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New Work / Life Balance

Parents this one is for you!

It's now Week ?? of #stayinghome and we're all still trying to navigate the new normal - still figuring out a new work/life balance with a house full of people. Duties have tripled. Emotions are running high. Energy is running even higher. And we can't forget the added adventure of distance learning.      

If you're quickly running out of patience and ideas, here are some tips and tricks we've gathered from friends and colleagues that are sure to lift your family out of the COVID19 fog.

A child and dog in front of a laptop computer.


COME AS YOU ARE. DO WHAT YOU CAN.

By now, most Canadian families (including ours) have connected with their amazing teachers. Personally, we couldn't be more proud of the dedication, passion, compassion and behind-the-scenes coordinated efforts from all levels of government, school board, admin, teachers and beyond. THANK YOU!
Distance learning is not easy and it's important to remember our children are experiencing social isolation, quarantine, listening to frightening news stories about sickness and death, even perhaps experiencing their own families affected by this awful virus. They are trying to process this new world in their own way. So let's all give them some breathing room with distance learning. Yes there are challenges. Some days there are tears. Assignments are there for guidance, not for grades. Your child's mental health is the top priority. If distance learning is proving to be too much and causing stress for the whole family - take a pause. Go back to doing what you were before. Reach out to their teacher and ask for advice. Read together. Go outside and ride your bikes. Bake together. Just BE together. Our incredible teachers know this is hard and are already preparing to get everyone caught back up in September. Take a deep breath - come as you are, do what you can.

FULL TIME PARENT & EMPLOYEE

So now you're a full time stay-at-home parent while trying to hold down your full time job. Plus assist with teaching your kids. Plus meals. Plus laundry. Plus cleaning. Plus, plus, plus.... Working parents had their childcare and school abruptly stop. It hit our household hard too. We relied heavily on the (very quick) 6 kid-free hours the school day afforded us so we could conduct business. Here are some other tips and tricks we've gathered:
  • Wake up early to answer emails and plan your day
    Get up before the kids. The house is quiet and you can focus 30-45 min on answering emails and plan your day. When the kids get up you'll already feel accomplished, and not have the anxiety of a full inbox.

  • Your phone is your business friend
    In our home, distance learning happens in the home office. I'm "kicked off" my computer for a few hours every day. So I armed my mobile device with all the apps and programs I need to get me through those few hours, if needed. 

  • Rethink 9 to 5
    No one. And I mean NO ONE with children at home is putting in a solid 8-hour work day. Rethink your hours and find the most uninterrupted times where you can focus on productivity. Settle the kids with a quiet activity or send them out in the yard while you do a zoom meeting. Take advantage of a quiet house after the kids go to bed. Shifting your workday mindset will increase your productivity and keep you on task. 

  • Be honest and authentic
    Employers and clients alike know that it is not "business as usual" anywhere. If you're not meeting tasks and having difficulty, be honest with your employer about your challenges and try to work something out. Clients are people too - don't stress about your kids walking in on your zoom call. Try to schedule phone calls with colleagues and clients so you avoid being pulled in two directions. It's hard to concentrate on teaching fractions while you're on a sales call, and vice versa.


Be gentle with yourself, you're doing the best you can.

 

While it looks like some parts of daily life will start to return in the coming weeks, we will indeed be faced with a new way of doing business and managing family life. To all the parents out there: Cheers to brighter days ahead! You got this!!

-- Kristi and Paul

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