5 No Filter Tips for Remote Working and Home Schooling Moms On Lockdown
Updated: May 9
If at the start of 2020, someone would have told me that the world would be on lockdown in three months, I would have never believed it. And yet here we are. The coronavirus epidemic turned world pandemic escalated so quickly that it felt we all went to bed normal one night and woke up in the twilight zone the next.
As a busy, single, working mom, the idea of remote work seemed doable until our kids were upended from school and parents asked to home-school. I now call it the "H" word, because every time I say it out loud, I literally go numb. And yes, many self-help gurus have touted a bunch of top lists, and best practices, nicely packaged on blogs and infographics, suggesting things like setting daily schedules so we can "cope" and practicing yoga and meditation. But how doable and realistic is all this? And how does a #MommyOnLockdown survive these unprecedented times, juggling family and work-life in isolation? My answer is simply this: You do what you can.
Here are some of the "throwaways" I have used as great takeaways during this period of social distancing and lockdowns.
1. No Daily Schedule Here
Though I love the idea of having a daily schedule in place to keep me and my two munchkins in-line, that idea simply won't work for me. With daily Zoom meetings and my job being tied to every move this pandemic makes I am always on a call or in a Whatsapp group chat (I am a part of 12!!!! SMH). Not to mention the cooking, cleaning and piles of homework that still need to get done and most importantly, ensuring that our children's emotional state during all this drastic change and tension is monitored and managed in a positive and healthy way. So, we go with the flow. We just don't need the added pressure.
2. ...and the Lord said, Let There Be Lots of Screen Time
Yeah, yeah, I know. This all sounds very bad, but moms, desperate times call for desperate measures. When I am working and especially on conference calls, the last thing I need is my kid asking for a snack in the middle of my daily update. No, no, no. The only thing that keeps my girls quiet is the TV or their tablet. Yes, they are having wayyyyyy more screen time than normal, but hey these are not normal times and so for now, until we figure this thing out the TV and tablet are the answer to my prayers. One good thing that has come out of this though, I have finally found the one thing that I can use to discipline my kids. One utter that I will take the TV and tablet away and I have two perfect little angels on my hands.
3. Yoga and Exercise Sounds Great, but...
As a Marketing Manager in the tourism industry and nightly news anchor, I have found myself extremely close to this pandemic, and I realized not too long ago that it was taking a physical and mental toll. I was suffering with headaches and neck and upper back pains, all signs of stress. The constant bombardment of rising coronavirus cases, growing death tolls and more lockdowns, were starting to feel like my world was caving in. To add insult to injury, the constant nagging of my kids every five minutes wanting a snack or a meal (I mean no wonder people are panic shopping! They got to feed them bored kids!) made me feel like I wanted to scream and just RUN!!! and so I did. And what a relief that was. I literally ran for miles until my body couldn't go anymore. Maybe this may sound extreme to you, but sometimes a little physical activity can take you a long way and I get that this may not fit itself into your daily routine easily, but when you are feeling on the edge or like you really need a boost try some physical activity. It gets blood pumping around your body and is a huge mood enhancer.
4. Go Ahead, Facebook Troll Your Way to A Live Virtual Dance Party
I know these are scary and uncertain times and you feel compelled to constantly watch the news, but too much of these negative images can influence your mood and overall well-being. So, although trolling on social media has its own negative connotation, you’d be surprised by the awesome things happening on our social platforms right now. Though I missed Dj D-Nice's live party at #ClubQuarantine, I have managed to troll my way into some other really cool virtual dance parties like#ClubIsolation from my home country Antigua led by one of their top DJ's, Jime Hunte. His live parties happen at 9 p.m. AST, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and each party has its own unique theme. It's a wonder how music can bring people together and totally take you from a "doom and gloom" mindset to a positive and upbeat one.
5. Self Isolate During Lockdown
So I know there are some of us out there praising this pandemic for bringing us all together and bringing families closer and we are encouraged to embrace this as a positive thing but let's keep it real. No one wants to be stuck in the house with their kids 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for multiple weeks on end. So, when on lock down, you must also self isolate. Yes, I said it! You still need your "me time" mama. One thing this pandemic has shown us this far, is that this is not a time for thriving, it's about surviving. So put those little munchkins to bed for a nap, or make bedtime early so that you can woosa. Have a glass of wine, read a novel, goodness, Netflix and Chill! Whatever you do make sure it brings you joy and relaxation and the chance to be calm, clear your mind and just focus on you.
Be well and stay safe and most importantly, STAY HOME!