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during the Pandemic by Paty Araujo Photography | Branding Photographer in San Antonio, Texas.

Moms, I get it. We are all stressed beyond belief.  This is the new “normal”. We are all struggling to keep up in this current pandemic situation.  I know at times it feels surreal that our daily routine and flow is completely disrupted in such a substantial way, and frankly, having our kids home every day…all day… makes it so much harder. 

Let me be honest with you.  I have a 6-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy.  I was getting really frustrated and stressed out because I felt like I wasn’t being productive and was being interrupted constantly by the “mom this, mom that, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom…”.  Plus, I wasn’t paying attention to my children which made me feel like a horrible mom. I felt so frustrated and stressed out and out of control of my own time.

It took me TWO FREAKING WEEKS to finally realize this was our normal until further notice.  So, I knew I had to get my head in the game to make both ends work. I needed a routine.  I needed some way to structure my time that put me back in control.  I needed a way to alleviate some of the stress (other than drinking mimosas every night…lol).  After some reflection, I was able to find my routine by following these simple facts and steps, and let me tell you, it’s working wonders!  

Here are a few things that might be helpful to you in setting up your routine.

 1. Get it in your head! This new “normal” is going to last at least 4 weeks, if not more. At the beginning of it all I was telling myself, “it will be fine…just 2 weeks…what’s two weeks?” Until they added 4 more weeks. I had to digest that…to just get it into my head that this was not going to be over soon.  I knew I had to create a plan for me, for my business, and for my family.

2. Don’t compare.  Do not do this to yourself!  You do not deserve the added stress and frustration from things that don’t make sense, and to be honest, are not important.  Yes. It’s very easy to get caught in the trap of comparing ourselves to other moms. I was there one week ago. I caught myself comparing my situation to all these moms who seem to have everything so organized and so perfect.  Their kids on Instagram seemed just so well behaved (in pictures anyway). Then, I snapped out of it and realized every mom is different in their own way. What is important, and what kids care about most, is that mom is there!  Our kids are just as lost and confused as we are, if not more. It would be a tragedy to ourselves and to them if we start to despair because “I can’t do this or that like those other moms.”

3. Try it out.  We have the time, so try different schedules and use the one you like the most.  I started by trying out different schedules that I thought could work: letting the kids sleep in, eating breakfast, doing some homework, watching TV and all at the same time I was trying to answer emails and messages, trying to “catch up.” It didn’t work.  Actually, I think it put more stress on me. I felt my day was over before I could even get things done.

So I tweaked a few things around, and I found myself loving this schedule:

4. Set business priorities for the week and divide them daily.  It is key to set your priorities ahead of time and divide them into daily tasks.  If you don’t, you will probably find yourself wasting time during your week. I set my weekly priorities on Sunday night, when I am winding down on my couch. I write them in my notebook and then add them to my app ( I use Click-Up). I assign the priorities and add due dates so that I know what to do when. You can use a desktop calendar or whatever works for you.  Just by putting this down in writing you will feel more productive.

5. Set school work priorities for the week and divide them daily. It is also key to set school work priorities into your schedule. Again, you will probably finding yourself wasting time during your week if you don’t have a plan. I have a small dry erase board on my fridge, so I write the work my children need to do per day. My kids’ teachers are amazing. They are working hard to keep the kids focused and engaged in learning.  I have to really credit them because they are sending out the work assignments and all I have to do is choose when to do what. If you have questions, I highly suggest that you text your children’s teacher. If you have kids younger than school age, still create small tasks that they can complete like workbooks for their age, coloring books, painting, drawing, flash cards, playdoh, etc.

Here is my amazon list for 4 and under:

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/E9U1IZ7TA0W0?ref_=wl_share

6. Do not expect it to be perfect everyday.  Please, say it with me.  “Every day will NOT be perfect.  Things will go wrong. Get over it.”  Trust me, it will not be perfect everyday! I had an amazing day with the kids yesterday, but today, for some reason, one of them decided to throw tantrums at every instruction I was giving her.  She couldn’t(or didn’t want to) understand what I was asking her to do. So, I had to explain it 200 times. I am already drained, but I hope that it is better tomorrow!

7. Unwind.  After a very crazy day with your kids, you deserve a break!  Don’t feel bad about taking time for yourself and unwinding.   Add your favorite wine, beer, or champagne to your grocery list, or if you like to unwind with desserts like me, do that as well. Watch some grown-up TV for a change and relax until bedtime!

I really hope that my example schedule has helped you to create your own. Don’t forget mom, you are doing a badass job! I am cheering you on!!!

I would love to connect with you via Instagram. Don’t hesitate to follow me @patyaraujobranding so I can follow you back.

Xoxo,

Paty

Paty Araujo Photography is a Lifestyle Personal Branding Photographer, Brand Photographer, Wedding Photographer, Engagement Photographer, Bridal Photographer, and Quinceañera Photographer serving the San Antonio, Texas Hill Country area, Austin, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Laredo, and beyond.

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