Contributed by IPSE
13/01/2021 - Total Jobs
Parents and guardians are now facing weeks at home with their kids where, once again, they will be given the impossible task of being parents, caregivers, professionals and teachers all at the same time.
The UK’s largest job board, Totaljobs, has worked with parenting influencer and writer, Mother Pukka (Anna Whitehouse 277k Instagram Followers), to develop some helpful tips and advice for those parents facing the dauting task of another lockdown at home with their kids.
This is perhaps the most important thing: accept that you will get less done, and make sure your employer understands that too. A nine-hour workday, plus a six-hour school day, plus seven hours of non-school parenting equals 22 hours, leaving just two for you to eat, sleep and apply basic standards of hygiene. This is not possible.
If there are two of you, life should in theory be easier. We’ve decided to alternate working days and teaching days. One of us will take the kids from when they wake up to 3.30pm and handle the day’s teaching (the six-year-old) and focussed destruction (the toddler), so the other can work. Then the worker steps in to handle playtime for an hour or two so the teacher can answer anything urgent.
The sooner you accept that the kids will shout, the postman will pummel the door like Tyson Fury and your partner will ask where the clean tea towels are – despite having cohabited for 12 years – the less stressful it will all become. Make peace with the chaos because it’s a fight you won’t win.
Get up, get dressed, start your day as you would normally. It may be a little Groundhog Day but do whatever you need to do to get started. Wearing a onesie from 2003 isn’t likely to make you feel like you could take on the world.
The kids will be on their screens more. From a loose rule of ‘no screens in the week’, ours are now watching about three hours of Netflix Kids per day. It’s inevitable and you should feel no guilt.
It doesn’t matter where you choose to work in your own home – but make it yours and make it clear.
One of the big shifts I’ve seen in my working day came when I split it into halves: proactive (working on new projects) first and reactive (answering emails) second.
In the time we worked and schooled as one homogenous lump, the main learning has been to do these three things: get dressed, do some exercise and communicate clearly with each other on who needs to do what.
Anna said on the this topic: “A nine-hour workday, plus a six-hour school day, plus seven hours of non-school parenting equates to 22 hours, which doesn’t leave room for much else! Clearly, it is not possible to work to this schedule.
The first step is to accept it and be flexible with your routines and children. If you have a partner, agree exactly who is responsible for what, as your usual roles might need adjusting. Embrace technology it’s here to help you now. Have no shame in outsourcing with online educational distractions and their favourite shows. The tech is there, the willingness is there but what shouldn’t be there is a mound of homework and children arguing with each other over who gets the blue spoon.”
For more information please visit the Total Jobs website
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