If parenting in the time of the coronavirus has done one thing, it’s made simple schedules more difficult and busy schedules more… impossible. It’s really, really hard to work from home, parent and homeschool – like, give us NASA mission control, not colour coded schedule inspo.
As a result, Grace Papers has spent a lot of time over the last few months working closely with coaching clients to support them through strategies for career and care – by helping to frame their fears and anxieties and take back control.
And as parents ourselves, we felt that each of you deserved to have some support shared with you too.
Below you will find a short exercise from Module 1, Lesson 2 of Grace Papers’ Joy in the Juggle: Full House Edition designed to give you back some control over your life and household routines for next weeks, months and beyond!
Your family vision for life in lockdown – a family homework assignment
Course Material: Exclusive material from Module 1, Lesson 2 of Grace Papers’ Joy in the Juggle: Full House Edition
Task Duration: Knock it over in 30 minutes, or make a night of it with the family.
Tools required: Large piece of paper, pens, family members, magnet for fridge. Optional: wine and cheese board.
Learning Outcomes: This short exercise is designed to help you manage your fear and anxiety about balancing your career, your kid’s remote learning and your collective household sanity during lockdown.
How will it help: Keeping perspective of your vision and values will support you to stay present and strong during the next few months. When you reflect on your values, it’s easier to make decisions and to be clear on how to invest your time each day.
We know there are many fears you are experiencing about the next few months, so take a moment to acknowledge them. Now just for a moment, set them aside. For now we are going to tap into our imaginations to create a vision for your life in lockdown.
Start with both feet on the floor, shut your eyes for three deep belly-breaths.
Now, imagine it’s a year into the future and you’re looking back on where you are now. You find yourself sitting in the park. Calm and happy, latte in hand, watching your little people play around you. You exhale and allow yourself to smile as you reflect on 2020. The uncertainty, the fear, the connection, the joy and the hope. You think about the way your family lived through the ups and downs of those uncertain months – what you are proud of and what you might do differently. You are thankful to the Australian scientists who created the lifesaving vaccine that allowed the possibilities of your daily life and activities to reopen.
The answers you write to the next four questions will help inform your active choices for this next phase of your life, empowering you to continue to experience life in lock down.
What advice would you give to yourself about work and parenting at this time?
How do you want your children to remember this period? How do you want them to feel during this period?
Which values, as a family, do you want to prioritize during this period? How does career feature in your values?
Usually when we refer to ‘balance’ we envision a great juggling act where we try to keep everything in check through sheer strategy and willpower. But what if you redefined balance to keep your heart, mind and soul in check? What does your expectations of self and family life look like through this lens?
Now make your family vision:
Grab a blank piece of paper (the biggest you can find) and divide it into four quarters. Now let those creative juices run a little wilder and use your responses from above to frame a vision for your family. The four areas to cover are:
What matters to you when it comes to parenting and career during this period?
What will it take for your children to remember and feel during this period the way you have described it above?
Which value matters to your family through this period?
What does balance of heart, mind and soul look like in 2020 for your family?
Now, pat yourself on the back and proudly place your work on the fridge. You got this.
Finished your homework early?
Earn some extra credit by completing the following family connection activities over your week:
🎥Create a family TikTok video – I stole this idea from my own vision for family life in lockdown!
🍽️Hold a family dinner party – If you’ve been socially distancing from everything but pj’s and tracksuits, Here’s a perfect excuse to wear pants and have the kids pick their own special outfits.
⛺Go on a camping trip – In the backyard or living room.
🖥️Hand over the parenting – To NGV for a few hours (yes this absolutely counts as home-schooling).
📚Allow screen time – But turn on captions. Boom. Your kids are reading.
🐟Visit the Aquarium… on the Sunny Coast! (yes, this also absolutely counts as both travel and home-schooling).
🍷Don’t do any working, cleaning or laundering – For at least one whole day a week (consider it a holiday)
❤️Enjoy time the kids. No really.
The Joy in the Juggle: Full House Edition is available to all current Grace Papers users and anyone who works for a partner of Grace Papers.