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Keep Calm and WFH: How Delta Parents Can Stay Sane and Productive During COVID-19

By Kimi Sun, DET Marketing

Working from home sounds fascinating. Imagine having a cup of coffee with cake on the table surrounded by music you love, just like at your favorite coffee shop. How nice it would be if you can control your work tempo 100%. Nowadays, the threat of COVID-19 has forced many people to work from home and now we realize things are not as nice as we may have imagined. And it becomes a completely different story if you are working from home with kids around.

There are three kids in my house. My 19-month-old son who wakes up around 6:00-7:00am every day, my 4-year-old nephew who’s having school break and my 8-year-old niece who’s having school from home. Caring for each of them presents unique challenges, so getting help from others is a must. Luckily, I have a nanny to look after my son and other family members around to keep an eye on the kids so I can concentrate more on my work. However, as a mother I’m still multi-tasking all the time!

My nephew and niece working together on a home school activity

Most of the morning, I work in a room with my niece who’s doing school from home. Distance learning is a challenge for all age groups so don’t ever expect an 8-year-old to read and understand her class instructions all by herself. Even though there are video instructions, it only helps to an extent. When it comes to science, math or special home classes, she needs more support to help her complete her assigned activities and it’s very difficult to stay within the scheduled class times. But the good thing about having school from home is she can extend her class time as needed.

My son and nephew usually play together, or I should say make trouble together. They run around, fight over toys, cry and shout. They’re so noisy I think they could almost blow off the house roof! It’s a good thing I got a nanny around so I can escape from that mind-numbing environment and actually do some work. But these two rascals still come to me when they need things, regardless of whether I’m having a con call or in the middle of something urgent. But sometimes I get interrupted with nice surprises like my little guy excitedly showing off a new trick, today’s big word, a song or some cute dance moves.

My son enjoying a productive working lunch

Here’s my very general scope of work (SOW) as a working-from-home mom:

  • Keep the same workload and the same working hours as in the office (7:40am to 5:30pm at DET).
  • Take care of your children’s special needs when other family members aren’t around to help.
  • Handle incidents between your kids proactively.
  • Help your children get the most out of and enjoy distance learning.

And to get any work done, I need to plan my time wisely. Here are some tips for moms and dads to stay productive when working from home:

  1. Create a To-Do-List the night before or first thing in the morning. It’s too difficult to keep your train of thought with kids wreaking havoc around you. So it’s very helpful if you have a list to follow. If you can get the top 3-5 items done, you’re already doing extremely well. Even if when you can’t complete your list, just having a way to track your progress is better. Things get much easier when you plan and measure.
  2. Lower your expectations. Remember, at home you are a multi-tasking super parent. You can’t just be a fulltime parent or a fulltime employee. It’s fairly normal that you can’t work according to your plan. So it’s good enough to make progress and get those top priority jobs done by end of the day. And sometimes you’ll have to work after the kids are in bed (nap or nighttime) if the task is really urgent.
  3. Put the kids on a routine and plan your work schedule accordingly. My son still takes two naps a day for 1-2 hours each time. I purposely keep it that way so his caretaker can have a bit more break time. During this period, my nephew will play quietly. In the morning, I tick off the tasks that I can do in 10 minutes each such as checking and replying emails. My niece finishes school at 1:40pm so I can use the afternoon to do tasks that requires more thinking and planning.
  4. Put on your earphones and turn up the volume for your favorite tunes. If I can’t escape the noise, I often put on my earphones and let the music calm my mind down a bit. This really helps.
  5. Remember to give yourself little rewards. Sometimes you’ve got to “Have a break, Have a Kit-Kat.” or whatever treat you personally enjoy. Multi-tasking moms and dads get mentally and physically tired easily. I need something to keep me motivated to get my job done. As a foodie, the best treat for me is snacks. I buy special snacks on the weekend and save them for the days when I’m working from home.

While working from home is definitely more of a juggling act than in the office, I appreciate spending more time with the kids and being able to go for walks with them in the evening. Going to office takes one and a half hours for commuting every day and now I can spend that time playing with the kids.

I hope all our Delta moms and dads can enjoy a productive and fun time working from home!

About the Author (Editorial Team)

I’ve relocated to Thailand, the land of smile and super spicy food, from Taiwan since 2018 to join DET Marketing team. Prior to joining DET, I was with IABG team in Delta Taiwan. My years in Delta have taught me the values of hard work and time management. These have helped me tremendously to juggle between work and my first born. If you want to know anything about Delta branding direction and trade events in the SEA+ region, feel free to email me.

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