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Balancing kids and career during the COVID-19 pandemic is no easy task. Over the last two weeks, I’ve been pretty hard on myself over the concept of creating and sticking to a well-balanced schedule that focuses equally on my kids and my work. But a perfect balance isn’t the current reality and is a boat we are all in together. Globally, we are faced with new challenges in the workspace, in parenting, and in the realm of social responsibility. Still, we can learn lessons from our biggest challenges.
This lesson in particular centers around my 4-year-old son, Ricky. I was wrapping up after a client had just made the decision to transition our scheduled in-person leadership learning programs to virtual programming. I was shifting my focus to another virtual effort, this one a collaboration between coaching colleagues with a quick turnaround. I assumed my husband was managing the kids while I got a handle on my shifting work priorities. My husband, also finding balance between family and working-from-home during the coronavirus pandemic, assumed I was handing the kids. Ricky, hungry and independent, took breakfast matters into his own hands…by eating an entire family-sized Jell-O mold from the fridge.
Upon discovery, my initial reaction was shock and a little upset – upset with myself for not checking in sooner, upset with the situation. But when we are faced with challenging and upsetting situations, the best approach is to UpSpiral. What does that mean, exactly? When we focus on the negative, it is easy to DownSpiral into a state of despair or anger. Instead, we can reframe the scenario, ask questions, and focus on the learning opportunity to UpSpiral into a more positive mindset; one of forgiveness and empathy.
I decided to use the UpSpiral to flip my perspective. Instead of believing I failed and being angry with myself, I decided to believe that it was a sign of Ricky’s independence and future leadership abilities. This bad situation suddenly became an opportunity for me to appreciate my son’s resourcefulness, for me to learn to slow down, and for me to take the time to collaborate better with my husband. This led to an immediate surge of calmness and then positive energy. Also, I now have a funny story to tell as we are all struggling to balance remote work and parenting during the coronavirus pandemic. There is plenty of good that can come from mistakes, we just have to look for it.
InspiraWork is here to help you, your family, and your teams manage through uncertain times so we all come out of this better than before. Contact us today at email@example.com to schedule a collaborative consultation. You can also register for our complimentary interactive virtual chat, Leading with Families, Wednesday 4/15 at 4pm ET by clicking here.