Working from home is a mess. I get it.
What more with multiple kids and distance learning. We mommies can easily fall into the guilt trap.
We felt that we are not doing enough.
We felt that our kids are not getting enough attention from us just because we aren’t sitting on the floor for hours with them.
We felt that we shouldn’t do our work from home, but how else should we do this?
Dear lovely mama,
Don’t beat yourself.
I’m going to share with you 3 simple that would tremendously help you to work from home with kids during the pandemic.
First, be gentle with yourself
Give yourself some grace.
Let face it. This whole thing is new. No one has ever experienced what’s going on today.
Take it one at a time. Don’t beat yourself over some painted perfection of work from home.
We need to give ourselves grace because by doing so, we can pull ourselves together and have a clear head about how to do things.
Happy mama equals happy kids and a happy home.
Never underestimate the power of our own sanity.
Second, our children’s emotional need
Last few days, I learned about some gold from a play facilitator.
She taught us about how to work from home while not feeling guilty that we aren’t spending that much time with our kids.
The thing is, it’s not about how much time we spend with our little ones.
But it is about quality time spent with them.
It’s about filling in their Emotional Bucket.
Are they felt loved? Are they felt appreciated?
Once our kids felt loved, they’d eventually play by themselves or even let us do our work without us feeling guilt.
How to Fill Their Emotional Bucket?
Set a 10-15 minutes block of time solid for activities with our kids.
Let’s say you have your daily meeting or daily work at about 10 am.
So at about 9 am, try to get done with your breakfast and shower.
At 9:30-ish, tell your kids that “Hey, I’m thinking of having a special time with you. Do you want to play with me?”
Have your little ones pick their play or pick their storybook, and in this 10-15 minutes time block, dedicate the whole solid time block to play with them.
No checking messages or emails. This is entirely their time.
Just play with your kids, be it they want you to jump around the house, or to sit on the floor working on the Lego together, or drawing something, anything they want.
Eventually, you will find that they will be able to play by themselves without keeping nagging at you.
When kids felt that they are loved, it is shown by us playing with them, paying attention to what they wanna say; eventually, they’d feel appreciated and able to play independently.
Third, what activities to play with our kids?
I used to feel overwhelmed as to what activities to play with my kids.
Should we buy the trendy toys? Or should we just stick with the building blocks?
Do you think we should start with art & craft?
Or should we introduce letters already?
There is no right or wrong answer about this. It all lies within your kids and you as their mama.
#1: Active Activities
If your kids love to run around, try active activities such as the lava floor, pretend play, or throw the ball into the laundry basket.
- The baby shark play!
My kids love to sing the Baby Shark song.
They would sing ‘Baby Shark doo doo doo doo doo, Baby Shark doo doo doo doo doo, Baby Shark.”
While singing, they would open and close their hands, imitating shark’s feeding mouth.
If you remember exactly the song, it also include Daddy Shark, Mommy Shark, Baby Shark.
So all of these characters would be sang in many different voices.
Add some run around the dining table, and all of this will be so much fun!
- Race in the living room
Well, this might sound very simple, but it is a lot of fun!
You can start with, “Let’s play some race. Whoever got to the wall first, wins!”
Then count to three and let your kids race.
To add more fun, you can add some obstacles along the way, or race using moving chairs (you would need to supervise this kind of race)
- Lava Floor
To play this game, you have to be okay with your kids jumping on your pillow.
Okay, you ready mama?
Lava floor is an activity that pretends that the floor is filled with lava.
To move from one couch to another couch, we need to step onto the imaginary stone, which is the pillow.
Have your kids scatter some pillow or blanket on the floor. Then let them jump between those to move from one couch to another.
- Throw Play
I usually use this activity with my 2-years old when she wants to throw things around the house.
Kids love to throw things for various reasons. To stop them from throwing things is sometimes not realistic and takes so much of our energy.
So I thought, why not we turn this throwing into something more productive.
When my kids want to throw her pom poms, I grab a big box and pretend it to be a big pond. Then ask her to throw the pom poms into the pond.
I also made up a story about the fish and the ponds. The pom poms are the fish. We want to return the fish safely into their home in the pond.
#2: Sensory Bin Activities
If you have the mood to prep and clean up, go for sensory bin activities.
Sensory bin activities are activities where you put some things in a container, and let your kids play from the container.
For instance, if you have a lot of oat leftover that you don’t want to use anymore, you can pour the oat into your big container, and have your kids play with it.
These kinds of activities are usually messy and need a bit of preparation and cleaning up afterward.
But they are great for improving our kids’ fine motor skills and helping them explore their senses.
The most straightforward form of sensory play activity is when our kids play with their food. That is what sensory play all about.
So if you have some leftover food, you can go with it. Or if you just have any shredded papers, that sounds great too.
#3: Easy Printables Activities
But if you just don’t have the time to put up anything or don’t usually have the energy to set up activities at night, or don’t really always have the mood for active activities or sensory bin play, that’s okay.
Sometimes we tend to feel like a failed mom just because we don’t have the same energy as other perfect moms that we see on social media.
Know that every mom is different and exceptional.
Our kids need us just the way we are.
If you are in this category, well, give me high five!
I can handle printing printables and the little mess of after-printables activities. But if my kids want some messy play, I would definitely hand them over to my hubby.
And because of this, I have created hundreds of easy printable activities for my kids.
Most of these are cut & paste activities with a mix of sorting, matching, math, and literacy activities.
There are puzzles printables, dot activities printables, counting activities and more.
My kids love these as much as they love to run and to jump around.
Seeing my kids lit up with happiness every time they got to solve a puzzle or sort shapes in the printables made my mama’s heart so very happy.
You can get access to my big list of printables here.
- 50+ Toddler printables
- 100+ Preschool printables
- Learning ABC Letters printables
- Learning math and numbers printables
- Printables categorized by theme
If a big list overwhelms you, you can start with our Kids’ Quarantine Packet – Cactus theme below.
This packet comes with a 7-days planner to help you plan your daily activity with your kids before you step into your working mode.
Take It One Day at a Time
I hope you would feel relieved and refreshed with this sharing.
If you are ever felt that you can’t take it, don’t beat yourself.
Cut yourselves some slack. Do what you feel best for you and your kids at that time.
If you feel like you want to apologize from your little ones, by all means, do it. You’re a great mom when you do those.
And your kids deserve it as well.
There’s always room for improvement. Hang tight mama!