Being a parent can have its challenges – even more when you’re trying to juggle the uncertain times we’re in and being a working, stay-at-home mom. As we’re preparing to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, we wanted to take a couple minutes to reflect on the COVID-19 mom life and the challenges we’ve faced or adjustments we’ve made.Check out our answers below and share your quarantine experiences with us – we’d love to hear from you!
Kim McKeeman, CEO
Interestingly enough, I juggled work-from-home motherhood 25 years ago when I first started my business – before it was “a thing.” I remember well the days of carefully timing client calls, or explaining to reporters I was talking to that “my child was home sick today” – in case they heard one of them in the background. Now, with all three boys in their 20s, previously living in their own apartments or on campus – it’s like it’s all come full circle as we’ve social distanced together. They don’t need me to make them lunch, put them down for naps, or help with homework, that’s for sure. But sharing a house with all of them again, the comings and goings, with an additional dog to join our two Great Danes, and both Chris and I working from various “posts” throughout the home, it’s extremely reminiscent of what I affectionately referred to as “the McKeeman Circus”. And, guess what? It’s an adjustment for us all – but I’ll take a little more together time with them before they’re off again as things begin to transition to our new normal.
Caroline Schmid, Vice President
I’ll sum up being a working mom during COVID-19 into one word: Grace. I’ve needed it for myself, my husband, my kids, their teacher, etc. and etc. It has been a struggle. There are days when I feel like I’m not being enough for my little ones, Maddie and Austin – not attentive enough, not patient enough and not engaging enough. There are days when e-learning is non-existent and screen time becomes my assistant teacher. There are days when video conference calls include a “monkey” climbing on my shoulders asking for the juice or fruit snacks that I promised as a bargaining chip 10 minutes before. Huge shout-out to my mom, by the way, who has been a savior in the co-teaching and co-parenting department. She’s a special education teacher, by the way, and raised four kids – yep, she’s pretty incredible. When all is said in done, however, I am so grateful to a) have a job and b) one where I can easily work from home and still get to experience the moments of my kiddos playing make-believe in the basement and hear their shrieks of laughter. I’m also very thankful to have a team and boss who extends grace and patience to me as I’ve navigating this new normal. It’s certainly not perfect but we’re all doing the best we can.
Whitney Williams, Account Supervisor
Where do I begin? (haha) It’s been a beautiful mess. The beauty has been the fact that I’ve had more time with my 8-month-old, Calloway and my husband, John. We’ve had more family dinners, long neighborhood walks and homecooked meals than ever before. However, the mess that a stay-at-home order can bring has introduced some new challenges. Who takes the baby when we both have calls? What happens when my husband gets pneumonia in the midst of it all and I’m alone with my needy pup and always-moving little girl? True. Story. Folks. It can be challenging, but we’re at home, safe and healthy now. I’m thankful for the challenges that make us stronger together and appreciate the little moments. And I hope to one day walk the aisles of Target again without the fear of “Rona” lurking around every corner (sigh).
Katie Parker, Account Supervisor
Being a working mom during COVID-19 has been stressful, challenging, at times painful – thinking I’m a bad mom, employee and wife. Despite all of that, it has also been beautiful, because it has allowed me to spend time with my daughter (3 ½ year-old Liv) that I never thought would be possible as a working mom. This time has made my husband and I stretch in creativity, patience and understanding. While I hope daycare comes back one day (soon), I am so grateful for this time to see Liv laugh, grow and watch the world unfold before her innocent eyes (without any concern of words like COVID, pandemic or coronavirus).
Shannon Sadler, Senior Account Executive
I do not have kiddos running around. I do however, have a fur baby that likes aallll the attention aaalll the time. Since working from home, she has no doubt been spoiled with chew toys to keep her busy, more walks than she ever imagined and lots of snuggles. While she isn’t helpful. at. all. – as long as she’s happy to have me home, I’m happy to be home. 🐕
Becky Ogburn, Account Executive
Fortunately, I do not have small children at home at the moment (unless you consider your grown husband, but that’s a different topic …). However, the challenge has been having a college freshman home, way earlier than expected, doing all her classes and final exams via zoom or online. It’s been an adjustment having her home unexpectedly, and having to cook actual meals (not just pointing someone in the direction of the cereal boxes), and figuring out how to work with three “adults” so everyone has enough quiet and privacy to get their work done. But we keep telling each other – this too shall pass. Not soon enough, apparently, as we are not nearly as much fun as college is 😊. With all the uncertainty in the world right now, I am certainly glad to have my crew all together under one roof and plenty of cereal to get us through.
Victoria O’Neal, Account Executive
Look I hate to buck the trend here (not really, have you met me – the professional devil’s advocate?) but working quarantine life isn’t really looking radically different. I don’t have children, just my pup, but I’m used to spending lots of time at home with her. On the other hand, being home with my husband all day every day has been the adjustment…don’t know if he counts as a “kid,” but he does walk in the kitchen asking questions, playing video games and making tons of noise while I’m on Zoom calls. In all seriousness though, we’re really enjoying being home together for the most part. It’s nice to have lunch together and wave at each other from across the house all day. Love ya mean it, Trav.