Is it the best of both the worlds?
A few months back the pandemic it seemed was fizzing out of our life finally! Things were gradually being planned to restore normalcy just as they were before Corona existed. One of the steps in this direction forward was making many of those work from home jobs hybrid in nature. This meant making offices, schools and courts open on some days of the week and other days continuing to be available virtually at work. To some it seemed just perfect but I came across the parent perspective.
A lawyer friend of mine who had a nine month old baby did not agree to the idea of daycares unless the pandemic completely left its traces. They filed a petition in the court with a request to continue WFH.
We all know the present state of affairs, owing to the new strain of the virus which as they say is even more virulent; has pushed us back to where we started. Be home be safe!
Work from home is but a silver lining!
This week I decided to look deeper into this work arrangement and how it has affected the childcare (at home)?
A typical day in our life before the Covid era meant sharing pictures of the little one with my husband who was busy at work. His job profile demanded running from one meeting to another and coordinating work. He still managed to bring home a happy face and spent an hour of playing with our new born.
The work from home culture gave us more time. Time to be around our loved ones. Unlike past years where only weekends meant more of seeing each other, this new setup meant more face to face conversations.
My husband feels he is more aware of how the kid is growing. He is a part of her routine. He might not be able to actively participate but he derives joy from the little things. He appreciates the idea of sitting down for meals together. To him it is a fulfilling experience which our society often deprives the men of.
I spoke to a couple friend and the guy told me, cuddling your baby as soon as he gets up or hugging these small humans when they rush to you with a new dress on are few of the things that did not happen on a Tuesday.
Another validation for the positives of this arrangement was evident to me when I came across a heart touching picture on the social media where a guy was wearing his baby and attending a zoom call. A friend of mine described to me how her husband realized that it is the women who keep the kid and the house sane.
For women, motherhood is always more demanding. The family needs are easily prioritized owing to our conditioning or the maternal instincts. The dismal stories of mothers burning out faster during the lockdown are known to all. My idea however is to focus on the positives.
As a new mom, I had my roadmap prepared for going back to work. I will admit not being around with my in-laws or my own parents who I could trust more with my child, gave me anxiety. Thankfully, working from home has opened new doors of opportunities for me. I feel relieved about being around my little one while making submissions and doing my own work.
The challenges of joining a full time work are a plenty. I speak to many mothers in our daily park trips and I realize there is a growth in the number of freelancers and entrepreneur roles they have taken up. All because digital world offers so much to offer.
As a mom to a toddler, it is difficult to balance both the personal and professional lives with an overlap of both in the current situation.
However, I list below some points that help me and my partner get through:
- Nap times are the best times: It is best to schedule important calls and submissions when the baby is sleeping. A toddler hands down demands constant attention and it is a trick that every parent learns that nap times are best utilized by finishing high priority work.
- Independent play: A few days back I observed my daughter reading a book to her teddy. It was such a happy sight. So much so that I wanted to barge in and be a part of her story, but I let her be. I gave her the freedom to enjoy her own company and went about doing my thing.
- Be a morning person: I have often been told by my mom about how she got up early when we were kids and tried finishing maximum house work. She loved the mornings to herself. I may not be a morning person myself but so many times I regulate my lifestyle according to my toddler. Am I proof reading this article at 1am? Well why not, a little peaceful indulgence my way.
- Community friends and swapping: One of my friends lives close and we often decide to visit each other with the kids. Her nanny is great with the kids and it gives us time to talk without having to monitor the kids constantly.
- Hire a nanny: If both the mother and the father have a hectic work schedule then it is always a good idea to hire help. Nannies are great with kids and can be trained to take care of your kid while you are committed to your profession.
The pandemic is far from over. Work from home is here to stay. The biggest challenge for the working parents especially where both are working from home full time, is to create healthy boundaries. As a couple, co-parenting will demand time (apart from office deadlines) from both sides. The fathers need to step up a little more and the mothers need to ease out their know-it-all attitude. The bright side to this pandemic then probably would be standing up for each other and supporting each other professionally. As for the babies, it is a win-win situation either with their wide toothless grin or a loud cry in the middle of a meeting if that works.