How Work From Home is Going During Pandemic

covid19 work from home Apr 30, 2020

NEWS FLASH: The honeymoon period with these stay at home orders has ended.

Our newsfeeds are turning from chalk messages on sidewalks to protests. It’s time to get real, dig deep, and find meaning.

I’ll go first. Here are some thoughts I wrote at the beginning of this crisis (six weeks ago) and my reality check on where we are now.

  • Work in shifts. We are all stuck at home so it’s best to discuss now what it will look like to share the load of monitoring the kids before things get too heated.

First I have to give props to my husband because he’s been a trooper through all this. We’ve been able to create a daily schedule that evolves each week. Distance learning is more challenging with my fourth-grader than we had expected. We’re learning the emotional language to talk about things before they get too heated.

  • Stock up on art supplies

Sidewalk chalk sure had a moment. We were able to get our hands on some but the novelty has already fizzled. I found this website with some fun twists on chalk…chalk paint, chalk ice, puffy chalk. As long as the mess is outside, I’m game.

  • Brainstorm a list of problems and solutions. For example, if someone is starting to act restless they can go take the dog for a walk or do a 10-minute meditation.

Two things working for us are laps around the pool and noise-canceling headphones. Long before quarantine, I’ve been sending the kids to run laps around the pool when I notice they need to calm down. The big change here is I’m now sending myself out to do laps too. Our workspaces are all pretty close together so noise-canceling headphones are key. I use this free app on my iPhone for when I need to focus and block out the noise. My favorite mix for when I want to get things done is the city, crowd, train. It sounds like I’m sitting in a busy coffee shop in Union Square.

  • Think beyond the tech: setup workspaces for each family member

My husband and I share an office. What this looks like on most days is a dance. The one who is the primary parent at that moment bouncing in and out of the office to tend to kiddos. On occasion one of us will set up at the kitchen table. The kids each have desks in their rooms. This has been great except when it isn’t. I caught my teen watching The Office while running the math video she was assigned for the day. UGH! My solution was to have her keep the door open and the screen of her Chromebook facing me while I sat across the hall and helped her brother. Good news: there seems to be a way to work the tech to keep this from happening again.

  • Make it fun. Bake with the kids. Read a good book. Go for a family hike. You get the idea.

I have a love/hate relationship with baking. My kids love to bake and we all love to eat their treats. I hate the mess in the kitchen, the effect sugar has on the kids, and the aftermath I see on the scale. It’s an unprecedented time so I’m trying to lean into love. It’s ok that I won’t have a “perfect body” after quarantine.

What’s working for you? Be honest, be real, and share your quaranteam story in the comments below.

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