A message for our parents
❤️ Your children are the reason we open(ed) our doors every single day. ❤️
We're currently at a loss as to how to support our community. Facebook & Instagram has a plethora of ideas circulating of how to engage your children (both play and homeschooling) as well as live music, yoga, storytelling hours, etc. But we are worried about Mama (and Dad!). Parents are the glue that holds a family together and right now the strand is quickly getting thin. For me personally, working from home these last few days with children is probably the hardest thing I've done. The kids are craving more attention (and rightfully so - no matter what their age, they can feel something is different) and acting out to get it (or at least mine are). And our bosses want our same work productivity. It's serving two masters at the same time, when they used to live in semi-separate worlds. There have absolutely been some beautiful moments but also ones where I have struggled.
I reached out to a Room to Bloom mom and employee - Amanda - for advice for Moms. If you have played on a Monday you've likely seen her there with her 3 year old son Gavin. She is trained in Positive Parenting, is a licensed clinical social worker (LICSW), and also works in Beverly schools as a school based clinician. See her advice below.
Consider Amanda's words your homework. Take care of yourself. When I got divorced, my two sisters made me repeat over and over "Taking care of yourself is NOT selfish". It's something I still struggle with today. In today's world of social distancing and self-quarantine...the house is crazy...work is crazy...kids are crazy. Give yourself permission to take time. Otherwise Mama will be included in the list of things gone crazy :) None of those things will change while you're taking a time-out but you will change and come back with a clear head to be able to handle whatever comes your way a little bit easier.
Small, intentional activities that bring you joy and only do that - don’t multitask for those 5-10 minutes.
extra time in the shower
painting your nails
drying your hair (what?!)
drinking coffee in silence
read a book
spend time with your pet
listen to music
go for a walk around the block
take a deep breath
Advice from Amanda
Ask for help (an item from the grocery store, childcare backup, etc) - this is not the time for your pride to take over. We’re legitimately ALL in this. If you don't ask, people don't know what you need. The outpouring of people wanting to help is everywhere and the worst that can happen is that they will say they can't do it.
Schedule a call/FaceTime with a friend/family member
Talk about how you’re feeling, or do the complete opposite and think of something unrelated to give your mind a break
Schedule quiet time for everyone in the house each day. This gives the kids time to regroup before they get over - or under - stimulated and begin to act up. It allows you to take space. You’re modeling for your children that it is OK and everyone needs space
Side note: if you lose your cool, raise your voice, have less patience - own up to it! You’re human! Apologize and take responsibility. We want our kids to practice these skills so we need to model them. It also opens up healthy communication between you and your children.
Set realistic goals for yourself: you’re working remotely, you’re parenting, teaching and maintaining a house hold (maybe add dogs who need exercise and bathroom breaks). IT. IS. A. LOT! If you only fed your children today and they were in their PJ’s all day. IT’S OK! You shouldn’t expect yourself to do it all in one day. Spread your goals throughout the week. You’ll feel more accomplished by actually checking that one thing off your list than looking at everything you didn’t get done.
Eat healthy (as best you can), drink water, and get enough sleep
Practice mindfulness/yoga/at home exercise. Links to free techniques below.
Working with your spouse/partner
Share responsibility (sharing doesn't always mean 50/50 - it can also be dividing and conquering) & both give and take necessary breaks
While it’s their turn to make a fresh coffee (dump out the one from this morning) and go outside, breath in the fresh air. If you have time go to the beach (it’s too close to not take advantage of it!) and listen to the waves, feel the sand in your fingers or toes. Go for a walk.
Spend alone time with your spouse/partner and reconnect during the chaos
Reflect on the things that made you smile, happy, proud through the day and maybe even journal it. That way you can look back at this surreal experience and remember you can make it through anything! There are beautiful moments even in chaos.
Practice positive self-talk
“I got this”
“It’s going to be OK”
“I’m a good mom/dad” (say it even if you’re not feeling it)
Take this adventure one day at a time
Wake up, put your feet on the floor, take a couple deep breaths, set your intentions for TODAY and then begin. Be grateful at the end of the day and wake up tomorrow and do it again.
You got this!
7 minute Tabata workout
15-Minute Bounce-Back Cardio Dance Workout
Youper: mood tracking and journaling app also has an auto text message feature that can explore the client’s mood with them
Down Dog or Yoga for Beginners: free until April 1st ; Yoga positions that can accommodate based on personal needs and experience levels
White Noise: A variety of sounds that can help relax people
Relax Melodies: Customize sleep sounds
We hope this does something small to help you realize you're not alone.
xoxo, Room to Bloom