We might have thought that staying at home for several months is stressful. But now that the metro is slowly preparing to ease restrictions and businesses are reopening, it seems that we might be in for another round of adjustment and anxieties.
Adapting to a “new normal” can be hard for both parents and kids. For us parents, it’s dealing with the anxieties that come with keeping ourselves and our family safe and virus-free even as we leave our homes to work. And for our kids, it’s adapting to a new routine once again, since they’ve probably grown accustomed to being with us for the last 3 months.
Having said that, the next thing to ask is: how do we navigate the upcoming transition to GCQ as a family? Here are a few tips:
Give your kids a heads up
If you’re due to return to office work in the next few days, then it might be best to start preparing your kids for it as early as now. If you have a breastfed baby, it might be a good idea to start building your milk stash once more and practice cup or bottle-feeding once again. For older kids, it might be a good idea to sit them down and inform them that you’re returning to work.
Try to talk to your child about COVID-19 anxieties
Chances are, your kids already have an idea of what COVID-19 is. Take this time to sit them down and discuss what they might be feeling given the current situation. You can try to get them to open up by being vocal about your pandemic anxieties as well. If they are anxious about you returning to work, give them the time and opportunity to express these, and listen to what they have to say. Then try to alleviate their concerns.
One way that might be able to ease this transition for your kids is to come up with a plan for it as a family, and this includes setting out new routines. Discuss and decide on a new routine with your kids by listing down the activities they want to do, plus the ones that you want them to do, and plot these throughout the day if possible. You can also set aside a few activities that both of you can do once you return home from work — just like the “old/pre-ECQ routine.” Assure them that as always, you’re there to support them no matter the situation.
Another tip is to consider doing video conferencing with them for the first few days of your return to work. This can help ease their (and your) anxieties and allow everyone the opportunity to check on each other. Doing so will also show your kids that you’re safe and OK at work, while they are also OK at home.
Know your kids’ concerns and address them
Perhaps your kids are worried that you might contract COVID-19 once you return to work. If this is the case, you can help them manage their worry by explaining to them your workplace’s safety measures during the pandemic, such as reducing the number of employees per day by 50%, practicing social distancing, and ensuring that sterilizers and soap are readily available. You can also tell them the precautions you are undertaking to ensure your safety, such as driving to work instead of commuting, wearing a face mask, and always keeping alcohol on hand.
Keep yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally safe
Living through a pandemic like we are today is challenging on so many levels, but we must remember that we should also keep ourselves physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy so that we can also do the same for our kids and family. We can do so by keeping ourselves informed, practicing recommended safety precautions, and discussing any concerns you might have with your family, friends, and even company. In the same way, try to support those around you as well.
Stay safe and well, mommies!