How to find your groove when the kids are at home (all the time!)

find your groove

It’s been a long couple of months. It may be a couple more. And let’s be honest, some of these days are total write-offs: not at all productive, and full of screen time.

Being at home all day every day is a huge change for me. I’ve given up my job security so I don’t even have a for-sure place to return to for employment when this is all over – or when we’re as close to “normal” as we’re getting for now.

I have nailed down a freelance writing gig for the near future. That means I will need to find slots of time when I can write without interruption. The constant “Mom!” really interferes with my writing flow, so I need to work on finding ways to make this work.

Interested in reading my work? (I’m available for other freelance positions): Jessica Foley on Kingstonist and Writer for Hire

Three ways to help you find your groove when the kids are at home (and maybe your spouse too!)

Set up a schedule

It doesn’t have to be rigid, or even very specific, but having set times where people are expected to do something helps the day feel productive. This is especially important if there are people working from home who need quiet or have scheduled meetings etc.

find your groove

Our schedule is loose, but we do school work in the morning, and active time in the afternoon, most days. I can fit in writing time after the girls finish their school work for the day and go off and play (or have screen time themselves.)

Related: How families are coping during the pandemic

Do basic meal planning

Knowing what’s for dinner really helps me avoid the mid-afternoon anxiety of “when do I start cooking” or “what are we even eating?”

We’re not intensive meal planners. As long as there are fresh veggies in the fridge, I take something from the freezer – protein – and add maybe rice or a second veggie, but I think about what it will be in the morning. (This gives me time to thaw out whatever we’re cooking!)

It’s also helpful to think up a few meal ideas before the designated shopper goes to the grocery store. We don’t “stop for milk” anymore (unless absolutely necessary) so one trip to the grocery store a week is all we do. By making a rough list of dinner ideas, you can be sure you’re stocked up for the week.

Related: Meal planning tips and tricks

Give your kids age-appropriate freedom

You know your children. You know what they can and can’t handle as far as unsupervised play. Use that to your advantage.

My daughters both learned to ride their bicycles without training wheels over the last few weeks, so I let them go riding as many times as they want to in a day – as long as school work is done. They don’t go far (we live in the suburbs), they look after each other, and I get some quiet time in the house.

find your groove

Maybe your child’s “freedom” is playing in the fenced backyard, or just in the next room. Find a solution that works for your family, and make use of it. Any time you can use for work – with ears open – may help you find your groove.

How to find your groove when the kids are at home (all the time)

Add physical activity to your routine

If you aren’t getting active during this pandemic, now is the time to start. The weather is improving, the sun is up longer, and fresh air always helps clear your mind.

I have been taking a walk every day (weather permitting.) Sometimes with the kids, sometimes on my own, but always for about half an hour. It’s enough to feel like I’ve exercised, but not enough to exhaust me or make me sore the next day. (That used to happen with some of the dance classes I was taking – felt good doing it, but I definitely “felt” it the next day.)

Finding a groove should always include some active time – for your physical and mental health.

Related: Fitting more exercise in your busy mom life (with Covid caution, of course.)

What solutions have you found to help you focus on work (or hobbies) while at home with other people all the time? Let me know in the comments, and maybe I can use those myself!

Jess

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