Establishing a New Family and Work Rhythm from Home
By Megan Bartel, LIGHT Program Manager
So many things are new for me and my family right now. It’s tough to ask for advice or look to an expert who has “been here before” since no one really has. I am now working from home full-time, homeschooling full-time and keeping my 4-year-old entertained.
It is a lot.
The thing that keeps me going is knowing I am doing my part staying at home while others who are caring for our patients can do theirs. I wanted to share some things that have worked well for me in my new family and work rhythm.
- Start our mornings by opening up all blinds/curtains in the house. Everyone knows the day has started as we let the natural light fill our rooms.
- Play some music. We have been listening to a lot of worship music (Hillsong United radio) and also Mandisa “It’s a Good Morning.” Start each day uplifted.
- Set up a designated work and homework area. We are using our kitchen table as a work and school area. We each have a basket/tote to hold everything we need in it. This helps with easy set up and clean up at the end of each day.
- Set up a snack basket. My kids have been asking for a snack every two seconds. Each morning, we fill our snack basket so they know what snacks they can have for the day. They have learned to “ration” out their snacks throughout the day. I’m thinking I need to do this for myself too so I can stay out of the fridge!
- Schedule work and school tasks in 30-minute increments. Kids lose their attention as do we, so breaking tasks into smaller increments has been more effective for us.
- Find a way to serve and uplift others. We made signs to hang on our windows to outside walkers that say, “Looking good!” “Be strong and kind,” “You can do this!” “Trust God” etc. to share encouragement that we are all in this together. Send an email to a coworker and tell them you miss seeing them!
- When your work and school day is finished, make sure to “shut down” your work/homework area. As you leave your work and school day behind, close your laptop and have your kids pick up their papers/books. It’s important that you still have boundaries around what is work time and family time. We put all of our kids’ toys from the day on the coffee table. They know at the end of our “work day” they need to put everything away in their room so we can start our family time.
- Find a way to connect with a coworker, family member or friend each day. We try to set up a FaceTime call with family and friends a few times a week.
- Give yourself grace. You are doing the best you can with everything that is new. By showing grace to yourself, it will be easier to extend it to others.
As we navigate this new normal together, share your ideas with others who are going through the same things. Support your coworkers and friends. Let them know, “You are doing great” as we may be doubting ourselves at this time. But most importantly, be kind to yourself and others.