How to Survive This Extended School Holiday as an Entrepreneur Mom

 



This one is for the Mom's (and Dad's if you're reading) out there who are now running your businesses, with your little assistant(s) in tow. For some entrepreneur Mom's, COVID-19 was really just a moment of acknowledgment.

You've been doing this for a while before it became the 'thing we all must do', right? You're a veteran at this work from home gig, yet you too are kind of stumped as to how to proceed in these times.

Running a business with children who are not in school, is much like, juggling balls standing on top of an elephant who is walking a tight rope anchored by a beach ball...

 Am. I. Lying?

With our two boys, I have to admit, it has been an extreme challenge. Since we started lockdown, I've been worried about their ability to adapt and adjust to these changes. Surprisingly, they haven't missed much of a beat. They do miss their friends and outdoor interaction though, that is a given.

They still play, laugh, snaaaack (you know the glorious snacks are even more in demand now), and just take advantage of the time it means to be kids.

Both my husband and I are entrepreneurs (crazy...right? Like who even does that?). He's over there building his empire at @ntsansa (peep the proud wife plug) :) , while I'm hell-bent on turning Skills to Dollar Bills® into a global powerhouse that empowers, impacts and changes lives and financial outcomes for women, particularly women of color. Not to mention, the crazy idea of starting a vlog and a fashion boutique...but I mean, we can do all of the things, right?!?

While we are doing all of the things, our little guys are watching us. They're making videos on Canva, planning their own businesses, and mocking our phone calls and live conversations. Not to mention, attempting to make personal appearances on said calls and videos. 

I have to admit, some days Mom guilt is really heavy, because the cries of 'can you play with me' while I'm heading on a call or in the middle of working through a deadline, echo's off of the chambers of my heart. Yet, I know that this short hustle will free us up to do more with them, once this period passes... and pass it will.

So right now, we are working on establishing a proper routine for them. Virtual school has ended (yayy for that), and now it's time for Home School and Vacay.

So how are the Tackie's navigating this challenge? We're about to find out. lol.

Routines are how we keep things together as entrepreneurs; without these recurring plans, getting overwhelmed and frustrated becomes the norm.

Governments worldwide are beginning to reopen their economies (although word has it, the U.S is heading into another lockdown. I'm praying for our American family) as we all learn new ways to live with the novel coronavirus. Schools seem to be the diciest for governments and policymakers to wrap their head around. 

Children have delicate immune systems, and compliance to sanitary and social distancing measures are hard to moderate, making them a high-risk candidate. Therefore, schools are not likely to resume fully anytime soon. 

As it seems, most of us have to get back to work, if we haven’t already. It is essential to cushion the effect of this change on the family, especially the children. 

So what are the best ways parents can care for their children during the covid-19 pandemic as the lockdown eases?

Every parent desires to do everything within their capacity to protect their children. The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has brought with it fresh challenges for families worldwide.

The pandemic brings with it feelings of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty – and they are experienced particularly strongly by all types of children. A child faced with school closure, canceled events, and detachment from friends may be emotionally down and thereby may need a lot more attention than they did before.

The responsibility to delegate this love and support for the children heavily rests on the parents’ shoulders. How can parents take care of their children now that lockdown is being eased and adults have to get back to work?


This article looks at the ways parents can care for their children during the COVID-19 pandemic as work begins.


To begin with...

Sensitize your child

Talk with your child about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer any questions they may have and share with them facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand. Parents should learn more about the children’s typical reactions and how they can help them out of adverse reactions.

Designate a caregiver

Since you’ll be spending some time at work, it means there will be a few hours or so that you will not be with your child. So you need to hire or come up with a second eye for your child (ren).

The caregiver will be tasked with monitoring your children’s movements and keeping him/her company too. This can be really challenging given the risk of exposure bringing others into the home.

Yet, where possible, if you can find a trusted caregiver who follows extreme safety protocols to prevent contracting illnesses, it is well worth exploring. Being around someone who cares for them helps them ease their emotional pressure.

Parents should observe and take note of their behavior.

Parents, you probably understand this pandemic and the effects it has brought far much better than your children. As a result, it's understandable if you are anxious.

Children are very good at taking emotional cues from their parents. Therefore, as a parent, it would be best if you try to manage your anxiety and not overshare your fears with your children. Do your best to contain your emotions, although this may be hard at times, particularly when you are feeling those emotions intensely. Every child depends on their parents to provide a sense of safety and security.

Leverage technology in a wise way

Since the children will be at home for an extended period, parents should consider how they will utilize it to make things work for them. Parents should understand that for the younger children, they may be obliged to relax reasonable screen-time restrictions to make them free so that they can get more of their work completed. 

As for older children who may still be in school or going through virtual summer school, parents should know that they may be required to use technology to complete their schoolwork from home effectively.

To avoid and restrict the children’s movements from one place to another, you may want to ensure that you have adequate facilities at home. However, if you do not have enough gadgets (computers, tablets, and so on) for everyone to use at the same time, you may need to consider how you can use what you have so that everyone can carry out what they intend. Try to be well versed in the school’s technology so that they are not confused about how to figure it out later. Cause we all know, tech can be stressful at times.

Besides, try to understand the limitations of the technology you have at home before you need to use it. My techie husband always tells me to 'test it before you need it'. Me, on the other hand, I just want to dive in and then get frustrated when it doesn't work out the way I intended. Oh, the challenges of being a free spirit.

Try not to be like me,  test it before you need it. Act fast about how you can work together with your children to be sure that everybody gets what they need. For instance, your internet speed may be unable to support their video conference calls when the children are busy streaming live YouTube videos. Have you considered upgrading it? 

Try sticking to a routine.

Since children need a structure, parents should ensure that their children have a schedule for the day. It may include playtime where the children are free to access their phones, browse the internet, and connect with their friends. However, the schedule should also include time for the kids to help with house chores. The children need to have a very predictable day that outlines when they should be working and when they are free to relax their muscles or play.

When coming up with this structure, the parents should remember to involve the kids in the formulation of the structure. The involvement gives the children a sense of belonging. Parents may ask them about the daily activities they may like or thinking to be included in the daily routine. Where possible, the parents may read out this structure just before embarking on the day.

 

Parents should marshal their village.

Most of us are aware that it takes a village to raise a child. Parents should raise their children more deliberately. Although the daycares remain closed, parents should come up with alternative ways of how they can cooperate in raising their children. This may be through sharing creative activities to keep the children entertained or taking turns in going to the market or any other shopping. Are there others within the home who can support you? If so, ask for help. Grandparents, nanny, older siblings? Let the village stand up.

There should be a mutual understanding between the parenting partners.

A parenting partner may refer to anyone with whom you share the responsibility of raising the children, even if it is not your spouse, including a paid child-care provider. The partners should talk through distinct scenarios and come up with an effective game plan. It may include working in shifts or creating various zones in the house. The solutions to these should be discussed at a glance, and a consensus achieved. The partners should also have adequate back ideas just in case these backfire. And backfire, they likely will. So plan ahead.

Parents should check-in with children about what they are hearing.

There's so much gossip and misinformation going around regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Try to find out what your children are hearing or what they think is right. It’s complicated to tell a child the correct facts, because, children are impressionable. Once they are exposed to the gossip it can confuse them when parents try to present them with the truth. To avoid this, try to find out what the children already know and immediately start from there to get them in the right way.

Parents have to be peaceful and bold.

To take care of your children in these difficult times, where possible learn to have  peaceful, bold conversations with your children about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Also, explain to children the cardinal roles they can play as children in keeping themselves healthy. Parents should make it open with them about what Coronavirus looks like and the fact that it could resemble other common illnesses. Try to encourage them not to be frightened if such symptoms emerge.

Encourage your children to let you know when they are not feeling well or when they have a negative feeling about the virus so that they can render their help and assistance.

Also, it is helpful to inform your children of the effective measures they can carry out to keep themselves and others safe. The measures may include frequent washing of hands, not touching faces, and engaging in social distancing.

Allow your children to go through their emotions.

Just like adults, kids are experiencing some difficult times too. For some children, it may be unbearable due to their inability to cope with changes quickly. Yet, as many children have shown, they are quite resilient and can navigate even the greatest challenges they face.

School closures came along with canceled school plays, concerts, sports matches, and activities that the children are likely disappointed about missing out on because of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Our boys miss soccer, guitar practice, and just general outings with the family. Honestly, we do too. Yet, we must accept what we cannot change.

If your children are not processing the changes well and are exhibiting outrage, try to be empathetic and expect their sudden changes in emotions and feelings. These are certainly more significant losses to them; different emotional changes of mind should be expected. In this case, show your support, and help your children to understand that what they are experiencing is normal and that it will eventually pass. Do your best to offer them support.

In a religious home, offer prayer

If your home is a home where God is the center,  place God above everything in these testing situations. Pray over and for your children. Encourage your children to also prayer by teaching them how. Show them the importance of relying on God in every situation.

I hope this article helps to I've 

The above highlighted are ways entrepreneurial parents, mothers especially, can take care of your children while at home. Every parent has to take good care of their children to raise a responsible and intelligent generation for the future. That said, until the next post,

Keep safe, put on your masks, love on your family, and maintain social distance.

 

 

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