Regardless of industry, 2020 has changed the routine of daily life for nearly everybody. The pandemic has kept us isolated from normal experiences of life while bringing families (for better or for worse) closer together. In this new environment, work-life balance is presented with unique challenges, but also unique advantages to spending more time with those we love. Prioritizing work and home responsibilities while also spending more time parenting can be stressful for those with children, but it's important to remember the advantages of spending more time together. While navigating our new working and schooling environment, there are many ways that we can turn a bad situation into a positive experience for our professional, personal, and parenting lives and can learn lessons to enrich our lives long into the future.
The challenges of remote culture
Telework and distance learning have been an adjustment with a steep learning curve for many families. Successful people rely on structure and routine to direct their efforts into efficient and sustainable work, and for many, changing routines so drastically threw their entire lives into disarray. It can be challenging enough to relearn how to motivate yourself and organize your time to properly prioritize work without a workplace structure that you have come to rely on, but as a parent that can be even more challenging. Children rely on a very delicate structure of their school days to encourage their learning. This routine has been designed and cultivated by full-time experts and professionals. As a parent, you probably don't have all the expertise that your child's teachers have. Motivating your children to continue their education without losing ground with remote classes can be a serious challenge for children whose routine has been disrupted, all while parents are also trying to navigate a work-life in which their routine is also often out the window.
Relearning to prioritize
With every member of many households jarred from their routine, this is a unique moment where we all need to learn to make new structure and prioritize goals together in a home. If not careful, this can lead to every member of a household feeling stressed and out of control. Children spending less time in class or interacting with friends and parents trying to juggle educational responsibilities and work can quickly dishearten anyone unless we focus on what positives the situation can provide. The path to functional family life during the pandemic becomes making routine household oriented instead of individual. Suddenly planning work days, school days, and recreation becomes a family plan rather than individual; letting off steam after work turns into a walk with the whole family, a family stretch after breakfast gets everybody ready for the day before Zoom class and telework start, a game of catch after lunch lets parents and kids have recess together and get ready for the afternoon. Setting goals for work and class and specific schedules becomes more important than ever in the household, as every family member needs some semblance of a schedule to be happy and productive.
The perks of staying home together
Transitioning to new routines and unexpected circumstances like this pandemic can be exhausting and overwhelming. There are, however, plenty of positives to this fact for many families if we only think differently about how to look at it. This can be a unique opportunity to stimulate a child's imagination- take in the beauty of nature, show children games and sports you played when you were little, or take time to do crafts we never seem to have the time for in normal life. Housework and remote work can offer practical lessons to children to stimulate their interests and skills. Children are resilient. It can be easy as a parent to despair over time your child misses out on "normal childhood", but it's important to remember how scarce and fleeting family time can feel when during the normal routine.
It's important to remember that the family is the first way we stay strong together. Parenting (and growing up) during this pandemic certainly isn't easy, but we make it through by staying strong for each other. We at SwoopTalent sincerely hope the best for everyone struggling yet succeeding with parenthood during this crisis. If there's any way we can help, don't hesitate to contact us. Let's be hopeful for the future, and all stay strong together in the present.