Many of us are working from home while our children are too. Home schooling is not for the faint of heart, so I’ve heard.
So many parents have shared their stories of homeschooling as if describing a war scene. Posts on Facebook of families clustered together working and learning in a small den or at the kitchen table. Panic from kids and parents alike flooded my Facebook and Instagram feeds. I couldn’t relate. My husband was going into work every day, I was working from home in our home office, while my daughter took over the kitchen table. We were good. I still got up at 5AM to work out, but after my shower, I could logon and attend meetings in yoga pants and a sweatshirt, still productive. Projects were moving along quicker than I anticipated and my workload was strong. My daughter used her Montessori elementary school skills to stay on track. It was all good.
I tell you this story because there is so much out there about the struggles of working from home. This is not that story. My family and I have settled into a new normal, one that I am blessed to have in all of this uncertainty. We didn’t do anything special except not force expectations on each other. But, we did learn some things.
A Montessori education provided the greatest gift during Stay at Home orders. I know not everyone can afford to send their child to private school. If you can, I highly recommend sending your Pre-K to at least 4th grader to a true Montessori school. Lindsay attended Maitland Montessori, and I give them full credit for how engaged she has been during this ordeal. A Montessori education teaches children to set their own personal goals, teach themselves and be generally curious about the world.
Staying apart while together provides much needed space. I love my family, but they can really get on my nerves. I’m no picnic either. A control freak stuck inside with no sense of control?? It’s a recipe for disaster. But, we each found our space within our home. Maybe it’s a bedroom instead of an office, or the floor in the corner of the family room instead of the kitchen table, but you need to give each other space to breathe. Because inevitably our constant presence with each other will lead to tension.
Tension is going to happen. Lindsay and I have an incredible relationship. She is my angel . But, hearing a 16 year old’s struggle with her chemistry teacher while I’m trying to reconcile a $750k vendor account to keep business moving forward tested my patience. We snapped at each other, frequently. Little things like crumbs on the kitchen counter led to a snippy comment, which led to an audible sigh, which led to a more aggressive comment such as, “What the hell is your problem!” Fun times. We learned though that if we just walk away and give each other some space, the tension would subside, and we could come back together and bond over High School Musical on Disney+.
None of us expected to be in this situation, and there is no guidebook, not even historical reference to help us determine what do to and when to do it. But, my family’s story through this first month of Coronavirus has taught us that patience and space will ultimately see us through.