Finding Balance When Working and Parenting in the Pandemic: This is Our Story

Being a parent during this pandemic has been quite challenging. In many cases, we have lost our main pillars of child support, such as school, afterschool activities, and childcare. We have had to adapt to find ways to keep working while managing all our other responsibilities. Because we were not prepared, we had to adjust seemingly overnight to a new and difficult reality.

Dropping everything during the first ten weeks to homeschool my three young girls was the biggest challenge I faced as a working mom during the pandemic. I have never been a teacher, and my daughters were not used to having that relationship with me. So, I had to change and learn. On Sunday nights, I would prepare for the following week. Every morning, I developed a routine: I would put on classical music, and we would start our version of ballet dancing all over the room before beginning the classes for the day. Not every day was perfect, but somehow, we got through it by making it fun.


[Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash]

[Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash]

I worried that I was not doing a good job or teaching them enough. My second child, for example, was finishing Kindergarten, so we had to make sure her reading level was up to par in preparation for first grade. Ultimately, those weeks of homeschooling taught my husband and me about how to support our children with their learning.

Those ten weeks before summer vacation also coincided with adapting our company, Celaque, to remote work. As a team, we all had to face challenges with our families and our work. Everybody had to shift gears, and we had to reorganize the entire company to ensure we continued moving forward.

More draining than that was the underlying worry about what was to come and how it would impact our company. With two unfinished buildings, our city temporarily stopped construction. It was difficult for all of us, as we had to adjust to new roles and new ways of working. Nevertheless, little by little, things started to settle down. Although everything is quite different from how things were in February 2020, we have now come to a new normal where we are working despite the virus and moving forward as a company.

At home, we have also adapted. Luckily, I do not have to shoulder the burden of homeschooling alone. My wonderful husband and I have divided the school schedule between the two of us so that there is always a parent available during school hours, and he has taken the lead to make sure our girls are on track with their homeschooling. Right now, as I write, he is setting up the girls to start their day. I will take over in a couple of hours.

To maintain a balance, we have altered our schedules. We wake up earlier to make more time during the day to get our work out in and have enough time for our workday. We were also fortunate to find a teacher who has the afternoons available to help us with the girls. While she sets them up to do activities, I have my work meetings.

It is not always perfect. In the middle of the day, people might overhear a child screaming or crying, but that is the worse that can happen. I have also learned to lock my door so that no one will barge in with a complaint.


[Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash]

[Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash]

Schedules have become more critical than ever and having separate times and spaces for everything is vital. Every school day is the same – the girls know that their dad oversees a specific part of the day, and then it is my turn. They also know that if my door is locked, I am not to be disturbed. The little one will still try to interrupt, but we are coming to a better balance. Their schedules also give them a sense of stability.

Hopefully, schools and daycares will continue to reopen, and we will all be able to achieve a better balance as parents. This situation has been harder than any of us could have imagined, yet I will always treasure the gift of the extra time I have gotten to spend with my girls and my husband.

Pamela Ayuso - About the Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Ayuso is an author and the co-founder and CEO of Celaque. She is a real estate entrepreneur and developer who has executive leadership experience in two of the most successful real estate developers in Honduras — managing operations at Alianza and leading Celaque. Celaque develops office and residential buildings and manages a broad portfolio of properties. Pamela’s focus is on growing Celaque into a model for the 21st-century company.

In addition to her role as CEO at Celaque, Pamela is the author of Amazon best-selling book, Heptagram: The 7-Pillar Business Design System for the 21st Century. She offers practical business and personal development insights for other entrepreneurs and business leaders on her blog and LinkedIn. Her husband and her three wonderful daughters inspired the story of her first children’s book, Alicia and Bunnie Paint a Mural.       

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