An Open Letter to WFH Parents: We Got This!

, Mar 24, 2020

CATEGORIES: Culture
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Dear Parents,

Congratulations on making it through your first week working from home, juggling kiddos and work. Reflecting on my past week, I think it’s safe to say that your week was equally as challenging. For most working parents, we’re used to bringing our kids to daycare or school and then working until pickup time, with full focus. This is not our norm.

I saw a hilarious meme this week on Instagram that said: “Reminder: 9 p.m. is the time to remove your day pajamas and put your night pajamas on.” Here are some tips that I practiced this week in my day jammies, that will hopefully set you up for success as we head into week #2.

  • Schedule and Plan – At the end of every day, sit down with your significant other and go through your schedules for the next day. Create a plan for who will have kid duty during conference calls or other urgent items. I’ve also found it helpful to reschedule previous invites during naptime (1 to 3 p.m., in my house) where you can (almost always) count on a few hours of uninterrupted work. Don’t be afraid to ask for support.
  • Get Moving – It’s crucial to tire out the little ones so they can have a solid afternoon nap. As Cheryl mentioned in a previous post, get outside. If it’s rainy, try doing yoga with the kids or having a dance party. Their smiles are contagious, and we could all use an extra smile these days.
  • Set Rigidity Aside – Sure, most parents try to limit screen time as much as possible. But during these times, I think we need to cut everyone (including yourself) some slack. If you need to throw a movie on during a call, do it. I’ve also found it helpful to do more FaceTime sessions with family, because we may not see them for a while. And after the screen time, get moving!
  • Talk – Every morning, my son has asked me why he isn’t going to school. Of course, every parenting style is different, but I’ve been telling him what is going on, from a high level. I’ve mentioned that people are sick, so we need to stay at home until everyone gets better. I firmly believe that maintaining honesty, no matter the age, is always the best approach to get through any crisis.

Martin’s blog post says it best: Stay engaged. Be flexible. Be human.

Be human is my favorite March core value. During this crisis, let’s all remember that we are doing the best we can, and that includes you, parents!

Any tips to share on what has kept you sane? I’m also looking forward to Cleo’s webinar series on WFH+K starting this week.

We got this,

Liz (mom of a very busy, almost three-year-old)

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