Full-Time Mom & Full-Time Attorney
Life has certainly changed for us adding our newborn baby girl, Blake, to the mix. Our son, Jaxyn, is four-years old. We also have four pups, half of which came from our time as puppy foster parents. Um, because if you’re going to have dogs, why not have four?
A few days prior to coming back to work from my maternity leave, COVID-19 knocked me right into full-time mom and full-time lawyer. I remember thinking, “How will I work from home while my children are present?” Whether you work at home for years or if you’re completely new to remote work, these circumstances are incredibly challenging. I faced multiple obstacles from daycare closing last minute to attending virtual meetings with clients while my four-year-old dressed up as Superman tried to “fly in.”
Balancing work and family life during COVID-19 in a society of “mom boss culture” where everyone is expected to “do it all” with the pressure to “put the kids first always” had me feeling overwhelmed and guilty. “How would I give my children the best of me AND be present for my clients?” and “can my client hear Frozen in the background?”
I am fortunate to have found some form of balance, usually. With the support of my wonderful husband, humorous mom friends, my awesome parents, and my flexible co-workers, I was able to stay sane. Disney+ also came in handy.
With my team at my side, I was able to adjust my home/work schedule and still be attentive to my clients. My support team was necessary. I encourage every parent who suddenly find themselves being a boss in their business and a teacher to their child to find your “team.”
We were open, honest, (& REAL) with our clients. I am a mom to a newborn, coming off of maternity leave, and really just doing the best I could. That’s all any of us can do, right? I don’t know if there is a “good time” for a pandemic to hit, but this was a challenge. In the midst of all of that, I feel like I did a pretty decent job of remaining present for my clients, and I immensely appreciated their understanding and grace (thank you!). Truly, your grace allowed me to stay present for my family and still be an advocate for you!
I am happy to say after working out the details that I am now back at work 100% and grateful to be part of such an amazing group of women. In my moments of feeling like I had too many plates spinning and feeling utterly inept, I am grateful to have a supportive employer that’s willing to work with family life.
With the support of my team, I was able to balance work and home life, even in the midst of COVID-19. I recognize that this may not be the case for everyone. These are some of the things that worked for me, maybe they’ll help you cope too.
- Find a support team. It could be a friend or neighbor, a spouse or parent. (Who has been quarantined as well).
- Come up with a plan.
- Be aware of your limitations, don’t over-promise.
- Communicate with your employer and co-workers about your needs. It’s important to proactively communicate with your employer that your children are home and that you really are trying to do work.
- Prioritize your schedule. Schedule engaging activities (or naps) for your kids during the time you need to be most productive. You may have to call in reinforcements.
- Be Flexible. Let me say it again, BE FLEXIBLE. The way you see your day going and how it will go are going to be different – cope with that now and set realistic expectations.
- If you have a partner, share the childcare load.
- Get creative with office space. Try to find a space where a door can be closed to create physical boundaries for focus. There are a ton of cheap/free applications for your phone that act as baby monitors if you need to get creative.
- Be gracious with yourself. As mother’s we carry much of what psychologists call “the mental load” of the household. We all get overwhelmed. While we are capable of handling certain stress levels, we run on “mom mode” for long periods of time and we need some self-love to re-center. Allow yourself to take breaks and create time for yourself where no one or nothing is depending on you. You can’t pour
from an empty cup.
A big THANK YOU to my “team” and my clients. This whole global pandemic situation is a lot more manageable with you all in my lives. You’ve allowed me to be my own Superwoman for my family and my clients. We did it together.
Meet Blake and Jaxyn!