Well, there is no doubt that this is going to be one of the strangest years of school. With SO much uncertainty, it can feel anxiety-producing.
The conversation is complex about going back or not. Yet, where my heart hurts for the children who have been suffering at home with neglect needs to get to school. If even for one day a week, those children need to be around teachers and other adults who can help them.
For working parents, I don’t know how you are doing it. But most parents have said to me that they will shift things around a bit this year from last spring. Pivoting. We all have to do it!
This is a quote from a mother of 4 and a work colleague of my husbands who works in Corporate America, “I think empathy and normalizing that people have children and work responsibilities running in parallel, is low hanging fruit, as is flexibility. And being conscious of the fact that woman is disproportionately impacted, and that we can’t lose the little ground we made over the past several years in the workforce on that front.” I couldn’t agree more! Remember fellas, could you raise children and work a full-time job with the same pressures and expectations as before?
Here a few great pointers that she shared with me and I think are good ideas and hopefully helpful to you.
- Buy your child a desk for their room! Even if you have elementary school students, this is the time to invest – after all, they will want to study in their rooms from middle school on. Ikea has great selections!
- Buy a good chair both for the kids and for you. Good chairs range in price from thousands to hundreds so look at the reviews and don’t buy something that you have to build with hundreds of pieces.
- Buy a whiteboard. While not beautiful, they are functional for keeping organized.
- Define a space in your house where school and work can happen that have defined perimeters. Even if this means that you have to “renovate” a small section of your basement, space is king. Try buying a small rug from the target and staple a sheet to the ceiling and from the rafters to floor can define a space for privacy and better zoom calls.
This isn’t necessarily a time for perfection and beauty. It’s about function and flexibility. Give yourself a lot of grace, breathe deep, and remember to play.
Best of luck Mom & Dad, you got this!