During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, humans across the globe have struggled with differentiating the lines between home and work. A large portion of the working population that once commuted to an office now live where they work and work where they live. For many of us, especially those with families, this has fostered a conundrum. While we are physically present in the home, taking our meetings, doing schoolwork with our children, and having Zoom catch-up calls with our book clubs, some of us are feeling isolated and disconnected.
For some working mothers, work from home has been an extreme challenge, while others have previously worked remotely or had an easier transition. All this to say, it can be a struggle to stay connected to our families as we try to forge ahead. So, what now? How do we reconnect with those living in our houses? The Aires Mobility Mums group had several great solutions for this:
- If possible, speak with your manager about flexibility with your schedule. Some children are grappling with virtual learning and they often need a few extra moments to get set up in the morning on their Zoom classroom. Some days, children will need alternate transportation for schedules that include home and in-person learning rotations. Some of our Mobility Mums acknowledged this meant a compromise. Instead of working a stagnant set of hours, some mums will put in some time prior to the children waking and then make the difference up in the evenings. For some roles, this is not always possible, so coming up with a game plan for your children is crucial. Let them know what your schedule is like for the day and when you both have some mutual time to catch up. In some instances, this means having breakfast or lunch together – even if it’s a short break. Our kids’ schedules are in flux as well and showing mutual respect for scheduling will create a sense of being “in this together.”
- Carve out time with the kids. Maybe the lunch hour is during your recurring meeting every day and you are unable to budge on it. Take some time to plan activities together in the evenings that don’t revolve around work or school. Been meaning to check out that hiking trail? Or is it time for your child to learn how to ride without training wheels? Maybe you can read a book together and have your own mini book club. Whatever it looks like for your family, it is important to differentiate and take a mental break from the work and school grind.
- Video chat with extended family members for game night. Some of our Mobility Mums play a family-friendly board game like Yahtzee over Zoom, with each participant physically playing on their own respective boards. For these families, this simple act fosters a huge sense of connection and joy while apart. Many platforms also have interactive virtual games for adults, in case you want to have some fun with friends and family in different cities.
- With travel in a precarious balance, some families are calling on grandparents and aunts and uncles to read stories or help with homework over video chat too. A win-win for everyone involved.
- For some of our Mobility Mums with children who have different sensory needs, finding creative art applications on tablets has been extremely successful. One of our Mobility Mums has a special drawing “pencil” for their child’s iPad which allows them to create art in stunning colors or to color by numbers, providing a collaborative art project with the push of the power button.
As mentioned in last week’s blog post, employees are experiencing stress from being locked down at home. Their employers have added perks to assist such as additional benefit assistance, additional PTO awards, options for child and family mental health support/counseling, to name a few.
The best way to stay connected with your family and friends is to stay connected with yourself. Take care and let us know how you are staying connected!