Remote Working With Kids at Home? We’ll Help You Reconcile These Roles
Written by Angélica Gómez – Psychologist; expert in family, child rearing, and early childhood
A lot has been written, from the perspective of the care economy, about the difficulty of reconciling productive work with the care work involved in tending to life in its most vulnerable stages. Parenting, looking after infants, cleaning, and guaranteeing the well-being of children is care work, which takes place in the domestic space and which interrupts, now with more intensity, professional activity.
During the crisis caused by COVID-19, this extra workload became visible. It mainly affected the lives of women, who have historically been relegated to caregiving roles. The boundaries between the professional and the personal have become more blurred and one of the fundamental challenges for companies has been the extreme fatigue of workers, mainly those who work at home with children, with obvious negative effects on work performance and on the well-being of the team in general.
The arrival of a child has an impact on your professional life that isn’t restricted to the present day. However, the growing trend of remote work and the recent difficulties in educating children in a face-to-face manner presents us with a greater challenge.
How Can We Face This Challenge?
Helping remote workers reconcile parenting with their professional life will give us an effective way to build individual and collective well-being in our teams.
What Do We Need to Understand?
From the time a baby arrives, the parents undergo an identity crisis and their focus on status, professional achievement, and/or recognition can quickly collapse under the need to meet the demands of caregiving. It may seem that this crisis has been resolved when we return to work, but sometimes, this is just an illusion that keeps us from returning to our old roles and performing our jobs without difficulties. During the pandemic and with confined children, this frequent distress appears with more force and intensity.
How Can We Reconcile Parenting and Remote Work?
Given that dealing with this distress can be overwhelming, we often allow the wonderful opportunities that parenting presents pass by in order to boost our professional lives and settle for the fatigue of trying to perform.
However, with proper accompaniment—once we’ve accepted this profound process of transformation—we can mourn our former identity. When we’re ready to open up a space for our capacity to care, we can understand that raising is also creating and, therefore, that full parenthood offers us a precious opportunity to connect with our creativity.
Revising the social expectations that we’ve adopted, discovering the commands and rules that prevent us from authentically parenting, listening to and understanding the uniqueness of our children, and addressing their specific needs in an assertive and empathetic manner are all necessary. This will allow us to have powerful, fluid, and critical relationships with our children, which will become a source of inspiration and confidence in our professional life.
At MVT, we have expert psychologists who can accompany your team in discovering these resources, which have clear effects on their well-being and work performance.