It’s not easy raising children while having to juggle two or three jobs to make ends meet. It’s not just a matter of raising finances, but also a matter of dividing your time and experiencing emotional roller coasters.
When before you had been barely making it out alive in the daily struggle of work and household chores, now could be a bit harder. Your child’s school most probably has set up remote instructions, and you have to assist in your child’s education.
It is understandable to feel overwhelmed. Don’t feel guilty if you pay for extra help to work on some house maintenance. Get someone to clean your dryer vents. Have your water heater fixed instead of wasting time waiting for your shower to pour out hot water. Use your money for the time being. Think that eventually, this will come to pass. In the meantime, we have here more ideas on how to manage your time better.
Teach your child simple household chores to share your burden
Nowadays, some advocates for children’s rights excessively accuse parents asking their children to do simple tasks of imposing child labor. Get this right. Even the International Labor Organization acknowledges that chores undertaken by children in their homes, given reasonable circumstances, are acceptable. Reasonable circumstances mean your child’s rights don’t get inhibited because of the time spent to do the work. The weekends and a few minutes a day used to do safe chores like sweeping the floor or cleaning the table after meals should be acceptable.
Establish a bedtime for your children and yourself
So that you will have enough energy to fuel a busy day, you need to rest well. If your children are up late, you will likely be turning in late too. Setting a bedtime would only be difficult at the start, but once your children’s biological clocks are set, they would not resist when you tuck them to bed at the designated time.
Encourage your children to take on a hobby
When everyone’s at home most of that time, that restricted energy in children might become explosive. Children are naturally energetic, bouncing everywhere, exploring, and having fun. Some parents would try to distract their children with the internet, shoving gadgets to them so that they stay put. While this will effectively shut them down for some time, you might run into problems in the future.
People who prey on children have moved online together with the rest of the world. If you push your children to spend more time online, you have to check in on them regularly. What sort of sites did they access? What conversations did they have, and with whom?
The best way to preoccupy your child is really a productive hobby. Since children are imaginative, introduce them to some crafts that would bring out their creativity. Get them into art. Reading is also an excellent hobby. Your child will stay put and be quiet, and at the same time, learn. Even listening to audiobooks is a good start.
However, don’t control your child. Forcing your children to do something they don’t want could make them rebellious. Instead, talk to them and make them understand why they need to do things. If they refuse to follow you, ask them why. Listen to them and understand their reasons. Don’t automatically shut them down.
Do things together
While your child is studying, you could be with them on the desk, also working. It doesn’t matter if you’re not actively helping with their homework the entire time. Your presence should be enough to ensure they’re doing their work. Of course, you have to assist them when they come across some blocks. Being together also gives your child a sense of security, even when you’re not interacting with each other. They would feel that they could ask you any time they need to. It’s better than not having any form of engagement with them at all.
Don’t hesitate to get a babysitter when you need to be away
It may cost money, but at least you could be at ease. See if you have cheaper options like asking a relative or a good friend for this favor. Don’t leave your child alone. Even before the economic slump, crime rates against children left alone at home had already been significant. Don’t risk your child to earn or save some money.
Time and money are two things that are scarce in a struggling household. But these should not deter you from raising your children properly. If you need to choose, spend time on your child instead of money. The quality of time you spend with your children will greatly impact how they would be in the future.