If you have to work in a home office with children in the Corona quarantine, you need a certain amount of steadiness. Corona has many (most? All?) hit hard and unexpectedly. Some have to work short hours, fearing for their job, others have to work even harder, others work while they have both small children who want to be kept busy and big children who need help with homeshooling. The list and effects because of Corona is long and extremely individual. In our case, I work in a home office (for several years now), have a little baby mouse and a school kid who can’t (or doesn’t want to) do the tasks on his own yet?) and needs a helping hand and more or less also lessons.
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Perfection was yesterday! And this is what I say to you as an absolute perfectionist. Not only that: If I want something, I want it yesterday and I like to work tirelessly for it. Perfection is not possible in the home office with children in Corona Quarantine. Of course, it would be wonderful to get up in the morning, have a certain plan and be able to check off items one by one. But the recommendation to write a plan for the day brings us to be totally stressed or not? At least that’s how I feel. Better: set priorities and start early. Build in sufficient buffer times. It is unpredictable if our little one falls asleep in the evening and wakes up the next morning or if she needs another 30 minutes of sleep assistance in the evening. So don’t plan your working time, but work when time allows.
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Let’s move on to the next point, which is also part of this. Be flexible. Math is a problem again today, because a certain problem came up, which already caused problems last week? Means that it needs again a little more time at the Homeshooling. No problem, because you already have enough buffer time built in. The little baby mouse sleeps longer than usual? Perfect! Do what has to be done, even if it was planned for the next day. And yes, it’s okay if your school kid watches TV after homework so you can work undisturbed for an hour. We don’t watch that much TV here, but there are times when it might be a little bit more. For us personally it’s ok because I notice that when she is allowed to do it, it’s not that interesting anymore anyway. By the way, I believe that children often watch more TV than parents admit.
Especially in the Corona time I absolutely recommend you to check your diet and maybe turn on one or the other cogs. Why? Because you become so directly much more efficient! Small changes in everyday life can make a big difference. It does not always have to be big cooking. A package of frozen vegetables with wholemeal pasta and a tomato sauce out of the jar is also ok. Try to increase the amount of vegetables you eat, reduce the amount of coffee you drink and drink more still water. The difference is huge once you’ve stuck with it for a few days. People need about two weeks to get used to a new habit.
- Herring, Laura (Author)
- Fiedler, Susanne (Author)
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A time out for all
Do not forget small timeouts. It does not always have to be 2 hours. Often it is enough to breathe fresh air for 5 minutes in between. Get up, get dressed and leave the house for a short time or open the windows completely and breathe deeply several times. The latter is also incredibly important for children and is much easier to establish at such a young age than later with an adult. A short breathing session together can do wonders for concentration, but also for motivation. We go for a walk once a day, whatever the weather. I notice it in myself, but also in the kids how important this hour off is. In the best case I schedule the walk so that the baby mouse doesn’t fall asleep and later takes a nap. If not, we are back to the topic of "being flexible".
- impudent publisher (author)
Trust in yourself and your abilities
You can do this! You pack that! YOLO – You only live once! Nothing is eaten as hot as it is cooked. Especially in this day and age, everyone will understand if things don’t go so well. Everyone has a bad day, us adults as well as our kids. You know what you can do, otherwise you wouldn’t be where you are right now. You are unique and so are your children. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Home office with kids in the corona quarantine is a totally exceptional situation. The most important thing is still: Stay calm! If you put yourself under too much pressure and become stressed, this tension is transferred to the children and you get into a spiral, from which you usually do not get out so quickly. Have understanding for yourself, the situation, for others and for your children.
Build in buffer time
You have a new project? Super! You can be happy, because from now on you will build in buffer times and be happy if you finish earlier than planned. I get asked so many times how I manage to work, study, eat healthy and then also take care of the kids, exercise and everything else that comes up. Quite simply: I build in a lot of buffer time. I plan much more time for things and deal with interruptions in a totally relaxed way. As long as you develop a certain attention and mindfulness in everyday life for everything that happens around you, it gets easier. I appreciate almost every interruption, because it brings me back to the here and now to a certain extent, when I’m absorbed in work or studying. The saying "Our everyday life is their childhood" keeps coming back to my mind. You are only a very short time so small, and this time is valuable.
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash
Do what works for YOU
Probably the most important tip: Do what works for YOU in the home office with children in the Corona quarantine and don’t look too much to the left and right. For example, I can’t do anything at all with lists, but everyone tells you that you have to make lists. making plans and then checking them off. How often have I tried this in the past and always ended up not being able to check things off?. And then? Of course I felt bad and therefore put myself under total pressure. Everyone is individual and what works for one, is for the other a complete disaster.
Recognize the opportunity
I have to be honest. When it was clear again that we are racing into another Corona quarantine and maybe after the loosenings soon it will be back into a 3. If I could go into quarantine, my thoughts were and are also that I’m really starting to get annoyed and don’t feel like it anymore. The first one wasn’t so bad for us at all, because I was totally in my baby bubble and we were able to get to know each other as a family and enjoy the first time. In the meantime it’s sad of course. The big one can’t see her friends, there is a lack of social contact and the little one cries as soon as she sees a stranger, because she hardly knows anyone else. But I also see it as an opportunity, both personally and in the community. We grow with our tasks. That’s the way it was and always will be. We can be grateful for our family, the cohesion and the love.