By Guest Blogger, Tish Hansen
The year 2020 has been fraught with anxiety for just about everyone. Some people talk about the “new normal” while others think about “returning to normal,” whatever that “normal” might be! Regardless of what “normal” looks like for your family, it’s likely that a return to school – whether online or in person – is adding to any anxiety you are already feeling. Is back to school is interfering with your back to work plans?
Ever wish you had more time?
With parents everywhere under stress from countless sources, now having to manage getting children to and from school safely, making lunches, navigating homework, mask-wearing/washing and revised school schedules, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for all the other work that needs to get done around the home and office. If, on the other hand, you’ve elected to home-school your child or assist with online learning, you’ve now taken on the task of teacher in addition to your work and home responsibilities. Once again, you’re probably facing a time deficit for all that other mundane stuff like work, housework, meal prep and grocery shopping. Any way you “slice” it – you’re pressed for time.
For some folks, even the thought of having to venture out, wear a mask or maintain social distancing is a struggle. Anxiety can get the best of us under normal circumstances and these current times are far from normal! Perhaps, in addition to helping the kids with school, you are helping a senior family member or managing someone with a fragile medical condition. Not only is this a time burden but also, you may not wish to leave the house too often – or be able to do so.
Experts agree that it might be quite some time before we return to any sense of “normal”, whatever that means for your family. However, establishing at least a small sense of normality for you by shouldering some of the day-to-day responsibilities that help keep families grounded and centered.
Final Thoughts – When it comes to “Back to School” – Here is what we think “New Normal” means…
- Doing what is right for your family and in your circumstances. No one understands your family’s needs better than you!
- If your child(ren) are returning to school, normalize wearing a mask. Spend several hours daily helping them acclimatize to mask wearing, not touching their face and understanding proper hand sanitizing.
- If your children are not returning to in person learning, start adjusting their schedules now to help them slowly begin adhering to a new online learning schedule. Wherever possible, make it similar to their school-attending friends so that time off for play and downtime is similar!
- Determining a dedicated learning space where learning is the only thing that happens – even the smallest of spaces will do, provided your child(ren) associates that space with schoolwork.
- Whether at school or at home – make lunch and nutrition breaks enticing. By planning ahead (or letting us do that for you) mealtime can be enjoyable by adding variety, colour and texture to the lunchbox!
- Establishing routine and structure – one again whether at home or at school, children crave routine and let’s face it, we haven’t had much of that lately. Set snack times, set bedtimes and set times for play and learning are all important.
- Attitude is everything! Don’t let your worries show if you can help it. Children will pick up on your signals. If you’re heading out the door for the in class experience, express excitement not concern. If you’re staying at home, help them understand the importance of teamwork and your confidence in them that together you will succeed!
- We all need help once in awhile. Normal means it’s ok to ask for it. Engage your spouse, your family members, or ask a trusted neighbor for support and ALWAYS zoom call your girlfriends when it all gets to be a bit too much! Or outsource and get help.
You do school – Outsource the errands!
Outsourcing an array of services to help give you time to do what matters most, whether that’s helping your child with school or getting back into a regular work schedule. Have someone else complete your grocery shopping, running errands, picking up, wrapping and even delivering gifts for any occasion or planning special recognition programs for your hardworking (at home or in the office) employees.
Contact Tish for a 15-minute phone consult to learn how she can help you and/or your family reclaim sanity and get back some quality time.