It is well known that in this day and age, parents are expected to be super humans and do everything seamlessly. Prior to the pandemic, we were working full time jobs while still being full time parents and engaged in everything from carpools, PTA, Pinterest worthy school projects and cooking marvelous dinners. After years of doing this, we thought we had all the balls juggling in the air—and everything was just right. And then the universe decided to throw us a curve ball: A pandemic where we are not only working from home, but we are now nannies, camp counselors and teachers as well. And they wonder why alcohol sales skyrocketed!
I’d be lying if I told you that I had a magical solution for successfully managing a full time job and managing children. If I did, I would have a true super power. However, below are some ideas/tips for managing both a job and your children simultaneously.
- It May Take A Village…
Pre-pandemic, kids were in school or day care or you had outside help. Now, things are still not back to normal and people are being extra cautious on who is allowed inside the home to help with kids. Figure out a way for you and your spouse/partner to help each other out throughout the day. Older siblings should be encouraged to watch younger siblings as well, even if it’s for a short amount of time so you can take a call or Zoom meeting. This will be good in teaching them responsibility at an early age. Other options, especially when the weather is nice, is to see if a neighbor/friend/family member can safely watch your child in the backyard with the proper safety precautions in place.
2. Plan Your Day in Advance
Set your goals for each day/week and try and try to accomplish as much as you can and whenever you can fit it in your day. For tasks that require the most concentration, I try and wake up a bit earlier before my kids wake up so that I have some quiet time to focus. A friend of mine finishes her work day when her kids are asleep. With meetings and conference calls, try to schedule meetings and conference calls as far in advance as you can and choose the best time of day that best fits your schedule and your kids. Maybe it is during a set nap time which will give you a few hours of quiet time each day or maybe it’s when your spouse is able to pitch in.
3. Technology Is NOT always Bad
Children, especially if older, should be encouraged to do crafts and activities that don’t involve technology. However, if children are younger or you really need that quiet time, desperate times call for desperate measures. As parents, we try and limit our kids time on I-Pads, I-Phones and television. Understand that we are not living in normal times right now and that extra time on devices can help occupy children and give working parents some time to concentrate on work.
4. Home Schooling/Hybrid Learning
September is creeping up and the school year is set to begin. Every school has different models of schooling this year. If your child is school age and home full time or even part time, presumably they will have online learning and classes. While you should be available if needed (and perhaps try and schedule meetings around classes), but remember that when they are physically in school, parents are not sitting with them in classes. If possible, check school work and home work when you normally would if this was a normal world- after work!
Lisa A. Bloom resides in New York with her husband and three wonderful daughters. She graduated from the University at Albany with majors in English and Psychology and received her law degree from Hofstra University. When she isn’t working, Lisa enjoys spending time with family, writing, hot yoga and cooking Paleo. You can follow her on Instagram @Paleoworkingmama