I really enjoyed Kelsey’s blog post on how to successfully work from home. Building on Kelsey’s piece, I’ve added my own tricks and tips for moms of older, school-aged kids who are now both working and teaching their children from home.
Don’t even think about scheduling ahead. When working from home with your older children studying literally feet from your workspace, don’t even try to schedule ahead or prepare a to-do list. Instead, just let things slip until you get an email from your editor or manager reminding you about the projects you were supposed to finish last week. At that point, you’ll panic and neglect your children for just the right amount of time to complete the task. Also, embrace the fact that you’ll never be done. EVER!
After finishing homeschooling and your own attempts to work (LOL!), remember that you’ll need to feed your small humans, clean up after dinner, do a few loads of laundry, empty the dishwasher, drink copious amounts of white wine (or vodka for those healthy low-carb folks), walk the dog, feed the dog, and finally, tidy up the house because you’ll be doing this all again tomorrow and cleaning is critical to sanity (at least for me).
Uninterrupted quiet time. This will never happen. The end.
Only weirdoes shower and dress up. That doesn’t mean let yourself go entirely. Aim high—like yoga pants and a sweatshirt/tee-shirt combo. Maybe put your hair in a ponytail (only necessary if you have to go to the store). And okay, fine, deodorant only takes a moment. But, if you’re applying makeup or earrings during quarantine, seek psychological help immediately.
Sleep in! If you’re superhuman and aren’t completely exhausted from homeschooling, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and trying hard to make it seem like you don’t want to murder your immediate family every hour of the day, by all means get up early. I won’t.
Meal prep. If you’re kids don’t eat what you’ve made, yell at them until they cry (I’m kidding…kinda).
Snack breaks are life. Unnecessary walks to the kitchen for snacks is the only thing that’s going to keep you sane during coronavirus quarantine so do it, and often. We can always diet after this quarantine. If your older kid really needs you, continue to ignore them until they wander into the kitchen for a snack. They will…often.
Don’t plan for tomorrow. By day three you’ll realize you’re just winging it so there’s no need to plan for tomorrow.
Text only, please. You will have zero time to Facetime with friends (and who wants to look at you anyway!) but texting is still a good option. Keep your texts to a small selection of gifs that involve wine consumption and crying. That’s all you’ll need.
Good luck, ladies!