Why are we finding it hard to work from home and homeschool?
I want to be able to do it all. Be an awesome mum, wife and business owner. I thrive on spinning all the plates that come with these roles. Or should I say, doing the mummy juggle. Being really busy doing stuff. The problem is, this juggle is hard. This juggle is usually about others and rarely about the juggler.
I’ve regularly learnt, that this juggle is really not sustainable. We think it is. But it really isn’t. Like with any intense activity, although it’s possible this is only for discrete amounts of time. Not forever. This constant juggle means we’re under more pressure, which leads to stress and eventually exhaustion. I know. I’ve been there. A few times. It’s really not good.
And during this past year, we’ve had a massive curve ball thrown at us, homeschooling. I never thought that when I became a mum I’d also have to be a part time primary school teacher. Now, I feel, the juggle has become even more intense. But it doesn’t have to be.
Life doesn’t have to be hard. We have choices on how we do things. It might be a case of looking at things differently. It might be a case of being creative. It might be a case of ‘what will be will be’.
Here are my 5 tips for making the juggle easier to manage.
Focus on one thing
Try doing one thing at one time instead of ‘multi-tasking’. How would that feel? Doing one thing at one time has so many benefits. It removes the pressure to juggle all those balls at once, which is not only tiring but also stressful.
Consider, splitting your day so that you can focus on homeschooling for a portion of it and then your work. This way, you’ll be present with your children whilst they learn and you’re more likely to remain calm. Rather than pushing them to finish their work so you can get on with yours.
This is something that I’ve tried to do and for the majority of the time, it works.
Accept your children will not finish all of their work
I’ve said this before, but we’re their parent, not their teacher. In an average classroom, there is one teacher to 30 pupils. So in your home, your child is getting more attention than they would in their actual classroom. Which means more support in helping them get through their learning.
We can also only do our best and that doesn’t mean making sure they complete all the work to the highest standard. For me, it means them doing their best within a given time. Their best will be different depending on how they’re feeling, whether they’ve had a good night’s sleep and whether or not they’re focused on learning.
Go with the flow
I’m all for routine. I love a plan, but sometimes, the best thing is to just go with it. If your children are not feeling it, or you’re not feeling it, then why push against the tide. You know your children better than anyone and you know what they want and need. You also know when they’re taking you for a ride.
Sometimes it’s just about being a little rebellious. A change is as good as a rest.
Let them get bored
As mums, we think we have to occupy our children all the time. We feel like we’re not doing a good job if we haven’t planned activities for them to do. What is that teaching them?
Instead, allow them to get bored. To use their imagination so they’re not bored. Children are very creative. Children are great problem solvers. So let them be and see what they come up with.
Give yourself a break
And finally, it’s okay to sometimes put your needs first. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary. Give yourself the time and space for you. Even if it is just 5 minutes that are all yours. Even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom!
We need to give ourselves a break. Keep things simple. Know what is possible. We take on too much and then wonder why we’re overwhelmed by everything. We forget that we don’t have to do it all. Instead, focus on what’s important and the rest can wait. Plus remember it’s about doing your best, not being perfect, and doing your best is more than good enough.
Which ball will you drop?
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