Circle In co-founder Jodi Geddes recently shared a time-lapse video on LinkedIn, showcasing the exhausting chaos many parents are dealing with at the moment, juggling working from home and looking after young children.
The time-lapse covers a period of just one hour, and features Geddes working in a home office space, with one of her young daughters playing on a tablet device by her side (and on her lap at different points).
Geddes can be seen video-calling with earphones in, working on her computer, making sure her young daughter is occupied, and fielding requests from an older child when she enters the room.
The video has had over 80,000 views so far and countless comments from other parents who can relate.
It’s a situation that’s all too familiar for many parents right now, who have seen their professional and family lives blend together like never before.
Kate Pollard, Geddes’ co-founder at Circle In, penned an open letter off the back of sharing the video, reminding parents that no matter how complex the juggle feels right now, you are never alone.
“While many of us are familiar with the normal balancing act of a career and parenting, no one could have predicted the emotional roller coaster that 2020 has brought to so many people, particularly to working parents,” Pollard wrote.
“These days, we’re not only parents, but employees, teachers, carers, sports coaches, and a host of other roles that might need our attention at any given time.
“Some might say we’re parenting around work; others might say we are working around parenting.
“Whatever the situation, it has been one of the hardest periods many of us have had to deal with, and one that many parents cannot wait to put behind them.”
To business leaders, organisations and managers, Pollard gives a gentle reminder that parents are doing everything they can right now.
“Every family’s situation is different, and every parent’s situation is different.
“In fact, it’s different on a daily basis. The mental and physical toll this period is taking on us is real. So, please be patient with us.
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“My personal ask is that you take a moment to pause and reflect on the wellbeing of your parent employees and simply ask us if we are OK? A simple conversation with a remote working parent won’t cost you a thing and can have a significant impact on their day,” she writes.
The women at Circle In know a thing or two about the stress working parents are constantly under. The startup’s core product is a customised engagement platform for employers to provide to their community of working parents.
Pollard wants to remind parents that they are only human, and doing the best you can is enough.
“We are all doing the best job we can.
“On most days, it’s tiring, and we experience a constant feeling of guilt for what we’re not providing our children, insecure for what we’re accomplishing at work and emotionally exhausted after splitting our time between Zoom meetings, phone calls, parenting and home-schooling.
“COVID-19 has certainly brought out the human side of the workforce, merging our professional lives with our personal ones, but regardless of how we are navigating this ‘new normal’, it’s important that we too take a moment to remind ourselves that we are only human.
“So whilst there may be laundry piling up that needs attending, emails that need to be answered and a never-ending to-do list that needs your attention, remember this: you are doing a great job.
“Be proud of yourself for getting through another day and know that you’re not alone.”
This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.