“For-Now” Routines

Children and grown-ups thrive on routines, especially in times of stress.

These are difficult times filled with uncertainty and change. Because of the spread of COVID-19, lifestyles are completely changing. You may be taking things one day at a time, and that’s okay! Children and grown-ups thrive on routines, even if they’re just “for now.” Use these resources to help you create a schedule that works for everyone in the family.

Work-Life Balance

Finding a balance between work and the new “for-now normal” is hard! Consider these ideas for setting you and your family up for success:

  • Have honest conversations. Talk with your employer, manager, and colleagues about your situation. Outline projects and deadlines. Be realistic. What can be accomplished? What might need to be pushed? Consider who might be affected by changes and communicate with them early and often.
  • Have a family meeting. Let everyone in the family know they are important. Together, make a list of things that need to happen every day. For instance, everyone needs to stay clean, eat healthfully, and get some exercise. When you’re making a new schedule, block off time for these things first.
  • Create space for everyone. Having dedicated space can help everyone feel a bit more in-control. For grown-ups, this means having a place to work at the dining room table or a corner of the living room. For children, it might mean a cozy reading nook or a coffee table for block creations and art projects.
  • Set clear boundaries. When there’s no physical separation from work and home, the lines can get blurry. Even if your work hours have changed, make them clear to everyone and stick to them. As best you can, enjoy things like meals and playtime together free from work. Then after kids go to bed, for example, pick it back up.
  • Be flexible and kind. As with any change, there will be growing pains. This is a great time to practice patience and flexibility. If something isn’t working, talk together. Ask, “What can we try to make things go more smoothly tomorrow?”
  • Take it easy. Yes, work needs to get done, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Be sure to give yourself quiet time to recharge and reset.