The Pandemic and Corporate America Working Parents

It was nothing new to me. Being a working mom can be rough. I’m always making adjustments. When the babysitter couldn’t make it to watch Jr, I had to adjust. When Heaven had early days out of school or snow days, major adjustments. There was usually always some weekly or monthly inconvenience for me. Now the whole world was making an adjustment.

Ironically, just before the Pandemic hit my department had just discussed the new rules for remote working. They were allowing us to work from home more often, little did they know Covid would be forcing us to work remote a lot more than they anticipated. My son was currently in his first year of preschool and Heaven had just started middle school.

Ironically, before this occurrence I was already thinking about summer camp plans. Plus, I knew soon Jr. would be starting kindergarten in the fall. So, I was already worried about how I would arrange my schedule to pick up and drop off both my kids, to and from school. It seems like as a mom, you are constantly thinking ahead. No days off, even in your head.

But when Covid hit, it hit different. Large companies were requiring workers to stay home and if permitted to work from home. The pandemic had forced many corporate companies to be flexible . Or should I say, allow their workers to be flexible. It was now the CEO that had no place to send their children. They were suddenly like the lower level workers. It was a must to let working parents have flexibility.

Covid, had no discrimination and for once, we all felt helpless. It is very unfortunate that it takes major events to realize that working parents need flexibility. This may have been new to many, but working parents go through struggles often with balancing family and career life. Especially, workers who are not paid top dollar or have a spouse that can stay home and tend to the children. Many parents need remote working options and more flexible schedules. This flexibility should continue regardless of Covid dying down. Despite the fact that we have a vaccine created to help us manage to coincide with this nasty virus, our need for balance is still the same. Human Resources should still make sure there are policies in place that will help working parents have schedules that are conducive to family life.

Overworked and stressed parents do not work efficiently and effectively. Yes, working from home is not the easiest while children are at home or doing virtual lessons. However, think about the convenience and flexibility when children are able to go back to school. There will be less PTO used for snow days if parents can stay home, and work when weather conditions prove to be too hazardous to commute. Think of the parents who can use their flexibility to provide their children transportation to and from school. Or get a chance to make sure they are on and off the buses and home safe. Think about the parents who will be able to attend after school programs, teacher conferences, etc. Flexibility is a must and the pandemic showed us that.

Although, there were many parents who worked in industries that could not work from home, there are many parents who had the opportunity. Many of those parents admitted that even though remote working had it’s difficulties, there were many perks. Covid created a lot of chaos, but helped put into perspective how we have been living our daily lives.

Tahnee Cole

The Mommy Motivator!

Helping My Kids Cope With Changes

Some days I obsess about how I am going to work through my work at home days. But lately, I have taken a moment to think about my kids and what they are going through. It was all fun in the beginning, staying home and not going to school. Summer breaks are fun and kids look forward to not having homework assignments. Yet, at some point they miss their teachers, their friends and their routine. As a busy mom, I had to take a second and talk to my children about these changes.

I want to help them cope even if they were not verbally letting me know…

Some days they communicated with their body language. Some days I could see the fear in their eyes that things were changing and not for the better.

Would they be stuck in the house forever?

Especially, my five year old. He will be starting his first year of school and it will not be a normal year. I have been looking forward to sending him off to Kindergarten, but unfortunately life is not the same. We are not even sure if he will be attending school or just doing virtual learning as of now. It seems that I will be opting for the virtual option.

Through this challenging time here are a few of tips I use to help my kids cope with the changes. They might help you and your family!

1.Talk it out– Talk to your children about what’s going on. Explain to them the dangers and the precautious. Even explain to them why you are deciding on virtual learning if you are selecting that option. Let them express how they feel. This is the time to put all concerns, frustrations and suggestions together to help the school year go as smooth as possible.

2. Try to keep it normal as possible- I am still buying my kids new backpacks and school supplies, regardless. Kids gets excited about new school supplies, backpacks and lunch boxes. Even if they stay home and learn virtually I still want to provide normality.

3. Let them know that it is ok to feel disappointed- We sometimes get upset with our kids when they get disappointed. Especially, when it directly relates to something out of our control. Why? Because we feel helpless. We don’t want to disappoint our kids, but we have to allow them to be upset. We have to show them coping methods to help them get through this.  This a battle that they have to deal with and life itself will have many obstacles, and they need to learn how to deal with disappointments. They also have to learn to adapt to change. Allowing them to feel will help them heal.

4. Stay connected- Let your kids Facetime their friends and teachers. Allow them to interact with people on the daily so they won’t feel isolated. It is scary to interact in person  because of the risk, but it is ok to find creative ways to keep your kids interacting with friends and family!

5. Keep it fun- Look up creative projects and plans, share them with your kids to keep them motivated about the school year. My latest project is to create a media center in my home, specifically for my children to work through their virtually learning. I will be showing that to you in the Fall!

I hope all parents are confident in whatever decision they make for educating their kids.  I wish you and your babies safety and many blessings for this school year!

Tahnee Cole

“Shit, we’ve been social distancing.” -Career Moms

It’s nothing new to me. I mean at one point I was getting together with one of my best college buddies for cocktails. Happy hour was the best thing to do, but that was after making arrangements for who would pick up or watch the kids, trying to sneak in quickies and getting stuck at work to finish up one last project. Then sometimes canceling and having to reschedule.

“Can you meet me at The Cheesecake Factory?” Those words were like,  “you’ve just won a millions dollars”!!  I mean let me not exaggerate, but getting together with my adult friends is so necessary. My other professional mom friends especially. They feel me. They understand when I have to cancel at the last minute and they understand me when I cry during our tipsy girls night out. They get my exhaustion. They relate to the love I have for my family and my babies, but they also understand when I am f*cking tired.

I absolutely love being a mom, but I am human. There are times that I just want to be free. No meals on heels. No teaching. No referee moments. Just me sliding down a pole with my girls, drinking mimosas and being plain little me,Tahnee. The balance of still feeling like me is everything. No demand from work or home. That is the value of having a social life.

However, most moms don’t even know what that is. The strong roles of mom and career life makes it hard to see where personal and professional life begins and ends.

I was making it a habit to create a social life for 2020. It was my goal. Then the Coronavirus showed up like, “nah, heffa”!

 This pandemic has made something that was already damn near unachievable, a distant dream. The fear of never being able to be around your friends,  but to also be comfortable around them. I thought about my best friend who is a nurse. Would I go in to hug her like I usually do?  

Unfortunately, many moms are already distant from their social life. They have traded their wild nights for housework. The majority of our days when trying to get out with our friends or significant others depends on: finding reliable babysitters and getting on a schedule that is conducive to both parties. We have side hustles, varying schedules and our kids activities. In other words, we are just busy. 

What are we doing now? Well, just recently I have learned to get creative. I’ve been spending some time with my friends on Zoom. Interacting on social media via LIVES. More phone conversations versus texting. I’m getting closer to my mom tribe via Instagram. We are sharing recipes and DIYS to improve our homes. We are drinking Mimosas over Zoom and learning new skills like, gardening.

And as far as dating, Netflix and chill has gone to a whole different level, but it’s acceptable now.

Tahnee Cole