COVID-19 has a lot of us doing things we usually wouldn’t do. It has businesses laying off tons of people, companies scaling back on marketing and sales strategies, and networking events are getting canceled. Restaurants and small businesses are having to rely on other measures to keep revenue coming in, and all of us are trying to do whatever we can to lend a helping hand to ensure the repercussions of this pandemic aren’t as drastic as they could be. 

While extremely fortunate to be employed and have the option to work from home, some parents are struggling as they find themselves juggling numerous full-time jobs at once: teacher, parent, and their actual paying jobs. While there are tons of resources out there on tools to help teams work remotely, how to schedule remote meetings, and how to help small businesses, there isn’t a set strategy or game plan for parents working from home with their kids present. 

A lot of us at BenchmarkONE are working through this exact situation. So, I thought I’d ask a few of our parents how they’re coping and dealing with this current predicament, as well as any tips they could offer up for other parents working from home. 

Designate Time to Get Organized and Prep

“Getting organized on Sunday evening is very important so Monday we can hit the ground running. I like to make sure I have their lesson plans ready, and anything printed that they need, and all supplies gathered. That way, we waste no time getting stuff done and can knock out school work quickly. I also use this time to plan meals and create a menu that I’m able to pick from quickly without much thought. It saves on time and brainpower through the week.”

  • Erin Posey, Dir. of Customer Success

“Take an hour or two over the weekend to meal prep easy breakfast, lunch, and dinner items throughout the week. This will put less stress on you while trying to juggle two full-time jobs.”

  • Erin Mueller, Customer Champion

Ask for Help

“Working from home with an 18-month-old is no easy task. I often put a lot of pressure on myself to do everything on my own and learned really quickly during quarantine that I needed to set realistic expectations. I can not and should not do everything on my own. Now is the perfect time to ask for help to reduce burn-out. While reducing interaction with our family and friends, I have a couple of reliable family members that can watch the baby while I take a meeting, shower, or even take a walk for some fresh air and quiet time. This time has given me the ability to refresh and reset, so I am better able to handle the often long days of being a stay-at-home mom + working.”

  • Lindsey Stroud, Sr. Customer Success Manager 

Know That Things Won’t Be Perfect

“It’s easy as a parent to put a lot of pressure on yourself. Trying to juggle two full-time jobs while keeping everyone fed, happy, and rested isn’t as easy. Let the housework go, let the baby cry a bit, and take a break for some quiet time when you can. Response times and resolutions may be a little delayed, and that’s okay. We’re all in this together!”

  • Erin Mueller, Customer Champion

Be Realistic

“I’ve learned that while the school stuff is important, my house isn’t their school. I want some learning to happen, but to expect the same level of structure and learning to happen just isn’t realistic. We’ll accomplish what we can and be happy with that.”

  • Pat Hawn, Sr. Sales Rep

Be Flexible

“If everyone needs a day off or a pajama day, allow it. Give them treats and find ways to say yes throughout the day. I also allow flexibility for myself. Working before they wake up and after they go to bed are ideal times because, well, peace and quiet. However, don’t burn yourself out and try to do it no more than two to three days a week.”

  • Erin Posey, Dir. of Customer Success

Enjoy This Time With Your Family

“My husband and I are going into our 4th week of working from home with a three-year-old, and we are still trying to figure it all out. We implemented a chalkboard to keep track of each other’s daily meetings and have gotten some ideas from educational cartoons, like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Sid the Science Kid. We’ve scheduled some rug time each day to do letters, numbers, read a book, sing a song, be curious, and get up and move. Also, taking a deep breath and remembering to save time for yourself is important. We will eventually go back to our routines, and I just want to know that I had one accomplishment from this time and that I can say that as a family, we remained healthy and have learned to listen and enjoy each other more.”

  • Lori Naeger, Dir. of Client Care

Practice Self Care

“Be kind to yourself during this time. A lot is being asked of you, and perfection is not attainable. Your sanity and your kids’ happiness is more important than anything at this moment. Take time to read a book, take a walk, take a nap, or just soak in a bath. However you’re able to squeeze in a little “me” time, do it. The dishes and laundry can wait – take the walk or watch the show. You won’t regret recharging your battery. Also, go outside! The nice weather has been amazing. Your kids can read and do school work outside, and you can eat lunch outside too. Any opportunity to incorporate the outdoors into the day is a win. Fresh air is good for your brain and vitamin D levels.”

  • Erin Posey, Dir. of Customer Success

Educational Resources

If you’re looking for some more help on how to keep your kids engaged and educated, here are a few resources to dig into:

We hope these tips help you tackle your day-to-day challenges as a parent, employee, and teacher. What everyone is experiencing is unprecedented, but know that you aren’t alone, and there are so many others out there that are doing their best, just like you.