Parenting while under quarantine
This post is about the throes of parenting in midst of a pandemic, while working from home.
Shortly after COVID-19 was labeled as a pandemic my husband and I were both required to work at home. Since we both would be working at home, we made the joint decision and removed our son from daycare to minimize the risk of exposure. Little did we know, that tending to an 18-month old and working a full 8 hour job would deem nearly impossible (don't worry, we have the hang on things now)!
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The picture above represents unexpected visits from your child in your office.
KJ just finished off his morning snack (yes, I kept him in his PJ's a little longer that day because... you know - who cares) and we were headed to his room to pick out his clothes. As we approached his room door, he noticed that his dad's office door was cracked open, so he ran as fast as he could and barged in. Upon entering, he said, "dada, hug!" This moment was perfect, especially since dad has been working long hours to keep up with the new swing of things. I needed to get this on camera because it represents our "new normal"
Working from often leads to working more. You end up working through lunch, if you get up early like me, start working as soon as you wake up (small things like checking emails on your phone), and working a little longer (no rushing to beat 5 pm traffic). In order for me to stay abreast and keep my sanity, I talked to my employer about adjusting my online work hours. I asked to start earlier so that I may get offline earlier. This way, I have more time to spend with my toddler.
Tips on how to make things work in a house hold with an 18-month old and two working from home parents.
I have the AM shift and dad has the PM shift. This means I get KJ ready for the day with breakfast, diaper changes, etc. For dad, it means he gets KJ ready for bed with baths, story time, etc. Everything in-between is fair game.
We let each other know when there is a conference call scheduled. Whether this be via Zoom or just simply a conference call, we let each other know. This way, I can watch KJ or get him from his room if he starts crying during independent play time.
Schedule in family time that is outside of the lunch hour. Take a 15 minute break to spend time as a family. You can get started on a puzzle, read a book, play a game or even go on a short walk.
Try to keep the same schedule. For us, this is the schedule from day care: breakfast, AM snack, lunch, nap, PM snack. After breakfast is independent playtime, then a snack with mommy or daddy. He will hangout with whomever he is with for snack time up until lunch. I typically work through lunch, so after lunch is outside time. Once we return, its nap time (a parent's favorite time of the day - second to bedtime)! After that, it's snack/tv time, which may or may not buy us an hour at most...but you get the point