Working parents have never faced a challenge quite like COVID-19. In addition to the fear and uncertainty we all face every day, they have an extra layer of stress to deal with. Many families rely on two incomes and, as a result, have relied on some form of childcare. With many schools and daycares closed, however, parents across the country are figuring out how to be employees, parents, and teachers all from home.
In turn, career anxiety is high. How do you shine in your Zoom meetings while your little ones scream-sing Paw Patrol tunes in the background? How do you keep your teenager doing their virtual classes and meet your own deadlines? Here are some tips you can use to keep your career on track while you balance this year’s unprecedented parenting challenges:
Ask For Help
You don’t have to do this alone:
- Speak with your supervisor and team to make sure they understand your limitations, and to seek any accommodations that might make your job more manageable.
- Consider using sites like Upwork to hire a freelance assistant who can help keep your schedule organized.
- Have a family meeting about chores and other household tasks, to make sure everyone is doing their fair share.
- Consider hiring professional cleaners to knock out unpleasant chores and lighten the load.
When the old ways won’t work, discover new ones:
- Establish a new, adaptable routine to meet your family’s COVID-19 needs.
- Many offices are focusing on flexible schedules to support parents working from home.
- If you need to go down to part-time or take a leave of absence, supplement your income with freelance work you can do on your own schedule.
- Consider a flexspace for your office, but make sure it has the right atmosphere and room for you to stay productive.
- Make room in your schedule for self-care to avoid burnout
Lean on Technology
Used appropriately, tech can keep your kids entertained during the day, and improve your family’s happiness:
- Focus on productive uses of screentime, and enforce limits with younger children.
- Invest in kid-friendly technology to keep your family connected and entertained.
- For older children, consider investing in a Chromebook for school and play, but be sure to install the right antivirus software to avoid any security issues.
- Schedule regular video chats with friends and family members your kids might not see otherwise.
Remember to communicate clearly with both your family and your team as you navigate this time. In doing so, you can find the balance between work and family that keeps your loved ones happy and your career moving forward.
Author: Lacie Martin
Photo Credit: Unsplash