A month into the shelter-in place order, Anna Edwards hit a wall. She had been working from home with her kids out of school, and her oldest child was diagnosed with ADHD.
With her husband working out of the house with little flexibility in his work schedule, it was falling to Edwards, who was also working full-time. “I sat down and asked myself, ‘what do I want to look back on and say, yeah, I did that well?’ And the answer was parenting,” says Edwards. “I had kids for a reason, and if I can’t prioritize them during a pandemic, when will they get prioritized?”
As work and school have moved into the home and childcare and socializing have become less available, many parents like Edwards have had to rebalance their lives to maintain their physical and mental well-being. As president of Amazon Families, one of Amazon’s 12 affinity groups for employees around the world, and as the leader of a team, Edwards is always looking for ways to help parents find similar ways to balance family and work in a way that aligns to their life and team needs.
The biggest challenge of working from home says Edwards, “is the fact that you are living [in the place you] work. You wonder, ‘should I be doing more of this? I could get a few more things done to get ahead.’ Drawing that line was hard.” But she found the balance and then encouraged her team do the same. “I think I took it for granted—I have these kids, they are in daycare all day and activities at night and when COVID hit, I thought to myself, I don’t really know my kids that well. I’ve become a better, more engaged parent.”
Here are some of her top tips:
Anna’s Top Parenting Tips for Working From Home
- Let your kids get bored so they can learn how to entertain themselves.
- Make a mess. It’s not only fun, but then it takes awhile for your kids to clean it up (with a little help of course). So that’s two activities in one.
- Learn with your kids. Get a book on weird/fun science experiments. See what grows (crystal rocks, sourdough starter) or what explodes (homemade volcano).
- Get outside. Let your kids get wet, dirty and gross. It’s the best way to explore and learn about the environment. And will lead to another time-killing activity: a bath!
If you’re struggling with balancing responsibilities during COVID-19 — or need some guidance in managing stress during this time — the Care Team is here to help. Open the app today to speak with a doctor, nurse practitioner or nurse in minutes.