As I write this, it is the first of the month, the day my article is due. I planned to wake earlier than my kids since I’m working from home. And in expected irony, my youngest wakes at the same time. I write as I get her breakfast and answer her existential questions on life and plug her into an educational Youtube video so I can work.
This is our new normal.
As a spiritual and mindest coach, I’ve been rethinking (ahem, overthinking) the spiritual contract
I made when I became a parent. It plays a huge part in my coming to terms with our life now. It’s led me to seek the deeper meaning of this time. I ask myself: Are we thinking outside the box with working and homeschooling logistics? Are we taking responsibility as our children’s primary caregivers and influencers
? Is clarity of current events helping us re-prioritizing our investment of time? Are we accepting the gifts and lessons of these challenges?
The Parenting Priority Dilemma
What I say may not be popular, but I believe we are seeing a magnifying glass on our failures to make parenting a priority. When we become parents, we know that we have educators and daycares taking care of our children. Then we invest our time into errands, personal activities, and on the largest and most grotesque scale, our work. But now we are seeing our failure to build loving communities
for ourselves and others and space for self-care.
Do you feel personally attacked? Slow down there!
Because you know what? I’m guilty of this too. The angst I felt figuring out how to balance my multiple streams of income
to make my single parenting dynamic work has made my hair evacuate off the top of my head and my stomach churn with overwhelm￼￼￼!
Perception of Control
I observed other parents forging full steam ahead in their careers, but I knew this wasn’t right for me. I made adjustments and cut my cost of living. I found additional streams of income that allowed me to work from home. And I amped up my faith in the Universe. I trust that I can slow down, bite off only what I can chew, and find peace with the constant changes of this time. I trust that everything is going to work out. By releasing my attachment to what I “know” and false perceptions of control, things are going to work out even better than I could’ve forced or manipulated my way through.
The key to working through hard times is shifting your perspective.
Think of what your ultimate family goal is during these times. For me, I wanted us all to come out of this mentally balanced and strong. So, instead of saying, “how can I manage and control my kids so that I can work?” instead consider “how can I invest in my children during this time?”
And you know what? When my children have gotten what they need from me; when I’ve invested time in them, it’s easier to get my work done.
However, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you how hard it was and how many days I felt like I failed… and failed again until I found the right balance.
What works for me?
I’m rethinking what a normal schedule is. I write more content as a voice to text on my phone while I’m making coffee and getting dressed for the day. Instead of having a workday focused between 8 AM to 5 PM, I’m working in smaller clusters of time
and getting a lot more done in less time. I also rest in smaller, more frequent clusters of time. So instead of resting over the weekend, I get up early on the weekends and work a few hours.
I’m practicing it a lot more self-care
. I don’t have a choice. It’s not a luxury. My own and family’s survival depends on it.
Is it yoga classes and spa visits? Heck NO! I do hip flexor stretches in the morning in the bathroom while I brush my teeth and listen to positive messages by thought leaders who inspire me.
I take one giant deep breath after the initial rush of the morning and everyone is settled for the first segment of the day.
We take family walks and ALL feel better for it. I also take a meditation break for 15 minutes most afternoons so I can recharge
to get through the rest of the day to bedtime.
And you know what? These tiny increments of self-care, when done regularly, work!
I leave you with a quote that helps my resolve, “Children are not a distraction from more important work, they are the most important work.”
I send you light and love as you work from home for what feels like all of eternity.
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