In Tri Delta’s new series, “3 For You,” we’re covering the best tips from experts as we navigate our current situation during COVID-19. Tri Delta alumna Allison Peschel, Millikin, shares her advice for working moms and a much-needed reminder that you are all doing great. Read her three tips below, or listen to the podcast.
We recently celebrated Mother’s Day, and never have moms deserved to be celebrated more than right now. Moms play so many roles – caregiver, coach, teacher, chef, co-worker, chauffeur, sometimes even referee! Many moms are now in situations where their home is now also their office, and their day care center. And while we often have Tri Delta sisters, or other friends, there who will remind us that “you’re doing great!” That kind of coaching is so important right now in the daily isolation of work and parenting. Tri Delta alumna and Director of Client Service at JB Training Solutions Allison Peschel shares her three tips for the working moms to remind you that you are doing great!
Tip #1 There is no such thing as “balance”…just know your limits
Our homes are now our offices and our daycare centers, and we’re working right next to our significant others. It’s great when people can determine what space is going to be their “home office” and what their dedicated work hours are going to be — but that’s just not realistic for everyone right now! Dedicating one space just to work is challenging. Instead, you have to identify a workspace that’s conducive to your work/home/family space and make it work for you, wherever and whenever that is.
Determine what works for both your professional life and your family life — and understand that it may change by the hour. This also goes along with balancing our time. Certain times of day are just not going to work for getting what you need to get accomplished. It’s about flexibility, but also understanding and accepting your limits. Does this mean I’ll get up at 5:30 a.m. in the morning to get work done? Probably not. But I can get my work done in the evening after bedtime or during naptime. Every day might look different, and it’s not going to be “balance,” but that’s ok! Knowing your limits and accepting them will hopefully prevent burnout.
Tip #2 Focus on strong beginnings and ends to the day
It’s ok to not be as rigid with TV time or things like that right now. Sometimes the only way to get through the day as a parent and keep up with our work is to enlist the help of our Manny Daniel Tiger and Nanny Peppa Pig. Don’t feel guilty about how many hours a day your kids are watching TV! There will be a lot of time trying to work and parent where the day isn’t pretty, perfect or ideal.??
Instead, focus on strong beginnings and ends to every day. For instance, not opening the computer until 8 a.m. and being totally in mom-mode from 6:30 a.m. – 8 a.m., and ending the day with no devices from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. for dinner/bedtime. And in between those hours, allow yourself a whole lot of grace and low expectations!
Tip #3 Build your resilience muscle
While there may not always be time for physical fitness during every long day, there’s always the opportunity to build your resilience muscle! First, have a growth mindset: Choose to look forward, not back. This is everyone’s first time working and parenting simultaneously during a global pandemic… we’re going to learn a lot and grow a lot, and when this time passes, we’ll be able to look back and realize we learned so much about what our teams and families need — and hopefully a lot about ourselves too.
Maintain a focus on an internal locus of control. We cannot control when a stay-at-home order is lifted, what kind of demands will come from work or family every day, but we can control our attitude. We can control making sure that our work teams feel supported and that our kids and/or partners feel loved. With that, avoid traps of permanence/spiraling. Remind yourself that this is temporary.?It doesn’t feel that way right now, but there will be an endpoint!
Lastly, the most resilient people work hard to maintain connections that are important to them. This is where Tri Delta is so important! In Tri Delta we have sisters we can reach out to when we’re feeling in a funk, needing a pep talk, want specific advice or just want to laugh!?Especially when we’re isolated, it’s so important to go out of your way to foster and maintain these connections.