As a busy entrepreneur and mom of six, having kids around more during this pandemic has certainly been challenging. Working from home got a whole lot more difficult once my kids stopped going to school. But, with time comes improvement and I’ve learned a few little tricks along the way that might help you, too:
1)Consider Your Space
Assess your space and see if it can be re-purposed but BE REALISTIC with yourself. My teens like to gather around the harvest table and are very productive working together in that space, which is great, but I also had to consider what kind of learners I have. My youngest has ADD/ADHD and can find distraction everywhere. The communal study table does not work for him. He needs to be on his own, and there needs to be a door separating him from the rest of the action.
Once you create a functional space, be sure to have all supplies accessible and handy. You don’t want kids wasting their time looking for things, or wasting your time asking “MOM!? Where are the (insert pencil crayons, erasers, notebooks, etc.)?”
2)Manage Expectations and Communicate!
You may have to re-evaluate and re-adjust some expectations. Have the discussion as a family. Every morning have a “team meeting” with your family so that everyone has a clear idea of what the day is going to look like for each person. If I have a few important meetings or interviews, I let my kids know what time they are so that they know not to interrupt and that I’ll need the WIFI. No live streaming while mama is doing an interview for work! You may want to create a non-verbal communication system. A green happy face on the white board on my office door means come on in! An orange one means enter with caution. Red means do not enter unless the house is on fire or someone needs the Heimlich Maneuver.
Set up spaces that are accessible to the kiddos – make snacks and cups reachable. Is the constant snacking and kitchen traffic getting to you? Even with kids home, you might want to pack them a school lunch and say THAT’S IT for the day. Encourage independence with school work as well. I know when we see them struggling, we want to jump in and help, but I like to let them sit in their struggle a bit. They often figure it out – so resist the temptation to rescue them too quickly.
These are challenging times for families! Here’s to hoping these tips will better help your family survive and thrive TOGETHER!