Before COVID-19, many working professionals dreaded their daily commute and wished for a better work-life balance. They got their wish, but then they found themselves more stressed.
What happened within the four-walls of home suddenly became crucial.
Not knowing how to reduce stress has led to even more stress.
Before the pandemic, working parents got their children ready for school, went to work, came home, had dinner delivered (thanks DoorDash), helped children with their homework, put them to bed, and then hoped for a quiet evening.
Business dinners or travel sometimes interrupted these routines.
It could make a busy parent’s head spin.
When my two daughters were in school, my husband and I were running his and hers public hi-tech companies that we had founded. Our lives were hectic even though we had a full-time nanny, Virginia, who worked for us 12 hours a day. I looked forward to spending time with my children in the evenings after work and weekends.
We appreciated our nanny, Virginia. She kept our daughters on a strict routine. When she asked them to do something, they did it. They did not obey us that well. By doing her job, we realized how difficult Virginia’s job was.
We also realized that when Virginia was frustrated with the girls, she could not express anger or yell at them like we could. All she could say was “Do as I say.” It is difficult to discipline children, but she did it. The combination of her influence and our parenting made them better people.
Over the weekends, we took care of kids, but by Sunday night we were exhausted and looked forward to returning to work!
Thanks to Virginia.
Household workers are often not respected, or treated well. They are also grossly underpaid.
Invest generously in household help, especially in a nanny. After all, they help us advance our professional acumen, and take care of our prized assets — our children.
The physical space at home also needs reorganization. Partitions, signs (No Talk No Walk or No Walk Talk Ok), and temporary doors, help learn and respect each other’s space in the house. New wall paint, proper desk and chair for posture, and a table lamp to brighten video calls are worth the investment.
The stress of working from home can be alleviated by also partitioning work-time, kids’-time, and playtime. However, my niece Seema, a working mother says, “it is not partitioning but a harmonious integration of work and family that we should strive to achieve”.
Harmony translates into calmness and efficacy.