The last few weeks have undoubtedly been unlike anyone has ever experienced in our lifetime. The event and travel industry in particular is being devastated due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the situation changing literally every hour, many of us are now working from home. Some, because our place of employment has insisted we work from home, but also because many states have closed schools for at least two weeks.
So now you are still working through cancelled events but as you are working from home also maybe trying to juggle caring for children, avoiding playdates, limiting errands and hoping to find essentials to survive being quarantined. I have two children ages 10 and 3 so this is definitely affecting me.
You aren’t alone! In today’s society, two-parent households where both parents work full-time today make up 46 percent of the population, compared to 31 percent in 1970. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, the labor force participation rate of mothers with children under age 6, at 65.1 percent, was lower than the rate of those whose youngest child was age 6 to 17, at 76.4 percent.
That is a lot of people having to manage a full 8 hour day now from home, with many trying to make sure their kids have the basic needs of food, rest and appropriate play. I pray that the measures we are taking now help to reduce the spread so we can all go back to reality. In the meantime, I wanted to share how we are managing this new normal:
|5:30-7:30||Mommy & Daddy Work Time|
|9:30-11:30||Creative Time & Daddy Work Time|
|11:30-12:30||Lunch with Daddy|
|3:30-5:30||Play Time & Mommy Work Time|
|5:30-6:30||Dinner Prep & Screen Time|
|7:00-8:00||Bath & Story Time|
|8:30||Bed (If you did your chores!)|
My husband and I want to keep our children's schedule similar to what they have in school and daycare, since our kids thrive off of a routine. We have the night time one down pat, but all day every day is something completely different.
Thankfully for the internet and social media there are plenty of examples of a “COVID-19” daily routine circulating. From those examples we created a schedule that would be best for our kids. We also made sure that the schedule would allow for my husband and I to have equal time to work during the day. It goes like this:
Once we got the schedule drafted, we both communicated this to our teams to help them know when we would be available in our dedicated “work blocks” and that we’d be able to look at and respond to light emails throughout the day.
And one big caveat of all this is the reality that things could change in an instant and that we have to be flexible and lenient. For the first day, my work time block was shifted an hour and the time we had scheduled at the end of the day for screen time, had to commence earlier than planned so that my work block wasn’t postponed another hour.
Cherishing More Moments with Each Other
Despite being thrown into the biggest juggling act ever, I am enjoying the extra time I have with my children. On the typical sick or snow day, I’m constantly checking my phone for emails or slack messages to keep up with work, knowing that it’s only temporary.
The schedule we have devised will help me soak up the moments of my son telling me his new jokes and my daughter learning how to write a new letter. I know with my husband’s help, I’ll have dedicated time to do the work I need to do later.
Obviously, it’s not synced with someone who is single or doesn’t have dependents, but we’re hoping that we all can band together, remember to be kind and understanding to everyone’s situation.
So as we all brave the future together, heed the advice of experts and take precautions, but don’t forget to make the necessary adjustments you and your family need during this time to reduce stress and anxiety. I’m thankful for warmer weather so we can sit outside and soak up some sunshine together and remember that nothing lasts forever.