Many parents suddenly found themselves in a new working environment earlier this year–home. For better or for worse, it was a challenge many weren’t expecting. They say parenting is a full time job but between remote work and remote learning, parents were finding themselves in a number of extra roles and therefore putting in a lot of overtime. Now kids are returning to school, either virtually, in-person, or a combination of the two creating chaos and uncertainty. It is possible, however, to still build a routine and find a new sense of normal. We’ve gathered some tips and resources to help parents find a better balance while working from home.
Usually when we think about our busy schedules, one big hurdle is making sure everyone gets fed. After working all day, cooking can sound like quite a dreadful chore. No one can agree on what they want, maybe you’ve run out of the ingredients you need for the dish, or you’re just plain exhausted.
Taking some time out of a day off might seem like a real bummer, but once you get in the habit of preparing meals on Sunday ahead of the week, you won’t want to go back. Preparing meals allows for some flexibility for family members to choose what they’d like to eat. Not to mention the time you’re giving back to yourself throughout the week.
If your family isn’t fond of reheating food or leftovers, prepare the meal right up until the point of cooking it and put it in a freezer safe and oven friendly container so that all you have to do is pop the food into the oven, take it out and serve it. For ideas on what to serve, check out how to easily meal prep for your family on Sunday.
Menu Planner & Shopping List Revisited [Multiple Sizes]This menu planner is available in a variety of formats which allow you to track what you'd like to make for each meal each day, note down what you need to get from the shops to make your recipes and what leftovers you have
While there are many tech solutions available for families to utilize to simplify their tasks, it’s important to highlight a couple that can aid in your health and fitness, especially as we head into cold and flu season.
There are countless stories about how helpful delivery apps have been, especially amid the pandemic. Some services offer a wider range of products, so to cross off more of your necessities, an app like goPuff might just be your answer. You can see for yourself the positive experiences in goPuff reviews directly from other busy people using their delivery services. Some simply prefer to minimize contact by avoiding in-person visits to the store to mitigate their chances of contracting the virus. This added protection is not the only upside to this option.
If you or one of your children start to come down with something, it’s usually hard to stop it from making its way through everyone in the household. Tending to the individual as soon as possible and setting them up for a speedy recovery requires a quick reaction to early signs of illness. With possibly all of your family home, this is more important than ever.
With parents working remotely, they are now taking on the role of “school” nurse. With everything going on, you may not have the time to stop in the middle of the day, pack the kids into the car, and make a trip to the pharmacy. Instead, take advantage of delivery options and order your over-the-counter medicines online. Not only does this save time and stress, but this also allows you to get whomever isn’t feeling well right to rest. Plus, you’ll have what you need to take care of them and be able to jump back into your work in no time at all.
During cold and flu season (especially during a pandemic), it is so important to keep immune systems healthy through daily movement and exercise. As we approach the cooler months this can seem more and more challenging without the option to go outside for physical activity. How can you get the kids moving inside? Who has the time to plan your own workout and actually execute it?
You can help get the kids moving by playing guided movement videos online. Make a free account and log them into the website to choose from different dances or exercises. Pro-tip: by selecting one of their longer videos, you can give yourself that time to sneak in your own 30-minute workout while your kids are occupied with their session!
Whether you have equipment to use or have to rely on body weight exercises, there’s a program for you. Choose exercises based on muscle groups, fitness goals, or how much time you have by downloading the Nike Training Club app. Exercise will continue to be an important part of everyone’s routine as we navigate the stressors this year seems to bring.
Create a Schedule
When you picture a schedule, you might envision one of those white board calendars from Pinterest with color coordinating markers and magnets. Each color signifying someone in the family and each little square packed with to-dos.
Maybe a system like that would work for you, especially in keeping track of what everyone is up to everyday. However, you may want to consider drafting a calendar at a more granular level for your day-to-day. Businesses are trying to be flexible knowing the constraints their employees are under and many have suggested over-communication as a solution. It’s not unreasonable now that you likely have to stop mid-day to prepare lunch or step away from your desk to pick someone up from a sitter or from school on an in-person day.
Create an online schedule through Gmail or Outlook so you can share it with others, especially your manager or co-workers so they know your availability. It also will help you keep to your expected number of working hours rather than guessing how much time you need to make up and staying at your desk longer than necessary.
Daily Schedule – A5 & Happy Planner CompatibleDo you struggle to fit everything into one day? Me too! There are ways that you can start to manage your time in order to get all your important tasks done and still find time for some well earned "me time" too.
Another very important thing to master, is learning how to set boundaries for remote work. For the best balance, you’ll want to create boundaries for your time and your space. Working remotely puts the accountability all on yourself. If you were staying late at the office, you’d likely have someone around you to remind you of the time and nudge you to get home.
This is why creating a schedule can be so helpful. Stay true to the time boundaries you and your employer come up with to best respect your own time. It can be especially hard to manage your time and stop working when you don’t have to physically leave the space.
While it was likely a co-worker would strike up a conversation with you back in the office and take some of your time, it’s just as likely, if not more time consuming, to seem so accessible all day to your children. Be sure to communicate with anyone else that is home where your workspace is and that you’re not to be interrupted while you’re in that space–barring emergencies of course. Having a workspace also allows you to “leave” work for the day. You don’t want to associate places you’d normally relax in with your work as it may increase stress or reduce productivity.