The coronavirus has become a part of our everyday lives. Many of us moved to work from home. In some states, kindergartens and schools closed and switched to online classes. And although it’s great to save some time because there’s no commute, this pandemic made some of us feel like less of a parent.
No balance between work and private life can certainly have a negative effect on us. Of course, your kids come first and you’ll always be there for them, but you have to pay the bills or maybe you need to work a bit harder for a promotion you want and deserve.
Finding a balance between work and parenting during a pandemic can be a struggle, so today we’re bringing you a few pieces of advice that will hopefully help you during these times.
Set Boundaries (Not Just for Your Children, but for Yourself)
One method that works well if you have older children is the ‘Stoplight’. This is how it works by the Harvard Business Review:
- Red light: Don’t bug me right now unless someone is bleeding or something is on fire.
- Yellow light: It’s OK to interrupt me briefly if there’s something that seems urgent.
- Green light: Come on in if you like — I’m not in a meeting, but bring some homework or a book so that we can work quietly together.
That’s for kids, but you need to set boundaries for yourself to prevent burnout.
Set clear working hours and stick to it. Communicate it to your family. If you have an urgent matter that requires more of your time, explain it to your kids. Let them know that you’re not choosing work over them.
Make time to go for a walk with your children around the block once a day. It can be your bonding time while also getting some fresh air and doing good for your health.
Delegate at Work and Involve Your Family More in Daily Chores
If you can delegate something at work, do it. No guilt. You’re only human and you can only do so much. Sorry to break it to you. You shouldn’t feel miserable about it. Prioritize the most important work tasks and don’t do overtime every single day just because your living space is also your working space.
Create chores for your partner and your kids. No matter how young and old they are.
The survey conducted by Edelman Intelligence on behalf of Catalyst from August 18–26, 2020 states that ‘a majority of mothers say they are primarily responsible for managing childcare tasks throughout the workweek, such as preparing meals, supervising homework, and even monitoring playtime with their child(ren). Mothers feel more guilt in attempting to meet work-life demands, and experience more feelings of anxiety.’
Why? Don’t do it to yourself.
It is even harder if you don’t have a partner or a family to help.
But if you do, talk. Communicate. Make a plan and a to-do list and make your life easier. It will move some burden from your back and you’ll be able to do more for your family. They need to understand that.
If you’re a father reading this, please, man up and fold those clothes.
Grandparents Are Great Teachers
Don’t go through all of this alone. If you’re lucky enough to have them by your side, ask the grandparents to be more involved.
Even if you can’t physically be with them. Thanks to the technology, your kids can spend some quality time with their grandparents chatting, playing games, doing school work… Also, we’re sure they can teach the grandparents a thing or two about technology. Mutual benefits!
In the end, just remember that this will eventually pass. It seems hard (and it is), but you have the most precious gift of all – those sparkling eyes looking up to you. Thinking of you as their hero. Even if they’re teenagers, actually rolling their eyes all over every time you ask them to do something.
They’ll get over it. You’ll get over it. We’ll get over it.