The news we wake up to is not always the news we fell asleep to. With the onslaught of information that has come at us this week, it’s a wonder any of us are still standing. The anxiety created because of COVID-19 has brought me to tears, uncertain of what could possibly happen next. I’m with you. I know many of our Dallas Moms team is with you, and experiencing the same fear and frustrations as you.
Let’s add onto this stress that many area districts have added an additional week of Spring Break, and with the constantly changing circumstances — Will they be out of school longer? If you work full-time outside your home and your kids attend daycare or school all week, what are your options?
>> Dallas ISD has provided an important FAQ for parents with resources for parents.<<
Importantly, make sure you are doing all you can to prevent being infected or spreading the virus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a covered trashcan.
- If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
If you suspect you or someone in your family has become infected, it is critical that you call your family’s doctor or the ER before you go to your doctor’s office or emergency department. Here’s a list of recommended local hospitals:
Tips for Parents Who Work
What are your options?
Talk to your boss. It is important to start having conversations with your employer now about the possibilities of needing to be flexible with your work schedule over the next few weeks. Discuss the options that might be necessary, including: working from home, using personal time, or even bringing your children to work.
If these are not options for you, now is the time to lean on your tribe…or quickly make friends of strong acquaintances. Ask the mom down the street who stays home if she would mind watching your kids for the day. Share snacks and activities to help keep the group busy. In exchange, offer (and schedule) to watch her kids when she needs a night out or time away on the weekends.
When working from home, do your best to focus on work so your manager will know you are committed to keeping work flowing. Now is not the time to worry about screen time. Set up the iPads or turn on your child’s favorite movie in order to have quiet time to get work done. Remind coworkers that you may have distractions while working with your children at home.
Share the load with your partner. Both you and your spouse will need to find ways to be flexible during the health crisis. Tag team during this week so you can each get your work done.
If you are able to bring your children to work, set them up with iPads, computers, activity books, crayons and coloring books, and snacks. Help your kids by letting them do a few things they wouldn’t normally get to do so they will see the time with you at work as a treat.
You may also want to check with your local sitters. If they are out of school, they could be an option for watching your children last minute. Sitting services, like SMS Dallas, offer last-minute bookings for families.
And because we are all about helping parents, we want to offer a sample schedule of what the week could look like:
Monday: Mom works from home
Tuesday: Dad works from home
Wednesday: Mom takes the kids to work
Thursday: Dad takes PTO
Friday: Grandparents or a sitter watch the kids
This allows the stress of taking care of the kids to be spread out and the burden not to be placed on one person.
Keep Them Busy
Our Dallas Moms archives are filled with activities for kids for when you are stuck at home. Here’s just a few you might find helpful:
- Ten Creative Ways to Turn Your Office Supplies into Kid-friendly Activities
- 25 Quiet Time Activities for Preschoolers
- Books, Crafts, Food, & Activities To Celebrate The Springtime
- 6 Toddler Favorites on Disney+
- My Latest Favorite At-home Toddler Activities
Update: As of March 13, 2:00pm, the Dallas Public Libraries will close beginning on Saturday, March 14, through Friday, March 20. Stay up to date here.
Many area districts are working to offer distance learning options for students. As of this writing, the Dallas Public Library system will remain open and are an option for students who will need internet access to participate in at-home learning plans.
Also, be sure to continually check our Resource Post on how local schools, events, and businesses within the metroplex are being affected by COVID-19.