How To Cope With the ‘Juggle-Struggle’ of Home-Schooling

If this third lockdown feels more angsty with home-schooling and if some days it all feels too much, this is for you!

My clients have noticed more pressure from schools this time to keep more tightly to a framework of learning.  Work submission is non-negotiable, and in most schools, children are required to present themselves in uniform for live online lessons.

I wonder, are you beginning to buckle under the pressure of this Covid ‘Juggle-Struggle’ too?

Tell me… how many times?…

Have you and or your children broken down in tears in all this?  How many times have you lost your patience?  How many times have they been stroppy and difficult?

The logistical challenge is stretched further with unprecedented bandwidth demand – in many households, the entire family is online at the same time.  With capacity so stretched, connection can fail just at the wrong moment creating even more stress!

On top of the practical issues, there’s the responsibility you place on yourself as a mum, don’t you?

Your kids put you on that ‘oh so high’ pedestal and you know that you are in danger of falling off… you desperately want to get it right to help your child as much as you can.   Likewise, you don’t want the school or your child’s teacher to form an opinion that you are not capable of disciplining your kids enough for them to get their work done well and in on time!

Please let me help you – I feel your overwhelm.

Let’s get real with this…

Chances are you are not a teacher… you’re a mum, possibly with your own career responsibilities to juggle alongside those usual parenting duties and chores.  Give yourself a break and ease off that pressure and responsibility that is starting to overload an already emotionally stressed mind and body.

Through last Summer’s lockdown, parents and teachers alike accepted more easily that education standards might slip for a while, but there was a confidence that within a few months’ things would recover.  Schools would still maintain their educational standing and teachers their good reputations to deliver effectively.  Now though, there seems to be a perception that responsibility is shifting on to parents –

BUT…

The truth is this is NOT yours to bear.   It’s simply that this darned Covid situation has been going on for too long for all of us.  This understandably has fuelled stress and angst within the education system.

I urge you (as a parent myself) to take a moment…

STOP! Breathe…

And ask yourself… What matters more? 

Getting all the work done fully and on time in order to get their teachers seal of approval (and relief) or… your child’s (and your) emotional wellbeing?

Your getting overstressed, overwhelmed, and losing your temper makes it harder for your child to make sense of their feelings.  It makes it harder for them to focus.  The pressure – and meltdown – builds more and more.

Your real responsibility lies in metaphorically ‘holding your children’ at any age, as they try to process their emotions through these crazy Covid times.

So my heartfelt and professional advice to you is this…

These are crazy times.   This Covid Juggle-Struggle is crazier than ever – work, rest and play has become work, parent and home-school.

Give yourself permission just to do what you can and no more.  If a day goes crazy and it all feels too much, take a step back and find some fun instead – make ‘playdoh,’ cook together or snuggle with a movie and a chocolate treat!  It’s just one day.

… IF your working day goes to plan and your kids get all their schoolwork done on time, I want you to see it as a bonus because it is not up to you to overburden yourself with pressure and responsibility and guilt that they don’t have access to their normal schooling right now.

Sooner or later, things will get back to normal.  The schools will safely re-open and your children’s education will get sorted and recover.

Give yourself permission to be a ‘Good Enough Parent.’

And as for that pedestal?

I want you always to remember…

It’s not your job to be perfect and get everything right; to fix everything and be responsible for your children’s emotions, so you don’t let them down.  It’s your job only to ‘hold them’ in their emotion so that they learn to manage their feelings.  In doing so, you’ll give your children the best education – the permission to feel, and the ability to process emotion as it comes up, and express it healthily.

I hope this helps you today.

Lisa Skeffington
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