When The current suggested a column on the new permanent home work with children, the request came at a particularly sensitive time. I was working my car in the garage at night, with the heat on. My alternative – the shed – was not an option because it had no heat.
As an experienced person at home, I have many tricks. But this frozen and socially distanced life changed everything.
Here is my initial response to requesting a work at home column:
I am the queen of homework. I lived for 15 years! Working at home with children? Nine years! Working at home with children during a pandemic?
That’s enough? Do you need more time to free up space for ads?
* Editor’s note: it’s not funny.
In all seriousness, all of my advice on working from home still applies in a pandemic, but with the great community experience of distance learning, the triggers for feeling parents’ guilt because you’re not spending time with your kids because it’s working. through the roof. Not to mention the amount of distractions. And it is not just the distractions of the dishes, but the distractions of life and death, of money and without money.
Should I apply for mortgage assistance or know what an Economic Impact Payment is? As a small business owner, am I eligible for unemployment, even if I still have some income but have lost customers?
Drats, I need to finalize the proposal for this great database creation for the potential customer of medical devices. Ah, here is Zoom’s invitation from a friendly mother for a group call to my daughter, and yes, here is Zoom’s birthday music invitation to my niece. And I didn’t even download Zoom.
To do an article’s homework, I need to call the state and Dutchess county coronavirus hotlines for a checklist to post A little lighthouse blog what to do if you suddenly start feeling sick or short of breath. Who do I call first? Which hotline? Or is it my doctor? Or urgent care? I’m sure I’ll get to the hospital somehow, if I need to. I’ll call the state’s emotional support hotline. (It was a nice call, actually.)
All of these thoughts are typical of a single day, but on that particular day I couldn’t take it. He sent me directly to the shed for an evening work session. I needed some space to find some calm and focus, with no one around, so I could think.
There is a lot going on at the same time. There’s Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefing, which I listen to religiously, followed by the White House briefing. Among them, I receive text messages from my mother in Ohio, while she listens to her governor, Mike DeWine, followed by the mayor of Beacon’s late-day call, sometimes. And the Beacon school district robocall about advances in distance learning or news about the incredible easy-to-grab meal program with a delivery option. And there is Chris Cuomo’s program on CNN that I must watch now that he is suffering from COVID-19.
My devices are never charged to the end. Everything is at 9% or 27%, unless it is a good day when I have all the coordinated cables and I reach 100% for a good slip on the Gov. Cuomo connection. Before that, no matter what happened, I had been running out lately in the rain, and hopefully I had time to have breakfast and get dressed before the briefing.
The places where I worked to complete this column were:
- The car in my garage.
- The car at the train station was near the water while my baby slept.
- The car on Main Street in Cold Spring, where I drove my baby to sleep in the back seat until I could park in a safe place, with no people around. Hi, Cold Spring!
Anyway, my advice for working from home is below. It’s simple, but important:
Dress up: Do this before everyone wakes up. If you have young children, they can make this impossible.
Have breakfast: You must have a good brain.
Wear shoes: At the end of the workday, you take off your shoes and put on your slippers. This helps you make the mental transition from Work to Home.
Dishwasher ready: Carry the dishes all day long to have a clean sink all the time. This will help to avoid domestic distractions.
Forgive yourself: Every day will be different. Remember the small goals you have achieved.