Work From Home: How To Care For Your Kids And Yourself
The childcare crisis has made it difficult for many working parents to find affordable high-quality childcare, as it’s often not included in their family benefits. During the current COVID-19 outbreak, however, it’s become even more difficult for working parents to juggle working from home while caring for their children. COVID-19 has shut down schools and businesses, forcing parents and children alike to self-quarantine at home for the foreseeable future.
While many working parents are used to working from home from time to time, doing so while taking care of your children is difficult to juggle. In order to help you adjust to working from home with your kids, we’ll go over a few activities you can do with your children as well as some of the ways you can preserve your own wellness during this time.
Activities To Do With Your Kids
Create a schedule
One of the most important things that children need is structure. School gives them a rigorous structure with specific times carved out for things like math, history, and recess. But just because your kids won’t get the structure of school doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of structure altogether. Create a schedule for each day of the week, factoring in time for fun activities as well as time for learning.
By creating a schedule, you also give yourself or your partner a way to factor in your own work or self-care practices. There are even pre-made schedules for kids that are available online that were made by parents in response to the COVID-19 outbreak that you can consider using or building off of.
There are an endless amount of fun activities that you can do with your kids at home. Plenty of websites and online resources list games that require little to no materials to play. One activity that combines recreation and education is to have each member of the family choose one topic that they want to learn about. Then, they can spend 30 minutes researching that topic before giving a presentation to the rest of the family about it.
Another great activity that helps your kids stay social is to have them write a letter or an email to one of their friends or family members every day. This helps them stay in touch and gives them an opportunity to learn the joys of old school snail mail. As for outdoor exercise for your kids, there are plenty of fun physical games you can do in the backyard. Hopping on one foot, crab walking, and somersaulting are all fun things you can do without needing to go to a park.
Keeping up your children’s education during self-quarantine is obviously vital, but luckily there are plenty of online resources. Take advantage of free homeschooling worksheets and educational activities. These resources are available for different grades or subjects, offering printable worksheets that help you keep up the learning in a fun way.
There are also a few fun virtual educational activities that you can do with your kids without leaving your home. Google Arts & Culture teamed up with different museums and galleries to create virtual museum tours. These are an excellent way to continue to provide your kids with free access to art and culture despite being stuck at home.
How To Maintain Self-Care/Wellness
Stress during an infectious disease outbreak often comes from worrying about your health and the health of your family. It can also come from disruptions to your normal routine such as changes in sleep or eating patterns. The high amount of stress involved with self-quarantining requires you to do more to consciously support your own physical and mental health. Here are a few things you can do for your own wellbeing:
Make time to be alone
While self-quarantining can make you feel isolated, being quarantined at home with the kids may make you feel overwhelmed. Make time to be alone without distractions. If you live with your spouse or partner, take shifts where one of you watches the kids so that the other person can work, relax, or go for a walk.
Take a break from the news and reach out to others
Constantly watching and reading news stories about COVID-19 can be upsetting. So can scrolling social media and reading an endless stream of posts about it. Take a break from the news cycle and connect with other people. Keep in contact with your close friends through phone or video chats. Just because you can’t go out and be social doesn’t mean you have to give up being social altogether. You can even engage in virtual conferences to check in with your coworkers or even just socialize with friends.
Take care of your body
Continue to take care of your body even if you can’t do things like go to your gym or attend your regular exercise classes. To promote relaxation, practice breathing exercises or meditation. Exercise regularly, whether by using a home exercise machine, doing yoga, or doing body weight exercises. Going for a walk is also an excellent way of staying active and it’s great to do as a family. You can easily get some exercise and get out of the house while maintaining healthy distances from others and avoiding crowded areas.
Employee benefits often put a heavy emphasis on employee wellness to ensure that you’re happy and productive when you’re working at the office. When working from home, however, it can be difficult to make time to focus on your own wellness when you’re too busy trying to provide for your children. The key to a harmonious self-quarantining experience for parents and children alike is for parents to make sure they’re taken care of first. By taking regular breaks, getting exercise, and sticking to a routine, you can teach your kids how adjust to this new schedule.