I’m lucky to work for a company that has always encouraged us to work from home when the need arose. For a mom, it has been invaluable to drop my daughter off at school, and head back home for a day of work whilst still being able to juggle household admin. All while wearing my pj’s. It’s win-win!
Until, there was no school to drop my daughter off at. And the best thing I could do to lend my aid to this pandemic was to not leave the house at all. This uncharted territory presented a whole new wild west of landscape to navigate.
First and foremost, was being a mom. From day one, Cube has risen to the challenge spectacularly to accommodate motherhood. Always understanding when a family emergency would crop up and infringe on work time. Even paying my daughter in the only currency she’ll acknowledge (chocolate), when child care fell through and she accompanied me into the office.
Balancing motherhood, with work, family, friends, and self care is hard at the best of times, but I am lucky enough to have an employer that fully appreciates that delicate balance. Truly. I’m not just saying that because they pay me… which I mean, they do, but this is all hand on heart true.
Trying to accomplish even the most simple task with kids underfoot is often seemingly mission impossible. However, there are a few tried and true methods that have become my crutch recently. Here are some tips to not only make the best out of this situation, but boss it!
Expect the unexpected
As is the way with children, the more you plan or think you’ve cracked it, they find a way to throw a wrench in your best laid plans. I was finding myself getting stressed out about all the random interruptions/demands/meltdowns that were happening despite working hard to ensure they didn’t. I had to surrender the control I was so used to having in the office and learn to go with the flow more.
Be kind to yourself
Looking at all my parent Whatsapp chats, Facebook mom groups and bloody Pinterest had me in knots. They seemed to be nailing this quarantine with enviable homeschooling set ups, crafts and entertainment. Despite my very best efforts, I felt lightyears behind what all my fellow moms were able to accomplish.
So I had to pull an Elsa and let go of the pressure I was putting on myself. There is so much uncertainty and fear, your kids don’t need a 5 point plan for schooling. Just you. Happy and calm.
Take a step back
The initial struggle of trying to prove I was just as efficient with my work at home AND parenting simultaneously, broke me. Both tasks were only getting a portion of my focus. So I’ve started having clear boundaries.
Just because I am so grateful to have the luxury of working from home, doesn’t mean I need to never shut off. Which I do now. It just requires communication. Setting my Slack status to have a distraction free lunch with my daughter. Letting my colleagues know when I’m signing off for a bit to focus on life beyond work.
Same goes for my personal life boundaries. My family knows my time of locking myself in the bathroom is MINE. Don’t knock. Don’t ask for anything. And for God sake stop sliding your written requests under the door like some obsessive postman! That is strictly my time to relax, self care, or curl up in the fetal position and rock back and forth for a while. As you do!
Put a little effort into feeling human
The novelty of not needing a shower or getting out of my leisure wear before work has worn off. Having yet another video call looking like I was about to take up residence under a bridge did nothing for my morale. Now a little effort goes a long way. I feel more like myself and don’t need to put tape over my computer camera and pretend it’s broken anymore (though I’ll keep that Catfish move in my back pocket for the next sleepless night).
Fake it 'til you make it
Those days when the barrage of bad news is weighing on me, I feel hopeless, scared and unmotivated. That’s when I have to pull out the big guns. Force myself to find something to smile about. Blast music to get out of my head (Bob Marley is a current favorite mood lightener). And even though it feels like it never will, this too shall pass. The thought alone of life going back to normal is what drives me in work. What gives me the push to make this day the best to get to the next.
Those all might be so obvious to some people. But for me, I’ve had to remind myself of all of them near daily. For any other problems, my handy dandy tips didn’t cover, I recommend a large glass of wine!
Let’s show this quarantine whose boss, WE GOT THIS!!!!