So, working from home isn’t everything you thought it would be. The opportunity to work from home in a time of the Corona quarantine may have seemed like a real gift. Maybe it was something you always wanted to try thinking it’s the best of both worlds. You could spend more time with your family yet pursue a rewarding career at the same time and skip the commute.
But in reality, it’s a little more complicated than that. With everyone home, working from home has unique challenges – kids interrupting while you’re on a phone call or a team video call; your husband’s on the phone with his boss and talking at the top of his voice drowning out your meeting, and then there’s the nagging distraction of toys scattered everywhere and the mess in the kitchen.
Not exactly the perfect solution you expected.
Not Normal is the New Normal
The pandemic and the quarantine everyone is experiencing now is truly scary and a big challenge. Everything has changed in just a few months and will continue to change until a vaccine is discovered to stop this pandemic. Adults can deal and cope with the changes happening, but for children, they only know that things are different and don’t have the experience or knowledge to know that things will be ok. They can’t see grandma, the grocery stores are hostile places without food or toilet paper, and they can’t go to school to learn and see their friends, play soccer or go to a movie.
What are the adults not telling them?
Will everything be back to normal?
Will they go back to school and see their friends again?
Will grandma die?
Address the Fear of the Unknown
We want to protect our children from unnecessary harm and psychological impact of the pandemic we are experiencing now. But the most important thing you can do for your children is to acknowledge the change and uncertainty. Tell them what’s happening during the quarantine in a way that they will not be scared and still feel protected at the same time.
I learned this lesson when I worked with middle-schoolers during the 2011 tsunami in Japan. At first, we made the mistake of trying to keep things as normal as possible, but it wasn’t. Aftershocks were constant and the cell phone warning system was going off several times an hour for weeks on end. Kids didn’t know if they were safe. They didn’t know if their parents were ok at work and were fearful that the “big one” would happen again. They were scared. In hindsight, taking the time up front to address their fears, discuss the safeguards in place and how we could help each other overcome our anxiety would have made a world of difference. Lesson learned.
It’s not much different now if you have the news on in your home 24/7, bombarding your family with reports of escalating cases and the tightening quarantine restrictions. It heightens everyone’s anxiety and makes you want to stay inside, be safe and pray this world problem will be over soon. But until then, we have to cope with the changes.
So let’s deal with it head-on.
- Talk to your children about what is happening and why in a way they would understand things easily.
- Expect them to push the boundaries. They are scared, and with everything else is new, why shouldn’t they figure out if the rules are too?
- Get their thoughts on rules and boundaries that will be respectful of everyone in the new situation. Not only will they be more likely to respect them, but the structure will make them feel safer and more comfortable.
If you’d like more thoughts about how to succeed at work and home, my book, “It’s My Time” is for you – available to you at a special price in paperback, audiobook, or Kindle version. Click here to get yours: ItsMyTimeBook.com