In support of families who are parenting in a time of unprecedented crisis, we are making a charitable donation to the Greater DC Diaper Bank, which works to provide resources for Washington, DC-area parents in need. We encourage you to join us to see where you can help—financially or otherwise—and to seek help when you need it.
Balancing Motherhood and Management during a Pandemic
Around this time every year, we start reflecting on motherhood. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the joys and the trials, what it means to be a mother, and the privilege of having a mother still around are all dissected and mused upon.
This year, motherhood—and parenthood in general—has been on even greater display. No matter your circumstance, it’s no secret that parenting during a pandemic is unbelievably difficult.
As we try to balance the new world order, the launch of our company, and our roles as mothers, we thought we would share our perspectives, some insights we’ve gained, and words of wisdom we’ve received.
Amanda Roberts, Mother of Ava, 3, and Miles, 7 months
I love my kids, but I’m counting down the days until they are back at school. It’s impossible to stay patient when you are on a conference call and your toddler is pulling your hair and screaming in your ear while your baby is fussing to be held. It’s hard.
On the other hand, I’m fortunate that they are an endless source of entertainment. I’m never bored in quarantine! It’s been wonderful watching my son, who could not even roll over before this began, hit different growth milestones—he’s now starting to crawl.
I feel like I’m falling short in every aspect of my life—as a mother, as a consultant, and as a wife—and I can’t wait to get back to some semblance of normal. In the meantime, here are a couple things I’ve been doing to get by:
- I began this with what I called a “parenting sandwich with work buns.” Start the day early, before the kids are up, and get work done. Take time off throughout the day to watch the kids, and then put in more hours after they are asleep. I ditched this pretty early on, because I found that it’s not easy to take off during the workday when there are a lot of scheduled calls. So I’ve been finding out ways to combine the two—feed the kids breakfast during my morning team check-in, take a walk with the kids during other calls, and get a lot of work done during the children’s afternoon nap.
- I try not to dwell on what I can’t do right now and rely on the resources that I do have. My team here at Avid Core has been crucial for helping fill in the gaps at work. At home, my husband is often stepping in at a moment’s notice when an unexpected call pops up. I bypass the closed playgrounds and take long walks on the trails that are still open.
When all else fails, I put on Disney+ to entertain the kids for a few brief moments.
I also recognize, as hard as things are right now for me, it’s a lot harder for others who are struggling without the resources that I have. I have a job. I have a healthy family. Things are different, but they aren’t actually all that bad.
Virginia Quiambao, Mother of Selena, 18 months, and Bonus Mom to Nico, 13, and Vanessa, 19
I’m feeling incredibly fortunate, even in the midst of so much chaos. I became a bonus mom before my toddler came along. Blending families isn’t easy, but Vanessa and Nico make the heartburn worth it. And while they are old enough to be self-sufficient and even help me out with Selena’s care, they are having to handle the emotional and mental impacts of COVID-19 as a teen and a young adult.
I’m also working to find the silver lining in all of this. As I started to prepare Selena’s Montessori-inspired play area for her to use while she stays home with me during the day, I realized how out of tune I was with her development needs. Having the opportunity to spend this crucial time with her may not have happened if not for the COVID-19 crisis. I’ve learned so much about her during this six-week period. For me, it has served as a reminder to mindfully prioritize my family because I am so often consumed with the day-to-day.
These days at home have taught me a couple of shareable lessons:
- Be more deliberate with your time. Maintaining flexibility is important, but prioritizing is essential.
- Lean on your team. Delegating is important for everyone’s growth, and it’s ok to ask for help. This scenario is NOT normal.
Your Best Advice
We lean on our team and community—in and out of the office—and we welcome all advice from our fellow mothers and parents out there striving to do their best. These are a few of our favorite tips we’ve received over the past few weeks:
- Go outside! Taking some time for a change of scenery and fresh air will do you a world of good.
- Be patient with your children, your co-workers, and yourself.
- Keep it light! If gets to a point where you are frustrated with your children, get silly. Do something to lighten the mood and distract from whatever is causing the frustration.
- Communicate with your co-workers and clients about your situation. If they aren’t receptive and understanding, it might be a sign to consider a professional change.
Despite the challenges we face as we work to balance motherhood and management, we have so much to be grateful for this Mother’s Day.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. We’ll certainly need one to get through this crazy time.