Many parents have decided to temporarily or permanently become stay-at-home parents due to the pandemic. This decision for many has been motivated by health safety, financial concerns, and/or childcare shortages. Some moms that I’ve spoken with feel a calling to be a stay-at-home parent, while others struggle with the adjustment.
Here are some tips to survive staying at home to care for your children even if it isn’t “for you.”
Maintain a Schedule
No matter what your employment status, parenting definitely calls for flexibility. However, you and your children can benefit from having at least an outline of what things will look like on a day-to-day basis. If you are dreading how long the days seem, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time daily can help segment your day into smaller, more manageable sections. If you are bored of the same old same old, scheduling play dates or day trips are other ways to break up the monotony.
Get Out the Door
Every day there are family-friendly activities happening all around the city. I make it a habit to look up and choose a few activities for the upcoming week. This is not to say that we will attend all of them. However, it gives us options. Another suggestion is picking a park or walking route ahead of time. This way when your family needs time out of the house, you already have a plan of how to get outside for some fresh air and vitamin D.
Start a Project
When I officially became a stay-at-home parent at the beginning of the pandemic, I knew I needed to create a purpose for myself outside of my parental responsibilities. I wrote a book and started my own small business by way of going back to college. Whether it’s learning a new skill for fun or working on a new side-hustle, engaging in personal projects helps solidify your identity outside of parenthood.
Make Time for You
All of these suggestions kind of go hand-in-hand, but I think the most important recommendation is to take time for yourself. This can be while the kids are at school, during nap time, or when a family member or friend can watch the kids for a bit. Having regularly scheduled times dedicated to doing things that bring you joy, is important for your health, both mentally and physically. Sometimes something as simple as reading a book before bed, watching a TV series, or taking a walk, can be just what you need to recharge your batteries.