addition to your regular working duties, you’re also playing chef, teacher, and circus director. In other words, if you’re homeschooling, carpooling, or involved in parenting duties during the day, make sure your boss knows how you plan on getting your work done around those other activities. It’s also a good idea to create a system of non-verbal communication with your kiddos so that they can understand you in the midst of a teleconference.
Plan safe activities in advance
Come up with a list of activities that your kids can reference when they are in need of entertainment that doesn’t require adult supervision. TV shows, video games, puzzles, books…the sky’s the limit! PS—check out these adorable puzzle mats that help keep the mess to a minimum and look good doing it!
Schedule some ME time
Yes, we said it…because you deserve it! Without your commute to clear your head in between working and parenting shifts, you have every right to feel a little swamped. In fact, finding a little time for some peace and quiet is EVEN MORE important now that you don’t have as many opportunities to leave the house. That way, you’ll be all the more ready for anything your day can throw at you. Take a relaxing bubble bath, catch up on your favorite TV series, or head to bed early for a bit of evening meditation. However you choose to unwind, consider it a necessary—and non-negotiable—part of your day!