Make a Block on Your Schedule
If you’ve worked with children from home during These Times, you’ve probably already read 379 articles with tips on how to keep doing this while staying sane. They tell us to lower our expectations. To take advantage of the early morning or late night. Ask for help, engage in self-service. Train, meditate, accept failure and give them all the screen time they want.
The truth is, there is no one size fits all approach; each family has its own unique challenges. Every situation looks different, but there is one universal truth for all of us: this shit is tough.
What made it difficult in the beginning – back in March for many of us – is still today. Perhaps we are all accustomed to the fact that we live, work, educate and raise children at home day after day, but this did not make the task any easier. And ahead looms another school year full of uncertainty, a big flashing doom sign.
But what we can be sure of is that every day will be difficult. And we know that what makes it difficult today may be different from what makes it difficult tomorrow. Maybe the technology that is supposed to help your kids learn virtually isn’t working today. Or the device suddenly fails. Or you realize that for some reason an important work assignment was not included in your calendar, and you just realized that it should be tomorrow.
That’s why you should follow the best advice I’ve read on how to survive these days of working and raising children from home, courtesy of Scary Mommy’s Rebecca Henninger: Add an “Oh Shit” lockout to your schedule.
Putting “Oh shit” on your schedule was number two on this list of 10 ways to stay sane while working at home with kids , but I think it’s the only really helpful thing we can all do to get rid of it. feelings of anxiety. it accumulates when you have to do 2-3 equally important (and often unexpected!) things at the same time. One or more of these things might wait until your time is ooh god damn it.
The Oh Shit blocking can be anything that makes the most sense with your schedule. Maybe you usually finish work at 5:00 pm and start lunch around 6. You have an hour to deal with any unexpected disaster that threatens to finally crush you today. Or maybe you have a natural lull in your work schedule for 30 minutes in the afternoon and another 30 minutes immediately after dinner. Two mini Oh Shit units work too!
It’s not that you are now doing more or less than you were doing before you implemented Oh Shit hours. The point is, you can now see more clearly when to deal with the new xyz problem that you cannot deal with right now because you are in the middle of another important matter.
Does this work for every unexpected thing that comes up? No, of course not. If I could solve all your problems in one post, I wouldn’t have a job anymore. A tantrum in the middle of a hangout with your client won’t wait until a more convenient schedule between 2:30 pm and 3:00 pm. But much more – like troubleshooting nonessential technology or calling to make an appointment, or catching a ball you dropped at work this morning – will be.