PLUS Parents Talk About What It’s Like To Navigate Work-From-Home, Parenthood In 2021
Last year brought us plenty of “firsts.” Our first time not making the morning commute with a flurry of car horns and brake lights, our first time exclusively using Zoom as a way to gather for work conferences and office happy hours, and our first time conducting meetings from our kitchen countertop or dining room table. And for some of our PLUS colleagues, it is their first time becoming parents or navigating work-from-home life as parents of newborns.
Several of our colleagues welcomed new “PLUS-ones” to their families in 2020. For some, they experienced not only what it’s like to be a new parent, but also becoming a parent during a virtual, work-from-home lifestyle.
Prior to the pandemic, parents used to spend time before and after work helping their children complete homework or school-related activities. Now, with many schools still completely or partially closed, and virtual learning the new norm, parents have stepped in as de-facto teachers for their children’s at-home learning needs, while juggling day-to-day work themselves.
During the daily balancing act, we sometimes get to see a glimpse of “PLUS-ones” on a Zoom meeting or hear them in the background of a call – usually to the enjoyment of work colleagues, but often to the chagrin of parents.
In fact, a survey from October 2020 concluded that “the average American kid has crashed 25 of their parents’ work meetings each week since the beginning of the school year.” Several of our new PLUS-parents will soon know what it’s like to join the ranks of thousands of parents whose Zooms are susceptible to adorable child-hijacking.
Here’s what some of our PLUS-parents had to say about their experiences:
Sey and James Kong are parents to a four year old (Linnie) and the newest addition (Jameson) to their family who was born in May 2020. Sey said, “Being a parent is an exhausting job, but at the end of the day looking at their faces, smiles, and giggles uplifts my energy and joy that keeps me going.” On working from home, she said, “It isn’t easy to have small babies while working from home. I’m lucky to have family around to help.”
Jessica and Rick Kendust welcomed Harrison James Kendust on New Year’s Eve, 2020. On being a new parent, Jessica said, “I think it’s important to see the humor in things. Being a new parent is HARD and things happen. I’ve been peed on (little boys … who knew?!), pooped on, and thrown up on A LOT. The stroller (with Harrison not in it, don’t worry!) rolled down a hill in the Target parking lot and into traffic. Harrison’s sweet brother (our one-year-old English bulldog, Otis) barks whenever Harrison cries. Schedules are a joke, babies are unpredictable, and sleep is hard to come by. Etc., etc., etc. Its fine, we’re fine, and we’re laughing – if we weren’t, we’d have definitely gone insane by now!”
“As far as how working from home while parenting is going – I’ll let you know when it happens. I’m still enjoying my maternity leave and taking in the first couple weeks of this little guy’s life,” Jessica said. “I’m looking forward to experiencing my first work Zoom with Harrison screaming in the background and Otis barking along in tune with him. I will say that being able to work from home during my entire pregnancy was amazing in that I didn’t have to purchase any ugly maternity clothing – truly the silver lining of having a baby in a pandemic.”
Times have certainly changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for those with new babies or young children, it’s changed even more. We wish our PLUS-parents, both new and old, and their “PLUS-ones” the best in 2021, and look forward to seeing them on a Zoom in the near future!