Categories
Events and Life Mindsets Wellbeing

Strive for a bronze medal in parenting when you work from home

Even though we parents are increasingly working from home during the current crisis (and even if you work from home anyway, like me), we still feel the pressure to be stellar parents to our kids.

That pressure is intense, especially when our kids are trying to adjust to a new distance learning model, and all the craziness that goes with that.

One of my colleagues shared a wonderful article titled “Advice: How to Work From Home With Your Kids” that’s worth reading, and taking to heart:

Now is the time to embrace what work-from-home parents learned long ago — it’s not about winning; it’s about striving for the bronze. This is a perfect time to finally recognize how much you’ve been trained to perform parenting. To design a cozy little reading nook so your Instagram followers can see it and grudgingly approve. To bake your vegan muffins (and take a photo) or pack your kids’ bento boxes (and take a photo) or set out art supplies in a scattered but not too scattered way, if you catch my drift (and then definitely take a photo). To head into the woods and make flower crowns or whatever the fuck it is you’ve been doing out there. Give. It. All. Up. It’s time to take this parade float and strip it down to four wheels, a floor, and a functioning steering wheel. It’s time to be basic.

Kimberly Harrington

Perfection is utterly unrealistic. Most of the time, we’re trying not to take drastic measures just so we can continue working, and earning an income while so many are losing theirs.

I certainly find the new distance learning situation challenging. I don’t want our kids to lose months of progress because we’re increasingly confined to our homes.

At the same time, I don’t have the time I’d like to have to sit with them, and guide them through their lessons (or other learning materials). For me, it’s work as usual, and I have my days planned out between customer support shifts, and virtual meetings with my colleagues.

I certainly don’t have the time to cook nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I mostly just want to check that our kids have eaten something decent every meal during the day (and my wife has been cooking some amazing dinners in the evenings). You won’t see any Instagram gems from me there.

So, if you’re working from home, and trying to grab moments of sanity, while feeling guilty that you’re not winning any prizes as a parent, you’re not the only one. Let’s just strive for that bronze medal, maybe.

unsplash-logoArren Mills
Categories
Business and work

Remote work and the importance of remaining social

Nathan wrote a post titled “Remote work” in which he wrote about his transition from a somewhat conventional office environment to a distributed team. Working remotely certainly has benefits (his one team member saving 40 hours a month just by not commuting to work surprised me).

I used to work at home until about 2010 and it seemed like a great way to save money and still remain productive. Since moving to an office away from home, I realised that working from home can be pretty isolating and can also suck you into a tendency to always be working.

A client once told me that he shuts down his laptop when he leaves the office, sometimes doesn’t even take it home with him. That struck me as a waste. After all, what about that extra time at home and the additional work you can do there? His insistence on shutting down when leaving the office stuck with me and it has become really important to me.

Switching off my work stuff when I leave my office is critical for my sanity. Working constantly is a great way for me to burn out faster and miss my limited time with my family. Having an office to go to creates that physical separation between work and home that helps maintain a form of balance in my life. It comes as a cost: Nathan accomplishes a tremendous amount by working harder than almost anyone else I know, but so does the alternative (at least for me).