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Learning How to Juggle 101

The end of summer is almost here but how much would it really change your current situation? During the beginning of the quarantine many parents had to learn how to juggle – managing work related issues, childcare and homework all at once. Is it really possible to do it all? It is a little (I am being kind) unrealistic to expect parents to do it all.

The life of many parents has been turned upside down. Here is a little picture of what it has been like for some. Imagine getting that report that you need to turn in by 6 pm for work at the same time you need to start thinking about dinner for let’s say 4 people (please keep in mind that one doesn’t like chicken, the other doesn’t eat meat, another one hates every green vegetable and you are allergic to eggs). Also, one of your imaginary kids has a project that is due at 4pm and is worth 75% of their grade. The kids are filled with energy because the playgrounds where they used to play and socialize are closed. Do you get the picture? This has been the reality for many parents during this pandemic.

If you had a difficult time and you are starting to think about the beginning of the academic year, here are some tips that might help. I say might because there is not magic formula in parenting and everyone’s situation is different.

7 Tips on how to Juggle

1. Keeping a schedule

This is really important; it really helps the younger ones with their frustrations. Most young kids have no concept of time, so keeping a routine helps them predict what is coming. Have specific times that your child will dedicate to schoolwork.

2. Plan ahead

The weekend is a great time to plan your meals to erase the most feared question of the week “ What are we going to eat?” Get the kids involved so there are no surprises. It is impossible to take care of the house, work and kids all at once. Focus on doing just a little bit at a time.

3. Chores

For older kids, it is good to add one or two chores in the schedule for each day. It could be as simple as emptying the dishwasher. This also gives them a sense of teamwork. Develop a schedule for yourself as well.

4. Make space

Create a dedicated space for schoolwork and another space for calming. Most schools started to do this – it is called a calming corner. It is important to have this at home too.

5. Communication of Expectations

Discuss with your child’s teacher the expectations in terms of schoolwork and deadlines. Communicate with your child about your expectations.

6. Recharge

Set aside time to recharge. Even just five minutes could make a difference. End your day with a family walk.

7. Be kind

Yes, be kind to yourself. It is challenging to manage all things at once, something has to give.

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