The new age of remote working means that parenting has changed. James, father of two and managing director of Covid, says that although it was a difficult time for many, it has been a joy to see my children so often.
Family life can be noisy and hectic. It jumps from joyous highs to soul-sucking lows at lightning speed. Now, our work lives are also in this chaotic environment.
Many of us can work remotely for the long-term, which is a major change in our family and social structure. Remote working has partially solved the age-old dilemma that we want to have stimulating, fun, and well-paid work while spending precious time with our kids. While remote working may not be the best option for parents, it could provide benefits to them.
What can hybrid working do to improve parent-child relationships?
- This allows for more time with your children, and less commute time. A two-hour extra per day, two days a week, can add up to 115.200 minutes more spent with your child in the first ten year of his or her life.
- It’s a chance to transport children to school, meet their friends, and be more involved in their school life.
- As teenagers grow up, we can help them with crisis mitigation, hugs, and the occasional laugh. We also have to be there to watch over homework, safety, snack consumption, and amorous encounters. You wouldn’t want to miss those doors slam.
- A simple pleasure is to take breaks with your colleagues, such as a shared lunchtime stroll or game .
- There may be an opportunity to work from 9 to 5 and reduce childcare costs. (An exhausted and stressed parent is not good for anyone ‘s happiness.
Let’s hear what has changed in family life since the advent of remote working parents.
Elizabeth, a mother and University of Cambridge lecturer
Elizabeth is a hybrid worker. She works from home, and does her research at the university. Elizabeth also tutors and mentors students. However, her husband, a city lawyer, is now working remotely. This has made a huge improvement in family life.
“He wouldn’t be home before Covid to have dinner with the children. Always in the office. We can now see each other more often because he works from home.
While I don’t think there has been any major shift in parental responsibilities, despite my job being an important part of my daily life, I am still the parent responsible for the children. While he continues to work long hours, he can also break up and go downstairs when he wants to be with us. Covid’s senior role saw no separation between work and home – transatlantic weekend calls were common then as well now. However, he claims he is happier and more productive working from home than he was before he became a lawyer.
James, father and director of Brighton’s digital marketing agency
James asked me what the difficulties were in working from home as a father.
“Noise! My boys, aged five and eight, make more noise than a jet.
This is a great time to be a dad. My partner and I can now’tag team‘ father much more easily, which reduces the need to hire childcare. Our parenting and childcare is shared pretty much 50/50, or 60/40 in our favor!
Dr Anna Machin talks about what it means to be a father in her book’The Life of Dad: How to Make a Modern Father’. She also highlights the bonding that occurs between fathers and children through “Conjoined Lives and Interactions.” The powerful bonding chemical beta endorphin promotes it, leading to deep love.
Rindu, a mum & editorial consultant
“Pre-Covid, I was a manager and my husband was a consultant. We traveled all over the globe for meetings and projects. It was difficult to manage multiple responsibilities and a complicated schedule.
We now have a more balanced daily schedule. He has been taking our youngest to nursery every morning for the last few months and also doing bedtime for her. My eldest daughter has an intense athletic training schedule so she has to travel several times a week.
The pandemic caused a decline in the mental and physical health of parents who worked. While we did everything necessary to keep everyone alive, there was no time for juggling work with running a household and work. There were also many overlaps. Writing all my projects often required me to write until the early hours of the morning while a child slept next to me and a laptop. This resulted in a painfully frozen shoulder that required supersonic painkillers or cortisone injections.
It’s not surprising to hear the term “juggle” mentioned in interviews about parenting and childcare. It’s a common phrase for a reason. It’s difficult to find a balance in families, so we make it work.
As Sophie Meislin Baron, founder of Mamamade points out in her LinkedIn posting, having ‘happy-ish, healthy-ish children’ is a legitimate goal.
Louise, a mother and marketing manager
“As a single parent, I haven’t seen any significant change in my responsibilities as I am both dad and mum to my little boy.
But, I feel that employers are more understanding of parents now. They understand that there will be times when your child is at home while you work.
Yes, having children can impede your career. I also strongly believe that women aren’t treated with the same respect and time as men, despite equal opportunities. Unfortunately, this is not something that will change.