In the past, moms were respected for “juggling it all.” Today, many are literally doing it all — serving as teacher, full-time employee, chef, cleaner, entertainer, you name it.
At the same time, they’re also being “mom” — trying to bring a sense of normality to their children, protecting them, calming their fears, explaining why they can’t go to school or see their family and friends, why they have to wear masks, stay distanced from others and wash their hands constantly.
For this post, I reached out to some of the women of Weichert to hear how they are doing and doing it all in this confusing time.
Carolyn Cerbone, Business Analyst, shares how home schooling her six-year-old son and working remote is challenging, even with the help of her spouse who manages more of the home schooling.
“What I have learned is patience and sometimes getting it done is better than getting it perfect,” said Carolyn. “We take a lot of deep breaths and focus on the items my son likes, so he is excited to start the day.”.
Heather Mortimer, Junior Business Transformation Analyst, says little things like organizing her four kids’ passwords for websites gives them quick access for school.
“I have found it helpful to have them set their own alarms for teacher Google Meets and let them help structure their day based on teachers’ requirements,” said Heather. “This allows me to balance workloads and tasks for all of us, ensure that we’re maintaining a social connection by having video breaks with friends/family and most importantly close the kitchen in off hours.”
Finding that right balance for our new normal schedules is what seems to keep these moms going!
By making a schedule, you can plan to have smaller blocks of time so your kids can focus on schoolwork and you can plan your meetings around that and give yourself the time to work on emails or smaller tasks.Erin Day
In trying to find that balance, some moms are giving rewards to their children for what may have seemed like simple tasks before, but during this time of quarantine are essential to adjusting to this at–home lifestyle.
Karin Shaftic, Client Service Manager, shares how her daughter in kindergarten has a daily checklist to keep her motivated with everything from brushing her hair making her bed and eating breakfast to 15 minutes of reading, completing math lessons and more.
“She can check off tasks as she completes them, and once everything is done, she has free reign on the tablet, which is the ultimate motivator for her,” said Karin.
Sometimes you just need to find the silver lining in all the crazy and the one that was mentioned most often is the fact that families have more time to be together.
I must say, hearing and seeing little kids here and there on video calls is fun. It’s our new norm and something that we should all embrace.
According to Sarah Kenning, Director, Global Marketing, her kids, ages five and two, also love seeing our colleagues faces on video chats.
“With limited interaction with anyone outside of our house, seeing different people online is fascinating for them,” said Sarah. “Thankfully my team doesn’t mind a little face popping into view every now and then.”
Before this, a common refrain was that there aren’t enough hours in the day. We “lived” in a very fast paced industry and society. Now, work-at-home is giving us some of that time back to be with our loved ones.
“I actually have the opportunity and time to be with my children without feeling rushed from the day to day,” said Alicia Marroquin, Relocation Counselor. “It’s nice to stop and look at their little faces, their gestures, what makes them laugh, what makes them sad and truly listen to how they feel is pretty awesome.”
It’s that family connection and the sense of everyone being together that makes it all worth it at the end of the day for most.
“If you catch me on the phone, shuffling papers, washing dishes, cooking and cleaning multiple times a day it is all worth it,” said Alicia Marroquin, Relocation Counselor. “I have children who rely on me and, most importantly, love me.”
Jessica Kiser, Talent Development Specialist, has set up joint work time when she doesn’t have meetings so her daughter and her can work side–by–side.
“It’s a fun way for her to self-learn with me so I can help her if needed, but can still focus on my projects,” said Jessica.
Having help from a partner or spouse has really saved our colleagues from juggling school and work as well.
“My husband and I are staggering our workdays to help cover urgent requests,” exclaimed Sarah. “Teamwork is as critical at home as it is in the office.”
Carly Fliegler, Senior Workforce Mobility Counselor, says that working together with your partner is helpful to manage this balancing act.
“Take a look at your calendars the night before to make sure there are no meetings that overlap. If they do, make sure to get the kiddos set up in their computers for work,” said Carly.
Especially during this time, focusing on taking care of yourself and your family is extremely important.
Carly shares that her family makes sure to get 30 minutes of workouts in every day.
Finding time for yourself is another key to success.
“It is very important to take some time out for yourself, even if for just 20 minutes every day,” said Tommi Heldstab, Workforce Mobility Counselor.
Finding ways to give yourself a little bit of alone time, whether it’s a bubble bath, glass of wine, watching your favorite Bravo show, taking an extra-long shower or walk is extremely important to give yourself time to recharge!
“On good weather days I sneak in a walk around my neighborhood after dinner to clear my mind and recharge for the next day,” said Gallia Peretz, VP, Business Development.
A common theme among the people I spoke to is to remember that we are all learning this together and that having patience, flexibility and remaining calm will help.
“Some days are better than others,” said Carolyn. “But we take it one day at a time and remind ourselves that each day we are one day closer to the end.”
My children are missing such an important time in their life not being at school and I can see it in their faces, said Alicia. Children are resilient, and their beautiful innocence takes me back to appreciating what really matters in life. Now is the time that we should spend with our family building a bond and caring for one another.Alicia Marroquin
We want to wish all of the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day and remind you that you are not in this alone. Hopefully some of these stories can inspire you to find new ways to manage working from home, or even new ways to relate to one another.
Stay tuned to hear from other colleagues who are at home with older children and the different challenges they are facing.