You probably never imagined yourself in this position. I never envisioned myself in this position.
Some days I wake up thinking, “I can’t homeschool my kids for the rest of the school year.”
It’s not that I don’t have the resources and the ability to execute teaching children from home, no, it’s the sheer trickiness of having a complete schedule change with limited outside help for needed reprieve and breaks in my day.
It’s overwhelming to be in charge of rearing, schooling, feeding and guiding my children ALONE. COVID-19 quarantine is hard because life as a parent shouldn’t be this way! There is so much pressure from myself to get things right and help my kids get to the next grade but I get short and am easily frustrated these days.
I don’t like it when I yell but it seems that it is happening more often right now and it scares me, because even with all the “helps” and “resources” I am being asked to be everything for my children, including holding us all together, and that isn’t always feasible.
I know I can only support my children if I am in a healthy position but remaining mentally healthy is not always easy. Especially when I’m tasked with homeschooling.
So here are 3 ways to stay sane as a new homeschool mom:
1. Don’t try to be an overachiever.
It is important to set an achievable pace for learning at home. We now know that coronavirus shelter in place order and social distancing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon none of us trained for.
So how do you train for something once it has started? Well, you really can’t, you have to rely on what you know, other people’s help and pacing if you aim to finish alive.
What does this mean for you as a parent as you facilitate and help your kids execute remote learning? You have to slow down and set the pace that works for you. This looks like knowing the capacity for yourself and your kids and setting them up for success.
2. Social-Emotional Lessons are just as important as Math and Reading.
Math and Reading are very important but if you and your children are at each other’s throats trying to complete the work it will be mentally taxing and your relationship will suffer.
I don’t always get this right but I have been working to be proactive about problem-solving in vivo the emotions that come up during school.
This looks like regulating through big emotions with my children instead of losing it or calling it quits on the school work. This also means I can’t plow through the work “just to get it over with” – quite a life lesson
3. Take as many breaks as you need.
All days don’t shake out the same. Some days are tougher than others. Knowing capacity fluctuates on a daily basis for your kiddos as well as you is KEY.
Children’s brains are under construction and as they learn and grow it is important to be patient with the changes that are being undergone. Much of a child’s learning is not as secure as an adult’s so they may “know” something one day and then have “forgotten” it or need a reminder the next day.
Many parents have never taken a child development class and so this can be quite concerning or even infuriating to many parents. Even those of us who have studied child development can forget this at times with our own children, so it is important to take breaks to remind ourselves of our children’s needs as well as ours 🙂
I truly believe the most important thing during this time is every parent’s mental health. This might be the hardest few months of parenting life. Not to be drastic, but if we are going to finish this COVID-19 quarantine, social distancing, remote learning marathon as a supportive parent it is key to be strong mentally. And this is not always easy without parental support.
Now, more than ever, self-care is a must in order to best sustain the kiddos in your care. Think of your self-care as important as the flight attendant directions “if you are traveling with a minor, put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you put theirs on.” Or, in other words, you can’t help your children stay sane if you’ve lost your sh*t! It is imperative to take time for yourself and practice self-care!
Please don’t try to be an overachiever. Resource yourself with all the supports that you can! If you need ideas on how to find more support as a parent please reach out. The counselors at Kid Matters Counseling are available to help both kiddos and parents online or in person. Don’t parent alone!
A lot of kids who struggle with anxiety and anger get stuck and many parents struggle with how to help their children.
At Kid Matters Counseling we create custom plans to help kids get unstuck and equip parents to better understand their children & make lasting connections with them.
Owner | Child Therapist | LCPC, RPT
Parenting is hard! But you don’t have to do it alone. I work with children and parents to resolve emotional conflict, cultivate healing, and nurture hope.
We help anxious kids and frustrated parents. We serve Hinsdale & the Western Suburbs of Chicago.
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