With life in partial lockdown and Mother’s Day this weekend, we wanted to celebrate the parents in the company, share their advice on how to #WFH as a parent and what they will be doing this weekend.
Parenthood can be challenging at the best of times and with everyone working from home it can be hard to juggle work and parenting. We asked Gary Johnson, Emma Bhatti, Kate Eringa from the Client Services Team and Anchala Verghese from the Finance team how they have adapted to work-life and parenthood and what they will be doing to celebrate Mother’s Day this year.
Adjusting to Changes
Adapting to a new way of working has had a varied response among parents in the company with it being a trial and error process. For Gary, “It’s been pretty challenging, and has taken some time to adjusting. Our child Jamie is almost eight months, so we haven’t thought about child care at this stage. Kim is also on maternity leave until September, which is fortunate for bringing up Jamie.”
For Kate, she has found the adjustment to a new work environment has been a smooth transition. “Considering my son is still able to attend day-care five days a week it's been fine. I don’t feel there has been much disturbance to my actual working hours. The good thing about it has been being able to spend a bit more time with him in the mornings and allowing him to sleep in a little if he wants too and also being able to pick him up earlier as there is no commute.”
There are some great advantages to parents working from home which include the reduction in travel time which can mean a lot more time to spend with your children. Emma is glad to have extra time with her son in the morning.
“My son and I go for a bike ride every morning; if I were travelling to an office to work there would not be enough time for that.
Make the most of the additional time together with your children. Despite the circumstances, this will be a unique moment in time and I am sure my son and I will think back to all the time we got to spend together that we may not have otherwise during the lockdown.”
Emma and Hamza's daily walk
Gary has enjoyed the experiences that come with working from home with kids. “The great thing about WFH is the opportunity of seeing Jamie take his first step, which is a pretty exciting development for us! I spend more time with family during the working day, but I try to keep my work routine and home life routine as separate as possible.”
Anchala enjoys her two daughters' company while working from home. “Having an understanding workplace has definitely been a blessing and I know some fellow mums who are struggling due to work pressure even in these difficult circumstances. I have realised that being around my girls makes me feel so much happier and I think that definitely adds to my efficiency.”
Keeping kids occupied
Emma uses a number of physical activities and crafts to keep her son occupied. “My child, like many others, needs to burn off a lot of energy so we try to do two or three physical activities each day. Bike riding, going for a walk, kicking a football around, playing totem tennis, jumping on the trampoline are all things we like to do to keep active and burn energy. We also like to use recyclable materials to make art, so cardboard boxes, egg cartons and bottles are great to use for art activities.”
Gary has a variety of activities to keep his son entertained. “We have our set routines during the day which involve general playing, story time, feeding, watching Bluey. About three times a day we would take Jamie out for a walk in the park, to the local cafes, to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. We are fortunate to live across the road from Sydney Park which provides many options for us to enjoy time with Jamie, be it playing on the grass, watching the ducks & swans on the water.”
Having a routine
Since a number of parents are now having to switch to homeschooling it can make working from home at the same time difficult. Having a set routine for you and your kids can be beneficial in staying productive and time efficient. Although it's specific to the individual, finding what works for you is the most favourable option. Emma implements a routine to make things easier to handle “We do breakfast, physical exercise, then lay out the school work that needs to be done that day. He can choose what order of each required piece of work, then breaks for lunch and the afternoon is more relaxed, where he can do any activity he likes once his school work is done. Kids generally operate better with a schedule.”
Celebrating Mothers Day
Anchala is looking forward to spending Mother’s Day with her family “Even though my older one is trying her best to keep it a surprise I have managed to hear bits and pieces of her conversation with her dad planning a DIY gift. I am hoping to spend a quiet day with my family surrounded by love and laughter and a lot of drooly kisses.”
Gary is planning a small family gathering to celebrate Mother's Day. “With some lockdown restrictions being lifted I will probably organise a Mother's Day lunch with my mother and our family. It will be a low key affair I think, but as this is Kim’s first Mother's Day as a mother, I will try and make it memorable.”
Advice to other parents
Gary’s advice to those in the same position is to keep in contact with family and friends. “Make sure you have a support network in place – whether it be immediate family, extended family, friends etc. During the lockdowns we try to keep in regular contact with family, close friends, our Mum’s/Parent’s groups. This has been of immense value during the lockdown.”
Gary and Jamie hard at work
Emma reminds us to not judge ourselves too harshly as the work life balance can be tough. “Juggling work, parenting and home schooling children is challenging, so I would suggest not worrying about getting everything right, and give yourself a break! A mother’s hardest critic is herself.”
Anchala emphasises parents should take it easy and don't be disheartened by the negative moments. “While it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and guilty for a lot of things, please remember that you’re doing an amazing job and don’t let some bad days make you believe otherwise.”
Commission Factory would like to applaud all the parents in our team. Balancing work and parenting is not an easy task and there is no one way to achieve it. Kate’s advice for other mothers “Coffee in the morning, wine in the evening. Take time for your own space and self care and don’t be too hard on yourself.”
We wish all the mothers a Happy Mother's day and all the parents a lovely weekend.
In preparation for this weekend here are number of our advertisers' Mother's Day offers:
20% off Mothers Day cards
30% off, free gifts on orders, free shipping over $50 & Afterpay available.
Save 15% on selected products + receive a FREE RY Cotton Bag with every purchase and Christophe Robin sample with purchases over $120.
Great for Mothers Day for cards, crafts, personalised things and artwork.
2020 Mother's Day Flower Collection featuring stunning feminine bouquets, wraps and arrangements designed by expert florists just for Mum!
Shop beautiful gifts for Mum at T2 Tea, with click and collect available.
Up to 80% off and free shipping on orders of $50 or more in the Mother’s Day Sale.
Limited Edition Mother's Day Gift Pack.