Staying productive at home and work
The working moms lucky enough to have avoided the virus or recovered from it are juggling jobs and child care with an intensity that has never before existed. They are home-schooling while working. They’re preparing lunches while working. They’ re policing screen time while working — and dealing with the waves of guilt, stress or resignation that come with not doing any of those things particularly well.A Working Mom’s Quarantine Life by Ellen McCarthy, Caitlin Gibson, Helena Andrews-Dyer, Amy Joyce for The Washington Post | May 6, 2020
This statement sums it all up. Yes, fathers are as overwhelmed if not more. But moms, I found, are disproportionately the preferred parent to troubleshoot a random accident, a tantrum or a sudden need to snuggle. All of which is bound to happen all at the same time, at least once a day, especially when you’re in the middle of a work call or sprint.
What is working so far
A supportive partner is key. And I am lucky to have that. But what is also needed is an intense amount of time management and routine setting. Me and my husband discuss our calendars for the next day and sync up our meeting times. We also discuss when and how much heads- down ‘work time’ is needed making sure we are getting through some work tasks. The next step is to be communicative about your availability to your colleagues. So I go and block my calendar to make sure no one’s setting up meetings at those times. I also let my manager know if I need to step away for some time. It’s not as seamless, though. There are often clashing commitments in which case, we reluctantly resort to some screen time or simply keeping the child in his room for ‘quiet time’.
Tipping Point and Hindsight
Toddler meltdowns are common. Especially in this age. Especially when you have the least amount of time or patience to deal with them. But they will happen. And they test you for your patience. In hindsight, you will probably thank them for making you a better person.