Whether you will have two people working from home (and by “working,” I include volunteering to get out the vote, or looking for a job) or you are a single parent at home, planning and preparation can go a long way. Below are some tips I am sharing after talking to parents about their best practices and what they, and I, have learned along the way. Yes, this situation is less than ideal, but in tough times, we need to do the best we can.
- RED: Do not enter unless you are bleeding … and I mean gushing blood. This is for when you are talking to a potential client, CEO, or potential employer.
- YELLOW: Come in at your own risk. You are doing deep work, talking to a colleague, or meeting a deadline.
- GREEN: Come in if you need help, but only after you have tried three times yourself first.
If your spouse or partner is working from home, rethink your division of labor. Life has changed, so the way you have always done it may not make sense anymore. If your spouse is the better cook, perhaps they should take over that or at least take over some meals. My husband does not mind schlepping the kids around or running errands, so he has taken over some of these responsibilities. If you want to be really thoughtful about the distribution of labor, check out the awesome book Fair Play by Eve Rodsky or visit her website at www.fairplaylife.com.
In the end, this pandemic is really revealing the holes in our education system as well as our workplace structures, but we can find ways to do the best we can. I have so much compassion for everyone who is trying to survive during these times and I know these suggestions are easier said than done. Know that I am with you, trying to share temporary solutions—and some solutions we may want to maintain long after the pandemic. We will all have good and bad days. Days when our best efforts are met with success and days when our best efforts are met with frustration. Just keep plugging along, searching for ways we can get through this together.