What the COVID-19 Pandemic Taught Me About Work-Life Balance
Written by Chrissy Smith, Media Consultant @ Cox Communications
Work. Life. Balance.
Since my three-plus years of working for Cox Media, I have heard that phrase a lot; but the COVID-19 pandemic really put those three words into perspective for almost everyone.
I’m sure over the last two years, we have all asked ourselves: “How can I keep my career a priority while also caring about my family?” Not just caring, but worrying. Hoping. Praying that everyone would stay safe and healthy. Believing that family time matters more ever.
When the pandemic shut everything down in 2020, it was a lot to process. Suddenly I became a work-from-home mom, my kids (ages 14, 12 and 7) were with me 24/7, my gym was closed so my endorphin surge was running low, there was no toilet paper anywhere and no one had any idea what the future would hold. Everything was so uncertain, but like most moms do, I had to act like it was totally normal. So while trying to talk to clients and business owners about their struggles, I was planning movie nights with my kids – so thankful for streaming TV. I was scheduling walks in the park or “yard-work-days” just to keep everyone busy.
Chrissy and her family.
The kids were confused. I was confused. My husband, who is an emergency room registered nurse, was overworked and exhausted. Everyone in the world was in the same boat, but we were all treading different types of waters. The past two years have been indescribable, so I won’t even try. Instead, I’ll share what I personally learned.
Here’s what the pandemic taught me about work-life balance:
- When my daughter gets home from school and wants a hug, I should grab her tight, even when I’m on a weekly conference call with my co-workers and everyone can see us hugging.
- When my autistic son needs to talk about his latest passion – it’s currently hurricanes – I can stop what I’m doing at work for 10-15 minutes and give him my undivided attention.
- When my middle son is exhausted from school and sports, I can make him an ice cream sundae and let him have a little extra TV time.
- When my husband gets home from work, completely drained by all that he’s seen and treated in the ER, I can have dinner ready for him and make sure his scrubs are washed and put away for the next day of work.
Honestly, I’ve learned I can just about do it all. And because of that, it’s turned me into an even better employee. I’m a career-oriented professional, a mom who is there for her kids, a supportive wife and a compassionate friend. What more could I want?
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