Creating a schedule as working parents during this crazy time is a must in order to stay productive and sane! Our lives have been flipped upside down! And we cannot expect to carry on as normal. We have to adjust our schedules and expectations to be able to function under those new and very unexpected circumstances.
Here are my tips for creating a schedule for working parents to stay productive and sane. These are all the things that we do in our household.
Wake up early
It is hard to fully concentrate on your work when you are constantly interrupted by kids. This is why I highly recommend incorporating getting up before your kids do. Yes, I know it’s probably not something that you want to hear. But it totally works!
Try to wake up before your kids and spend an hour or two working on your priorities for the day. Having that uninterrupted time to really concentrate will make a huge difference in your productivity. It should be the first thing to consider when creating a schedule as working parents.
If you absolutely cannot do mornings, then as an alternative, you can have that uninterrupted time after the kids go to sleep. This is usually what works for my husband. I personally do not have any brain power left in me in the evenings, which is why I prefer early mornings when my mind is fresh and I am much more creative. I have a video on my morning routine during quarantine on my YouTube channel if you are looking for some tips and motivation.
Have Morning and Evening Routines in Place
The second tip that I have for you when creating a schedule, is to incorporate morning and evening routines. Kids really function better when they know what is expected of them. And when they function better, so do we. The routines should not be rigid but serve as a guideline. For example, before 9 am kids should get up, get dressed, brush their teeth, and eat breakfast.
After a few days, they will get used the routine and will require less supervision from you. They will also stop asking questions on what they should be doing or complain why they need to get dressed now. And I think we all agree that less complaints is always a WIN!
RELATED: Evening Routine of a Working Mom
Set up School Routine
Remote learning has its own set of challenges. We have been at it for a few weeks now, and definitely have learned some things. When creating schedule for working parents, make sure you set a time block for school work. It has to work for YOU and your child. Don’t expect your child to start school at 8 am sharp when he or she usually likes to sleep until 8 am. The last thing you want is to start your day on a ‘grumpy note’.
Also, figure out how long your child can be content doing school work. Do they prefer one longer period or do they like to break it down into smaller intervals?
For example, what works for us is one morning and afternoon school block. We do math and writing in the mornings and social studies, spelling, and music in the afternoon.
And be flexible! Some days you might need to switch things around to make it work better in your schedule or because your child prefers to do things differently that particular day.
Think about Work Meetings
Probably the most stressful time of the day for working parents is a meeting time. This is the time when kids need to be preoccupied with something so the interruptions are limited to a minimum. It might be the time when they do their school work, you give them a craft, turn on a TV show – whatever works best for your child.
Look at your upcoming schedule the night before and plan accordingly. For example, if they like to watch a specific show – hold it off until your meeting time. That way they will have something to look forward to and you might get more peace and quiet during your meetings.
Rotate Toys and Games
For kids that are not school age yet, you need to pre-occupy them with other things. If they are old enough, you can print different worksheets and crafts for them to do.
Another great tip is to rotate their toys and games so they don’t get bored. For example, suggest play-dough on Monday, blocks on Tuesday, painting on Wednesday. That way the activities can rotate and they won’t feel like they are doing the same things each day.
Don’t be Afraid of Electronics
We all are probably relaying on electronics a lot these days. They can be a good thing and a bad thing – to me it’s all about balance. Use your discretion when it comes to electronics.
There are plenty of educational programs and games that the kids can play. If you have been very strict on the time your kids spend on electronics – you might reconsider that right now. You can use screen time as a reward for finishing up all the school work or chores. Use it to your advantage!
At the same time, if you observe a negative change in your child’s behavior due to electronics, implement some rules and changes. You might set some limits on how much time they play video games or the times of the day when electronics are allowed. It is all trial and error.
Lunch and After Work if Family Time
Another tip for creating a schedule for working parents is to be intentional with lunch time and the time after work. Because we really cannot spend much time with our kids during the work day – make sure you dedicate your lunchtime to your kids. If you can – go outside. Let them get some fresh air and run around and burn some of that energy.
And do the same after work. While we are home with our kids all day long – we are not really with them. Therefore, we need to make sure we spend that quality time with them after work. If this becomes part of your daily routine, it will also give your kids something to look forward to during the work day.
Get Family Involved with Chores
And the last tip that I have when creating a schedule as working parents is to start getting your family involved with chores. Since all of us are home all day long – there are more things to clean up and more meals to cook and clean after. I am definitely not used to see all the mess in my house at the end of my work day. When my kids were in school and daycare, the house was not getting messy. Now, it looks like a tornado went through it each day.
Therefore, Involve your kids as much as you can. This is a perfect time to teach them some household responsibilities. You will lessen your workload and they will learn important life skills! It’s a win-win!
RELATED: Cleaning Routine That Works
What other tips do you have for creating a schedule as working parents? Please share below!