Your tips for working from home…with kids
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The Wing’s feminist mission reportedly did not always translate to its workers, the prime minister of Norway answers kids’ questions about coronavirus, and you shared your tips for working from home with kids around. Have a nice Wednesday.
– WFH/child care tips. The Wall Street Journal has declared a new normal: “working from home with kids underfoot.”
So, how’s your new normal going?
We asked you all on Monday to weigh in on the unprecedented experiment currently under way, in which work-from-home directives and school closures have isolated families together amid the coronavirus spread. Many of you responded, to offer tips or just to commiserate about the challenges posed by the situation.
As for the tips, scheduling, many of you said, is key:
E.G. says her family has tried to “automate” as much as possible by coming up with a structured day. “I’ve even mapped out all of my soon-to-be 5-year-old’s snacks each day and am packing his lunch at night. Anything to eliminate decision making during the day so my brain can focus as much as possible on work.”
The outbreak has prompted lots of offers of help, but it’s important to remember that it’s O.K. to ask for help too, even if it’s not in-person.
“Don’t underestimate the power of virtual babysitting via Facetime,” says R.S. “My parents have kept my little ones (4 and 2) entertained for half-hour stretches with my phone or iPad set up on a stand, and they just shout my name very loudly if anything crazy happens.”
And who among us could not use nifty life-hacks right now:
“Consider deputizing your kids as your official interns and giving them work. If you have a home computer, get them to open up an excel sheet or PowerPoint and let them play around. My daughter loves being ‘in office’ with me at home,” says B.D.
“I put up a sign on the back of my laptop that lets [my elementary school-age kids] know when I am on video [calls] so they know not to bother me,” writes D.O. “It works most of the time.”
These arrangements may lead to fun work-arounds and impressive parenting wins, but it all remains incredibly hard.
“As a startup founder, we are seriously impacted with our fundraising and no investor meetings,” says S.K.
Another Broadsheet reader admitted to having “underlying resentment” about being “the default one to take care of the baby.”
“I’m already burned out in general in trying to continue to expand my business,” she said, “and this whole virus is slowly taking our lives hostage.”
Indeed, nothing about this is easy, though the sudden togetherness may also present unexpected opportunities.
“My cousin in Hong Kong shared that over the six weeks of family isolation they grew closer, but there were moments of hysteria, tears, and frustration. So I guess my view is BRING IT ON! BRING IT ON!,” says L.Y.
A.B. says she’s trying to embrace that she’s now home with her 7-month-old. “[T]his will be the most uninterrupted time I’ve had with her since my maternity leave and I’m looking forward to watching her grow and develop (and maybe start to really crawl).”
No doubt we’re all flying blind through this once-in-a-generation moment. What we do have is each other and this platform, so the Broadsheet is committed to sharing advice on how to navigate.
Up next is a topic alluded to above: stress. As the pandemic continues to upend daily life, how are you coping with the stress that’s accompanying it? What outlets are best for relief? What tactics have you employed to keep it in check? Send us your best practices—to firstname.lastname@example.org—and we may feature them in a future Broadsheet.
Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma Hinchliffe.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
- Winging it. The New York Times' Amanda Hess investigates what it's like to work for The Wing; is it as much of a feminist utopia as the co-working space tries to seem for its members? The answer, according to her reporting: definitely not. Employees describe a pattern of excitement to work for a company whose values were aligned with their own and disappointment when those values weren't upheld. Former employees also criticize the leadership of CEO Audrey Gelman, who last month wrote an op-ed about her company's challenges; in this story, she says, "It’s hard to hear that people have had this experience." New York Times
- Answering kids' questions. Erna Solberg, the prime minister of Norway, gave a remarkable press conference specifically devoted to children's questions about the coronavirus crisis. She answered questions like "can I have a birthday party?" and "can I visit my grandparents?" and told her viewers, "It is OK to be scared." Reuters
- Upset in Illinois. Former management consultant Marie Newman defeated eight-term congressman Dan Lipinsky (D–Ill.) in the state's primary last night, unseating one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress. It was a rematch for Newman, who sought to oust Lipinski in 2018 but lost. The district leans heavily Democratic, so Newman, who was backed by abortion-rights and women's groups, is likely to be elected to the House. Associated Press
- The Weinstein effect. Can you believe it was only last week that Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison? In Fortune, Dan Reilly analyzes how Weinstein’s sentencing could change the entertainment industry. Advocates expect better rules protecting performers and crew members, more bystander reporting, and more diversity among those in power. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Aura hired Anne Myong, former SVP and CFO for Walmart’s global e-commerce business as, CFO. Channel Bakers named Sarah LaVallee VP of client success.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Dress for success. What does "dressing for work" mean now? NYT fashion critic Vanessa Friedman and retail reporter Sapna Maheshwari discuss. Mascara and lip gloss for video calls? Slightly nicer athleisure than what you'd usually wear to the gym? Full-blown work attire? They break down the options: New York Times
- Reproductive records. Sen. Bernie Sanders writes for Jezebel about the fight for reproductive freedom, criticizing Joe Biden's record on abortion. Sanders says that he has been in favor of abortion rights since Roe v. Wade in 1972 and rehashes Biden's only very recent abandonment of the Hyde Amendment. Jezebel
- Release relief. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman who has been jailed in Iran since 2016 on suspicion of being a spy, was temporarily released until April 4. She's required to wear an ankle monitor and stay near her parents' house in Tehran. Iran released some people from its prisons as it attempts to control the coronavirus outbreak. BuzzFeed
- Read it and weep. Reese Witherspoon is on the cover of Vanity Fair, talking about her empire built from book adaptations. Author Ann Patchett writes the profile: Vanity Fair
ON MY RADAR
Dressing up is making me feel better The Cut
Someday, we'll look back on all of this and write a novel New York Times
The end of the Bernie Bro Jezebel
-Jennifer Haller, the first person to receive an experimental coronavirus vaccine