I use to pass around this fake "Soul-Crushing Meeting toy" image down below to my co-workers, and we would all get a giggle. Watching my five-year-old navigate her Zoom call with 20+ classmates, I realize the laugh is on us; fiction has become a reality.
Yesterday, as I was getting her ready for "school," she exclaimed, "Mommy, you need to hurry. I have a meeting." Oh boy. During this pandemic, the lines between work and family life have blurred.
In the past, you could put 8-12 hour days at work and go home to your family. Rarely, was your life entwined as it is today. Now, when I'm on my computer working on a gnarly project or on a call conference with a client, my daughter is watching and listening. She often tells me that I work too much and that I need to take a break and that I'm always in meetings. Granted, this is the same "work" me as before. The only difference is that she is now seeing me, at home, in my work mode.
This makes me wonder how this is going to affect her later down the line. In the fake toy picture above, the description of the toy reads, "Now your kids can suffer like you!" The latter use to make me chuckle. Now it makes me sad.
And let's not even talk about the use of technology. Prior to COVID-19, my husband and I were militant with screen time with our daughter. Now it is our lifeline as we juggle work, homeschooling, and the myriad of things we need to accomplish in a day. Got a conference call? Give her the tablet. Got to finish a project, turn on the TV.
This pandemic has pushed many families to parent through technology, my family included. I am going to make a concerted effort to make our weekends, technology-free. I still haven't figured out the rest, but I want her to know that I am the same mom that use to bake her cookies and take her to LegoLand. Yes, she has to deal with "work" mom, but that's just one part of me. I want to be present for her, but I also need to get things done -- building a business is not easy. Oh yeah, I also want her to know that meetings don't have to be "soul-crushing.
What are you doing at your home & work to mitigate the life changes brought on my COVID-19?
This is my daughter during a soul-crushing meeting. Kidding. Getting ready for her morning Kindergarten class.