How to Manage a Childcare During COVID-19 Pandemic
We are all currently going through uncharted territory. Even those of us who have worked remotely have never been through anything like this. Many cities are shutting down and asking people to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19. This makes remote work a bit more challenging because it’s not just you but the whole family at home. This means you have kiddos running around, wanting to eat, play, and are very active.
So how do we deal with COVID19 which let’s call it an interesting situation? We have taken our own experience of remote work and adjusted a few things to help you deal with this time.
1. Create a Routine
Routine makes all the difference. From the way you start your day to how you organize your work and home life. Treat the day as a regular workday. What do you typically do when you wake up to get to work? If you used to get up and brush your teeth then keep up that routine. Don’t just start work in your pajamas and change into an outfit just as if you are heading out.
This will get you into the work mood a lot quicker and you will feel closer to a regular office day.
2. Find a Space
Just like the office you need your own spot to work. Find a space in the house that is a bit quieter (not everyone has an office and we know). This space can be the bedroom, the dining room, or any other location you feel comfortable in.
Try to pick a room in the house that is typically quieter and make sure that you are comfortable sitting in it. Make sure you create an environment that is comfortable and avoids any back pain. Use a comfortable chair and have the laptop at the correct level for your hands.
3. Schedule Breaks
Work normally doesn’t end and when you are working from home it seems to be even more than usual. You need to pace your day so create a schedule and follow it. If you put a snack at 11 then stop working and have a snack at 11. If it’s possible to schedule a time to go outside for even a few minutes to enjoy the daylight (Do this only if you are in a space, you are sure is safe, secure, and virus-free).
Of course, being in close proximity to the kitchen gets very tempting so having a scheduled break will limit your trips because you will know when the snacks are coming up.
4. Schedule Meetings
Meetings can take up your day if you don’t schedule them. This can be very counterproductive and a waste of time. You want to make sure you have enough time to get your work done as well as meet with people. Also, make sure that you have a meeting agenda and that the meeting doesn’t stray far from the topics at hand.
Limit the time for each meeting. You already know how long you should discuss specific topics so if the issue at hand needs an hour, schedule the meeting for an hour.
5. Relax and do your best
If you have kiddos running around while you are working, don’t stress about it. Let them play, they are having to deal with the changes as much as you are. If you are too worried about your colleagues hearing them, they are probably facing the same dilemma. Just mute your microphone often during the meeting and relax.
You are not in this alone, almost everyone else in the world is facing the same thing. All you can do is try your best as we all go through this uncharted territory. There is no wrong or right way to do things and you will figure out your own pace and way to manage your day.
6. Avoid feeling isolated
Working remotely can cause people to feel isolated, making it more important to routinely check in with your team, not only about their work product but also to see how they are doing. Loneliness can lead to depression and other mental health issues. Be aware of significant changes you may see in your team member’s personality or work product, because it may be a sign that a person is struggling.
7. Stay Connected with your IT Department
When you are working from home, you’re bound to face a few technical challenges every once in a while. Whether it’s connectivity issues or software issues you need to know who your IT contacts are. Make sure you have the numbers to contact your IT department, so they can walk you through any of the issues you might encounter.
You know that hobby you have been putting off or didn’t have time for before? There is no better time to start than now. This could be creating a new craft, organizing your house, or even starting a 10,000 piece puzzle. Whatever your passion is it’s time to start exploring it.
How to Take Care of Your Children During the Pandemic
1. Be Honest
If your child is old enough, you can explain to them why you are all staying home. Talk honestly about the virus and the effects it is having on the world. Explain to them that this is an exceptional time and that you are in this together.
You can have an open and honest conversation about why you have to work from home and how you need their support. Kids can surprise you with their level of understanding.
Use activities to help them grasp the concept of the virus and how it spreads. Here is a great experiment shared by Amanda Lorenzo, a pre-kindergarten teacher.
2. Organize their Day
Your children are used to a certain routine that you had been going through the whole year. Their world is now completely different and they need you to organize their day. Your child needs a routine in order to feel secure and can predict what is coming next. When they stay in place took effect for most people that meant that the routine was thrown out the window.
Create a daily schedule for your child and of course, try your best to follow through. If you put breakfast at a specific time then sit down and have breakfast at that time every day. This will create a sense of normalcy for your child. Schedule activities for you to do together. The resources on activities are endless but the best place to ask is your child’s daycare teacher.
Your child’s teacher will be your best source for activities and letting you know how to handle having your child home. They have their routine and they have spent a lot of time with your child so they are your subject matter expert.
3. Plan Activities for the whole week
We all know that when children are home the trap we all fall into is too much screen time. This could negatively affect your child and in order to limit it, they need activities. Depending on your child’s age search for activities online that require things you can find around your household.
4. Let them help with housework
Help your child learn about responsibilities and add a few easy house shores to their schedule. Let them help with simple tasks like clearing out the table or making their bed. Your child will enjoy these tasks and it will give them a sense of accomplishment. Try to pick the chore based on their age so they can get it done without feeling frustrated.
5. Create a reading time
We all know that reading is important and that your child will benefit greatly from it but we sometimes overlook reading altogether and opt for screentime. If your child isn’t old enough to read set aside some time and pick stories to read for them. Make it fun! Use different sounds for the different characters or play out different parts of the story. You can even use the toys to act out the story.
6. Spend more time together
With all the downsides of COVID-19, this is actually one of the few positive impacts. You are never going to have the same chance to spend as much time with your little one/ones as you are now. Take advantage of this and do the things you wanted to do together but never had the time. This could be movie nights: make some popcorn, turn off the lights and pick a movie and watch it together.
No matter what just seize the moment!
7. Take breaks together
Your home has most likely now turned into an office, a child care center, a restaurant, an entertainment center among many other things. Pace your day and take plenty of breaks and make sure to schedule your little one’s breaks at the same time. That way you can spend more time together.
8. Join support groups
The situation, unfortunately, isn’t all peachy and you will take time adjusting. At the age of COVID-19, make sure you have people to support you during this time. Call on your loved ones and family members or your close friends. They are all in the same boat and we all need to help each other during this time. The only way forward is by supporting each other virtually and staying safe.
9. Eat lunch together
The situation, unfortunately, isn’t all peachy and you will take time adjusting. Make sure you have people to support you during this time. Call on your loved ones and family members or your close friends. They are all in the same boat and we all need to help each other during this time. The only way forward is by supporting each other virtually and staying safe.