Staying Sane During a Pandemic While Working At Home With Kids

Staying Sane During a Pandemic While Working At Home With Kids

- in Parenting Through the Pandemic

As I turned the calendar to 2021, I can’t help but marvel at the last nine months. I can’t believe that I’ve been working at home during a pandemic for nine months with two young kids at home. Working from home with kids during COVID is not easy. But, we’ve somehow made it work and for the most part, I’ve kept my sanity along the way. Here are some of the things I’ve found that have helped.

Finding Alone Time

This is probably the hardest and most important thing for me. After being in the house with my husband and kids all day long, plus being in meetings and zooms all work day, I need some quiet and personal time just for me. If I don’t have at least some time to myself each day, I go crazy. To help with this, I run. By myself. Yes, it’s usually early and before anyone in my house wakes up, but to have that hour to myself each day is something I wouldn’t trade. If you’re not a runner, bundle up and go for a walk. Or, a drive. I’ve definitely volunteered to pick up our grocery order when I need a few minutes out of the house by myself.


Staying In Touch With Friends and Family

My husband and kids and I have been pretty serious about staying to ourselves during this time. But, that has meant that we haven’t seen friends or family much — if at all — during the past few months. And now that the weather is cold and cruddy, we know it will be harder. That’s why I’m so grateful to have my weekly Zoom dinners with my parents, and daily text chains with my friends. Whether it’s to vent about something or ask for advice, knowing that I have friends there to respond to my texts at all hours (hey, some of us have kids up at night) is comforting.

Saying No

As much as I crave personal contact, I also have Zoom fatigue. (It’s a real thing!) So I have unfortunately told friends that no, I couldn’t attend their Zoom happy hour this week. Because after a day of Zoom meetings, sometimes I just can’t bare the thought of sitting at my laptop again and pretending everything is normal. 

Having A Dedicated Work Space

Having a place to “go to work” each day, has been extremely helpful. After my kids are up most mornings, I kiss them goodbye and “Mommy goes to work” (albeit upstairs). This wasn’t something that started on pandemic day one — it was something that I learned that I needed to do to help me maintain productivity during the day so that I wasn’t working all night.

Asking For Help

Before quarantine, each week I’d pride myself on planning our weekly meals, doing some meal prep over the weekend, and cooking dinner most nights of the week. Dinner would be ready by the time my husband got home, and we’d all sit down to a pre-planned meal Monday through Friday. Now? I’ve found that I just don’t have the energy to meal plan or prep by the time the weekend comes. And my husband has found that he enjoys cooking as stress relief. So, our roles have swapped. I am no longer cooking dinners and instead, he is the one making the meals that are done when I’m home (or away from my home office) from work. Just this tiny bit of relief in my week has made such a difference in my mental state that I don’t know if I can go back.

Doing Something for Me

Find something that you can do for you each week. Whether it’s the aforementioned walk or run by yourself, or spending a few minutes with a good book, it is so important today more than ever to do something you enjoy. When the weather was warmer, this was going for a walk outside with my family before my workday began or during lunch. Now that winter is here, I’m finding myself cuddled up with a book for a few minutes during the afternoon on the weekends. 

Starting New Traditions

While we’ve hated some of the changes brought on by the pandemic, not all of them are bad. We’ve embraced the stay-at-home order and started some new traditions to keep us entertained. For example, Saturday night is pizza/movie night in our house. We make (or order) pizza and eat in the living room. The kids can watch a whole movie (something we don’t typically do) as long as they eat their dinner (yes, I have to bribe my kids to even eat pizza sometimes). It’s not only something we all look forward to all week, but it give us an evening off and a way for us all to relax together.

About the author

Melissa Koski Carney (known as @koskim on social media) is an Ohio transplant from New York. A 30-something mom of two, she recently moved with her family from their downtown apartment to a nearly 100-year-old home in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She works full-time as a marketing communications professional. When she’s not working, blogging, or juggling two children under the age of three, she enjoys running, baking and reading; as well as hanging out with the other women she has met through her Ladies Craft Beer Society. She blogs regularly at I Crashed The Web.

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