Change and achieving balance is difficult to achieve during everyday life. Finding balance in troubled times is even more difficult, but is necessary. Balance is finding the right amount of work/school, play and home.
Now we find ourselves restricted to our homes, which has caused us to redefine what is normal for everyday life. This can be very confusing to everyone especially children. If you add in two working parents now it gets even more challenging. This is why we need to find balance so we can maintain the peace in our homes. There needs to be a game plan created by both parents ensuring they are on the same page; kids too depending on their ages.
Home schooling is no joke! You now have to see your child in a whole new light…how do they learn? You are not only fighting the kids to do the work, but when they do it you may hear, “that is not how Ms. (fill in a name) does it. You have to reestablish roles and expectations. This can be difficult because you are now not only mom or dad, but their teacher too. This is extremely difficult if you have never taught before or if you do not have any materials from the school. Do the best you can; use technology to your advantage.
You also have to know what is expected of you from your employer. You have to get your work done while navigating life with your family. You have to find quiet places to take conference calls because when are kids the loudest and neediest…when you get on the phone.
Finally, you have to decide how to explain to your children why they are not allowed to go to school, see their friends or even go to the places they are used to going. The amount of detail will depend on their age, but communicating what is going on is very good for their balance. They are dealing with thoughts and feelings of their own.
Here are some good ways to help find balance:
1. Communication between everyone in the home – it is never balanced if one person is not okay.
2. Have a schedule to follow, especially for kids who are younger and in school. This schedule should mirror their school schedule as much as possible.
3. Share the responsibilities. Everyone should contribute to make the household run smoothly.
4. Parents always know your limits and set limits for the children. Know when you need a break and be okay with asking for help.
5. Allow everyone to have “me time”. This time is very important and should be respected by the other family members. This time allows you to recharge in the best way for each individual.
6. Plan family activities. Board games, puzzles, movie night and/or favorite food night.
7. Be mindful of others. Respect their feelings and be supportive.
8. Get outside and get some exercise.
9. Eat healthy.
Finding balance is not always easy, but it will lend to a happier household!
Written by Joyce Mullins, LCSW, Therapist- New Braunfels