How to manage your time, mind and family in lockdown when YOU are the heart of your home
When I first started to write this post, I was going to share my ideas on planning the perfect kitchen storage as the kitchen is often referred to as being the heart of the home but this time I got thinking about us ladies and how we are often the glue, the connecting force, the centre piece of the puzzle and indeed the heart of our homes. Like our kitchens, the place where families and friends meet to share our day, plan our lives, feed and nurture our bodies, we hold and bind the lives of our loved ones together and basically make shit happen.
Women have been doing this from the dawn of time and now in 2021 when the world is resembling some kind of dystopian modern yet historical drama (yeah, I've just binged watch Bridgerton!) our workload just got bigger, our time more in demand and our minds a little more full!
Lockdown #3 is about to enter week three and Monday 18 Jan - the third Monday of January, is meant to be the day we feel most blue (I mean what the actual...?!). Many women are working full or part time or running businesses (or both), looking after the kiddos and doing the majority of the household tasks; possibly keeping an eye on older parents and now home eschooling. Children or no children we have picked up the slack where outside help is no longer possible. It is not sustainable. We are also most likely the emotional carrier and support system for our immediate and wider families too.
We know how it is and we are pushing for change overall but right now we have to deal with the matter at hand and getting through the next few months intact. This time round we are better equipped in some ways. 2020 was brutal but at least nothing is a 'first' anymore and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Homeschool is not new, we have been given the education on looking after our mental health and society recognises that the ongoing imbalance between the x and y chromosome STILL needs to be addressed.
We will arrive on the other side of this, until then...
Establish a routine like the boss you are
This has got to be the most practical thing you can do. This is your north star during this time. Structure is king and everyone
will be happier for it. It doesn't have to be perfect, be realistic but at least try to make the main activities throughout the day happen at/around the same time.
Plan babes plan!
Honestly your future Friday 12pm self will thank you. On Sunday, if you have a partner, plan your week together.
Get the planner and diaries out. Look at your most important meeting and tasks for work and any priority learning moments for the kids and plan around these. Be flexible.
Then block your time. Allocate sections of your day to your tasks and block your diary out. I often give myself more time than I need to allow for disturbances.
If you have a key meeting and your children are little, then give them the 'attention tool' of choice e.g. the iPad with educational based content to watch to get you through the meeting. If planning a meeting obviously schedule them at the best time for you.
Plan your meals and cook in bulk if you can. I often cook enough for two days.
Break it up
Take time out with your family and for yourself. Go for the lunchtime walk, or get out in the garden, read or exercise. Walk away from your work space, be disciplined and give your brain a rest.
Be honest and don't feel guilty
Talk to your employer or clients and be honest about what is and isn't feasible. Set boundaries for yourself and be clear with family what they can and can't expect of you.
We are in a global pandemic. I'll say it again - we are in a global pandemic!
Don't say you're fine all of the time, don't lie when you are feeling rubbish.
The 'C' word - Communicate
Make sure everyone is clear on what is what for each day.
Make sure family member respect your time and space when you need it - explain what and why.
Encourage and talk about independence to your kids.
Make sure your spouse understands your needs too.
Talk to friends and wider family members, we can;t get all things from one person.
When you get your down time do the thing that makes you relax easily. Be in the moment, enjoying every second. Don't think about the next day. I'm a fan of journaling it really helps my mind to let go of any stress and outs me in a great place. Oh and watch Bridgerton!
It was Mother Theresa that said "The woman is the heart of the home..." and perhaps this is no surprise. Whilst this is true I for one am not out here trying to be a nun, I'm just doing my best and keeping the ship afloat as best I can. I do know taking the time to organise myself is the only way to what needs to be done, done.
Life is overwhelming for many people right now so I hope these practical tips above help, they genuinely help me in making sure my family and I are as healthy and happy as possible.
Thanks for dropping by my fellow queens. Wishing a healthy and happy reign in 2021.
Please feel free to comments on this post and share any of your own thoughts or tips too.