I am trying to be realistic with all the kids — and myself — home indefinitely.
I know that some days will be good and some days will be really challenging and somedays will fall somewhere along the middle of the scale.
Today was not too bad, but we had a few bumps this morning, and it took us a little while to get into a groove.
I needed to get some work done on an online course I’m getting ready launch in a couple weeks, and I needed uninterrupted time at the computer where I could concentrate.
My little office is cute and cozy.
I was all set up to get right to work after getting everyone breakfast this morning.
Yesterday I told the kids 10 am – 12 pm was a technology-free time.
I hadn’t really planned on sticking to that time slot every day necessarily, but this morning at 9:28, Number 7 looked at the clock and said, “We only have thirtyyyy…. two minutes left to use the iPads.”
So it had already been accepted by the kids. No technology during those 2 hours. I didn’t even have to remind anyone.
A little after 10:00 am, just as I was about to sit down at the computer, three of the kids started going at it.
I had to do some damage control and some redirecting on and off which really lasted until close to 11:00.
I was way behind schedule.
It’s pretty annoying, and very difficult, to make progress on anything when you are constantly interrupted, so I did not want anyone coming into my office for a full two hours.
But the door to my office is also on a sliding barn door rail, and it has nine windows in it, so it’s not super quiet or super private, and I can’t lock the door.
So I did what teachers do at school.
I covered the windows with paper.
And I wrote a couple things on the other side for my kids to read.
Mom working in progress.
Available for help and questions at 1:30.
I am confident you can figure it out.
Other people/places to consult: Google, Dad, a friend, a sibling.
And finally, a reminder about responsibilities.
Have you put your clothes away?
In my experience, the scuffles and the arguments and the
happen much less frequently when the kids know I am not going to intervene.
And it forces the kids to work things out on their own.
With the boundaries in place, I put my headphones in so I wouldn’t be distracted by anything I heard going on outside of my office, and I got to work.
The kids were very respectful of my work boundaries. The only interruption was Number 4 asking if she wanted me to make lunch for everyone.
That interruption was okay by me.
At 1:30 and one second, Number 5 and 7 whipped open the door.
IT’S ONE THIRTY!!! they yelled.
If you want those work boundaries to be effective, you have to be available when you say you will be.
So I closed up what I was working on and I left the office.
MOM!!! COME SEE WHAT WE MADE!!!!
The girls wanted to show me the fort they made. In my room.
It was actually pretty impressive.
After checking out the fort and getting something to eat, I asked everyone if they wanted to watch a movie.
I made popcorn while the kids closed the curtains and turned off the lights and made things cozy and turned the family room into a “movie theater.”
I blew up two air mattresses so we could all have plenty of space.
We watched Mrs. Doubtfire.
The kids loved it.
It was two hours of chill out time and together time with mom.
And it satisfied the kids enough that I got another two hours to get some work done after the movie.
It’s how I’m writing this post now.
If you are having trouble getting work done at home and are constantly being interrupted, try establishing a set time when you will be available for the kids.
When they know you are designating a specific time period just for them, it can be really helpful and effective (just don’t make them wait like five hours for it to happen — be realistic).
When they start bickering, stay out of it. Make it clear that they are gonna have to figure it out on their own.
They might surprise you!
And you might find a way to get a little bit of relief, even when the kids are always right there with you.
Really like this post. You have so much common sense so missing in our world. Thank you!!!!!