As the summer winds to an end, and schools are announcing their plans for, in many cases, remote learning to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, working parents are asking the same question. How do we balance work and life if we return to work, and our kids are not returning to school?
For every family, the answer is going to be different. Some may be able to lean on support from grandparents or family friends to care for and guide students as they navigate remote learning. Some parents can work from home themselves and better support their children through remote schooling. But that’s not always the case. Many parents will not be able to continue to work remotely. Many parents have jobs on-site. Here are some work/life balance tips for those working professionals who still need to support remote learning.
- Consider Joining a “Care Pod”
As families across the country are realizing that a return to normal isn’t logistically possible with kids participating in remote learning, many families are teaming up with other families to form small “care pods.” In these pods, kids can learn with other kids close to their age. Some pods hire a nanny or care provider to help them as virtual coaches so they have the support they need to figure out the new virtual school platforms. Some pods are formed around a parent who does not work offsite and who can supervise and care for those kids while their parents are at work.
If you consider joining a local pod, make sure you speak openly with the other families to make sure your levels of risk and expectations are aligned. This can help limit conflict or exposure to the virus as the need for remote schooling drags on.
- Ask Managers for Flexibility in Your Shift
While it’s not always possible, you should speak openly with your manager about whether there is any flexibility in your shift. If you live with a partner, ask them to do the same. If you and your partner are able to stagger your work and child-care shifts to cover both the work day and the school day, you can manage by redistributing your schedules throughout the day. This is not always possible, given the nature of different jobs, but it’s a good option for those who can do it. If you are a single parent, consider joining forces with another family to help mitigate the impact. Families who can join forces with other families are well positioned to navigate the work/teaching balance.
- Remember That This is A Marathon, Not a Sprint
An important part navigating the shifting role of parenting and teaching is managing your mental and emotional health. It’s easy for parents to burn out when they are being asked to do it all. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Ask for help where you can. Be kind and patient with yourself and your children. This is a very difficult situation to navigate, but there are moments of joy that can also be found. Do the best you can, and learn from your mistakes. The attitude you bring to the table every day, at work, and at home, will help you set the tone for how your children respond to the situation as well.
Looking for a job That Gives You Better Work-Life Balance?
Contact the recruiters at All-Star Personnel today to discuss your goals and availability, or apply online today.