One day you’re daydreaming at your desk, wishing you had just a few extra days of work from home flexibility.
The next day, you’re an overnight homeschool mom for a preschooler and an infant while working your job from home full time.
WHOA, Universe. Calm down. Didn’t realize I had to specify “no kids.”
But here we are, “voluntold” to hit quarantine status and now we’re quickly rolling into uncharted territory.
Your sanity depends on the expectations and rules you set for yourself during this time.
In today’s post, I’m sharing 5 rules you should break today if you’re working from home full-time while trying to care for your littles in this season of uncertainty.
Disclaimer: I’ve never been an advocate of working a full-time job with littles around, but times are a’changing and we might not have any choices for a while. I hope this post gives you a little nudge towards improving your sanity for however long this season lasts. Stay healthy in every way, mama.
Rule #1 – You Don’t Have to be “Productive”
Seems weird, coming from a productivity coach, right?
Don’t stress – my first order of business is raising your self-awareness and ultimately, your own intuition.
One of the beautiful things about leaning into your energy is that when you ARE ready for productivity, you’ll blow past anything you could accomplish otherwise.
So just remember to honor your energy. If you want to watch 5 hours of Netflix with your kids and work tasks permit it, DO IT.
That is productive rest and it’s just as important as productive action.
Rule #2 – You Don’t Have to Follow a Perfect Schedule Every Darn Day
See Rule #1 above – energy will dictate your days.
I live & breathe by schedules, but I change them ALL THE TIME.
In this season of uncertainty (also, anxiety), it’s OK to move slowly and change course. We’ve all had to completely upend our lives this month and nobody expects anyone to dive right into a perfect schedule.
I’ve appreciated seeing everyone’s fancy schedule examples.
But everyone’s family is so unique.
So, I put together a simple guide to help you create your family’s (loose & always editable!) schedule. Enter your email in the box below to instantly receive the free guide & workbook in your inbox.
It involves 8 steps, a brain dump worksheet and 3 options for recording your schedule – one for kids + mom, one for kids + dad, & another for kids + mom AND dad (since we all know this might be a family affair at home).
You can fill the worksheets out by day or try to stick to one on a M-F basis. It’s completely up to you depending on your situation.
Rule #3 – “Science” Doesn’t Mean You Need to Teach Newton’s Law
Unless you want to … in which case, you do you!
Science for a 4-year old is baking soda and water in a cup. Boom, volcano. Follow up with a volcano lesson on YouTube and maybe a book about Earth, if you have one.
Shaving cream egg-dying for Easter? Science.
Don’t scrub Pinterest for 10,000 activities and then beat yourself up when you don’t get to each one.
These kids are going to remember how they FELT during this time, not how many activities they checked off the list.
Permission granted to eliminate the idea that you must constantly stream a “homeschool” education.
If it’s not valuable, fun, or engaging for all parties involved, just don’t do it.
Rule #4 – You Don’t Have to Find 8 Hours to Work Your Full-Time Job
I know this one is going to illicit a strong response and you might not actually believe me, but hear me out.
Think about your energy when you’re in the office 9-5.
Can you tell me that you’re in action every minute of every hour 9am to 5pm (or whatever your typical hours are each day)?
You’ve got water cooler breaks, lunch down the street at the local bistro, walks with colleagues, and a commute before and after!
All those things are off the table right now.
Write down how much time you typically spend *actually* working your job – head down, at your desk, knocking out tasks. That’s how much you need to carve out for work.
Then, you’re going to drop all non-essential tasks to the bottom of the list and focus ONLY on what truly drives the needle in your role.
As far as meetings? Every team is going to be different, but the best thing you can do for yourself is advocate for your unique situation and attempt to align casual internal meetings for when your kids are eating snack or playing with their toys.
Become an expert at walking around with a headset on while delivering PB&Js and watching the kids zoom trucks around the floor.
If you have a client meeting, see if it can be scheduled around nap time, or led by someone else on your team for a few weeks.
Additional perk with kids are around: it’s a great chance to teach them what mommy does at work!
Rule #5 – You Don’t Need to Say “YES” to Everything Right Now
Some businesses will naturally reduce volume of work.
Some might be more resilient in this current state of the economy.
Either way, if your family situation dictates a “NO” when you’d normally say “YES,” you must stand your ground. This is NOT the time to add work to your plate for the sake of going above and beyond. With littles at home, you’ve been called to put them first 24/7 right now. Your family needs you present and calm.
This is also not the time to lose your job, so if you’re capable of taking on more, then do say “yes,” but be open and honest with your personal situation.
BONUS Rule #6 – Peace the EFF Out, Screen Time Rules
Need I say more?
Mama, you’ve got this. No, we don’t know for how long this will last.
But if we assume we’re in it for the long haul, things won’t be so hard to handle after a few weeks of this scenario.
I’ve seen so many families homeschool by choice. So many mamas work full time on their own businesses with kids around. This CAN be done. Our mindsets must shift – quicker than we ever anticipated. But this can be done.
I just can’t help but think how HUGE this shift in the world is going to be for us going forward.
What are you thinking about all this? How are you feeling?
This post is last in a 4-Week Series on Intentional Time Management.
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Special Request! | If you loved this post, please share it with a friend! None of us are alone in this current season, so if you know someone struggling to manage their family’s schedule right now, this post and the free guide might really help. Thank you, friend!