Are We Doing This Right? It Can't be Right, Right? (The New Normal)
I'm a little spooked, I'll admit it. I'm not sure I'm doing "it" right. Any of "it". The homeschooling, the working from home, making sure my kids get exercise and time away from the computer, the "new normal"....
Just a few months ago we were told not to let our kids spend too much time in front of a screen, and now we are being told that it's okay to spend ALL DAY in front of the screen?!
Who am I supposed to be listening to? Do you know? Where is the guidebook? Who are the experts? Why is everything so different?
There is uncertainty right now. The politicians are uncertain; the schools are uncertain; Wall Street is uncertain and so the hell am I. Of a lot of things. The term “unprecedented times” is being thrown around quite a bit because they don't have the words to describe what is happening. Just unprecedented. That means that our leaders are saying, "OMG I don't know either."
Well, I guess I'm trying as hard as I can and that had better be enough. But, it is starting to get to me. I already need a break soon and school as just begun!
I saw a quote the other day that resonated with me.
"We expect women to work like they don’t have children and raise children as if they don’t work.”
It really struck me and I had to follow my own advice and set boundaries for myself if I had any hope of making this work.
Just try something for me.
Write your boundaries down in a place that you will see them every morning on Post-It notes or a dry erase board. Anything. This will help you start your day out with a physical reminder of the plan that you have set in place for yourself and help you reference during the day when you feel yourself getting discouraged.
Read below to learn more boundaries to set and keep reminding yourself of them!
1. Don’t compare what you are doing to what anyone else is doing as a benchmark of success.
What works for someone else and their family may not work for you and THIS IS OKAY. Not only will this help you personally feel more in control, but will be a great example for your kids to see.
2. Anxiety and high stress is normal right now. It is okay to take breaks and step away from the screen.
Resting when things get overwhelming can create longevity. If you need a solo break and need something for your little one to do, check out this YouTube channel that features some of your favorite celebrities reading children's books: https://www.youtube.com/c/StorylineOnlineSAF/videos
3. Talk to your boss. Over-communication is key right now. Let them know if you need to change your daily schedule and explain to them the issues you are facing.
The only way you can get professional support is if your boss or manager knows what is going on. Be honest with them! In our new normal, the traditional 9-5 is fading. And it is integral that your employer sets you up for success as a member of the team so that you can be a successful parent.
4. Work with your little ones on coming up with a good signal for them to see when you are available and when you are “off limits.”
Whether that is when they see headphones in, they know you are busy or let them help make a sign that gets displayed when you are in the middle of a meeting - this will help ensure you get the time you need to complete your work and have the time to help them with what they may need. You can also use this signal method to “pretend to be on a call” when you can just take a minute for yourself and listen to a podcast or your favorite album.
5. It’s okay to turn your computer off when you are done working for the day.
Technology is great for keeping people connected and bridging the social distancing measures in place, however that simplicity of being able to reach someone immediately can force you into feeling like you have to be “on” all the time. If you are done for the day, let that new email sit in your inbox til the morning. You are on your time now and it is important to stick to that for your own sanity.
In addition to my tips, I just want to stress the importance of journaling.
You know I love it and believe in it. And it can be part of your self care. Give yourself a moment to reflect on your day. Jot down what worked. Jot down what didn’t work. Write what you are feeling even if those feelings aren’t complete sentences. This will help center you as you attempt to navigate something highly stressful and new to you.
Another way to feel empowered and stick to the boundaries you set for yourself is to join a group of like-minded individuals. Try taking an online challenge with a group of people. Taking challenges sets aside time reserved for focused change action. Another resource is to join my Living Purposefully Facebook group where I provide daily motivation, live videos and resources for whatever you want to achieve.
Leave a comment and let me know what boundaries you are implementing in your life!