Managing the Stress of Being a Working Parent During Coronavirus

We’ve just passed four weeks of the Coronavirus lockdown at my house (we live just outside of Boston) with no clear end in sight. As a working parent, my once defined role has become a smattering of roles I never signed up for – teacher, chef, daycare worker –  all while trying to launch and lead my new business, Alta Goods.

To say this has been stressful, would be an understatement!

Thankfully, I know I’m not alone. Stories of working parents juggling their busy homes, children, and challenging careers during the Coronavirus quarantine abound. Personally, I’ve found a few changes to my daily routine have helped me make this new reality a little easier.

  1. Savoring the slow down. Prior to the Covid19 Pandemic, our house was a rush to get out the door in the mornings. Coffee was consumed hastily – more out of necessity than enjoyment. Now, I linger over my coffee with the ease of a weekend morning. Why not? I have nowhere to be.
  1. Creating moments of enjoyment. Before the pandemic started, eating chocolate was reserved for an after dinner – or really an after-the-kids-went-to-bed – treat. As a reward after a long day of working and wrangling kids. Now I indulge with chocolate in the middle of the day – as a post-lunch aperitif or a sweet side-car to my afternoon tea. A little something to get me through the new routines of the day. Eating chocolate can be ritualistic. It can be therapeutic, even medicinal.
  1. Daydreaming about the future. I often let my mind wander when I’m able to enjoy a quiet moment. For me lately this looks like thinking up the next flavor of Alta Goods – maybe some of that dark chocolate I love so much?? Thinking about the great things to come, whether business or personal, helps me feel more optimistic.
  1. Finding the funny. Let’s be honest, the situation us working parents find ourselves in during Coronavirus lockdown can be downright ridiculous. Kid walks in singing during a Zoom conference call? Giant fort built in the middle of the living room? Kids covered in ice cream they helped themselves to while you worked? Check, check, and check! Sometimes we just have to laugh (or cry) at the chaos!

Being a working parent has never been a walk in the park, but being a working parent while locked down during a global pandemic has turned this walk into an uphill marathon.

I’d love to hear what new habits or rituals you’ve created to maintain your sanity as a working parent during Coronavirus. Leave a comment – and bonus points if you make me laugh!

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