What I didn't know that I needed to work from home during quarantine has nothing to do with toilet paper or paper towels.
I secured the toilet paper.
I made a two-week menu with a matching grocery list.
I got the kids logged in to all of their online school programs.
I set up a system to give the kids their work for a day and a schedule for them to stay on task.
But for whatever reason, I still found myself with a long To-Do List with little completed on it.
My family moved to a new city, 3 hours away, right before the whole Coronavirus situation became super serious and our county issued a stay at home order for all non-essential workers. There is a lot that comes with moving...especially moving in the middle of the school year. Before the stay at home order was in place I was rejoicing in the fact that I finally got the kids registered in school. Finally got their teacher assignments and their first day of school start date.
Then we got the text...the one stating schools will be closed for a long while.
At this point, the kids had already been home with me for a week. During that time I reviewed school work with them, made sure they read, but nothing too strenuous. With talk about schools being shut down for months, it seemed as if they would need to really begin working, working from home. That following Monday, it all began. I came up with a routine for them based on the resources the school gave us even though they said it wasn’t mandatory yet. I was feeling good emailing the kids their work assignments every day. I reached out to all the teachers whom I only met once by the way…..Requested access to all of their programs, figured out their log in ids, created a spreadsheet, honey I did all the things.
At this point, I have been taking on the role as a stay at home mom for about 2 weeks. I was getting the house settled in the new place, navigating my family and the coronavirus, but I found myself STILL not having time to work on my business and get things done at home that I wanted to get done.
Then it hit me one day.
The ONE thing that I needed during quarantine that I didn't know I needed...and no it wasn’t more toilet paper or the paper towels...
Was a schedule.
With all three kids home and my husband home all the time there was always stuff to be done. Oh did I mention that we are still unpacking….oh and the dryer quit working for a little while too.
I always thought that when I got another chance to be a stay at home mom that I would for sure be growing my business, but truth be told with my obligations to be all of the things I just couldn’t see where there was time to work on the business.
And that’s where my schedule comes in.
Now I am not totally back to waking up at 4:30 am like I was when I worked my office job just a few weeks ago, but I did decide that I needed that structure and schedule that I put in place to make sure I got my work down and other things that were important to me. I am also accepting that my schedule is not perfect and that it will probably change a more as life continues to change.
6:45 am Wakeup
7:00 am-7:15 am Prayer call with mom friends
7:20 am-8:00 am Journal, read my devotional, say my affirmations, workout
8:00 am -9:00 am Prepare breakfast, wake kids, up, and making sure kids work is ready
9:00 am-11:00 am Work with the toddler, work on my business, help the older
11:00 am-1:00 pm Lunch preparation/Lunchtime/Nap preparation
1:00 pm-4:00 pm Work around the house, help kids with their work and work on my biz
4:00 pm-7:00 pm Dinner prep, hang with the hubs, housework
7:00 pm Dinner
9:00 pm- Until Hanging with the family, cleaning the kitchen, working
What’s so crazy is that writing this down was so therapeutic. Don’t laugh...walk with me here. Being able to see where that time is going and knowing what actually happens is amazing. What I can really control (for the most part) is the time that I wake up and go to bed. When I make sure that I stay on schedule with that I can control what I do before everyone else wakes up and after everyone goes to bed. My morning routine activities are pretty much set I just do a mix of them depending on what time I wake up and how long the individual activities last.
It's important for me to set myself up in the morning because when the children arise they need help with their school work and school video meetings. My toddler also needs attention as she doesn't have set activities from school and even if she did she wouldn't be able to sit through them without assistance. The kids also need help preparing food. Our relatives call through the day for checking. The hubs does help out in between working, but he does have meetings, phone calls, and work.
I do want to start waking up earlier so that I can get more done before the kids get up, but that also requires me to quit watching tv and go to bed at night at a decent hour. But it’s worth it. It's soooo worth it. That morning time sets the day up for me. It keeps me from not scrambling during the day with what’s next. It gives me energy, sets my mood, gets me motivated. It allows me to connect with God first thing in the morning and sets my intention for the day.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33 KJV
After physically looking at my schedule instead of just imagining it in my mind I would like to be more intentional with my time. For instance, actually saying what activities the toddler and I will be working on during the set times. Maybe I will schedule office hours for the older kids too. As my schedule continues to fluctuate I will have to remain flexible. Being rigid during these times is just a recipe for disaster and failed expectations for no reason. The work can get done within reason without me stressing myself and the house out.
3 things that I want to give away to you is: take that extra time in the morning before everyone wakes up and set your day up, write out a schedule, and give yourself grace.
Pray, read the Bible, meditate, say your affirmations, create your To-do list...do whatever you have to do..exercise and have that cup of coffee (or my preference tea http://www.celestialseasonings.com/products/black/morning-thunder), to help you focus on the day and prioritize your self.
THIS, my friend, is self-care.
Writing out your schedule, your game plan will allow you to be honest with yourself about where your time is going, it will give you a sense of accountability, and all you to be intentional about today. Even if it is a Netflix and chill kind of day.
Giving yourself grace is mandatory.
Did you hear me?
It was mandatory before the quarantine and stay at home orders, but it’s definitely mandatory now. Each day may bring something new and different and you have to be able to allow yourself to change your day and what is supposed to be happening. I hope this helps you the way it has helped me. I am actually headed back in to adjust my schedule some more.
Remember that grace part, my friend. What's bringing you balance if you are new to this work from home situation?