Supporting (and Celebrating!) Working Moms during COVID-19
Working moms have an enormous responsibility to juggle a full-time job with family life. Add social distancing, school closures, and way too much screen time, and you might just say we’re living a recipe for disaster.
As weeks go by, we find ourselves adjusting to the “new normal,” knowing in the back of our very tired minds, our routine and toilet-paper-roll art project may have to change again in a few weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic is evolving every day, but what remains constant at TransPerfect is the hard work and dedication by our 6,000+ employees worldwide, including our working parents. And within our massive #WFH network exists the opportunity for colleagues to become closer, even as we’re physically distant. This is the case for #tptmoms, a global distro made a long while ago by a bunch of our working moms looking for ways to unite. More than anything, it’s a place where colleagues share little stories, pictures, and advice.
For Mother’s Day in North America, we polled our moms on what it means to be a working mom at TransPerfect and for advice on how to stay productive while keeping the little ones occupied at home.
What Do TransPerfect Moms Love Most about Being a #TPTMom?
With schools and daycares closed and remote work becoming standard, TransPerfect moms are rolling two full-time responsibilities into one. But with such challenges come unique opportunities. Lisa Chan, a Senior Vice President based in Washington, DC, says that “showing [her] boys, Owen, 10, and Connor, 12, that you can work hard and have fun while doing it and also giving them a glimpse into the business world in a way that makes sense to them” has been the most rewarding part of being a TransPerfect mom working from home.
With Lucas, 9, and Lilly, 7, Rebekah McGowan, a Department Manager based in Wilmington, MA, appreciates “TransPerfect being supportive of a strong work-life balance. I’m always able to put family first, and this support has allowed me to increase productivity and contributions to TransPerfect, even through these times of remote working.”
What a gorgeous #WFH view for Rebekah and her Assistant-in-Training, Lily.
Stephanie Simper, a Federal Program Manager based in Washington, DC, enjoys extra time with her son Navee, 8, and values “being in touch with other moms who are in the same boat. Sharing and laughing about daily struggles makes it a little bit easier.”
Regional Directors Johanna Weis, based in Paris, France, and Meghan McCrea, based in Raleigh, NC, both agree that having “understanding and family-oriented managers and support teams at TransPerfect provides flexibility to juggle being a mom and working full time.”
Two Full-Time Jobs Rolled into One
While all of our #tptmoms are grateful for extra time with family amid a global shift to remote working, they admit that it is not without its own unique challenges.
Heidi Campbell, a Director of Strategic Accounts working for TransPerfect’s NYC headquarters, values that her children “are gaining a good sense of reality and seeing how hard both of their parents work.” But admits it has been challenging “to explain to our younger children when [she needs] to be on calls instead of downstairs playing with them.”
This is what Heidi’s “end-of-day wrap-up” looks like, and we absolutely love it!
Danielle Giannecchini, a Director of Business Development based in London, UK, relates to feeling guilty about her work-life balance becoming less divided but uses “livestreaming phys-ed sessions every morning” with children Sophia, 5, Joey, 4, and Eva, 1, to dedicate time each day to just focus on her kids.
Danielle’s kids are ready for bed after a long day that started off with a family workout.
Activities and Resources for Moms and Kids
Whether you need your child to stay (quietly) occupied while you take an important call or a way to focus on your mental health after a long day of working and mom-ing, our TransPerfect moms have many tips and online resources worth sharing:
- Take a break from screen time with at-home research projects. Lisa finds this activity is useful for not only occupying her kids, but allowing them to “be creative and practice public speaking, all wrapped into one.” Meghan continues the learning for her kids with Pre-K Packs and other home learning packets.
- Watch animal webcams. Stephanie likes using explore.org to show her son live webcams of animals from around the world, while Heidi opts for daily online viewings of the Cincinnati Zoo.
Go for walks. Many of our TransPerfect moms rely on walks around the neighborhood as a simple way to get much-needed fresh air. A scavenger hunt can provide lots of active fun—make a list of things to find, rate window rainbows, and away you go!
- Only take reservations for adults. Whether you’re feeling ambitious and baking your own garlic bread or ordering in from your go-to local restaurant, what better way to treat yourself to a nice meal and adult conversation with your significant other or best friend over FaceTime?
“There is a lot of pressure in shifting to remote work with children around, especially for women who are often expected to manage other duties like cooking and laundry,” says Nancy Essebag-Christie, a Digital Marketing Specialist based out of Montreal, Canada. “After week two, I was totally fed up of cooking and asked my husband if he was willing to try meal kits* for a week while we each took turns putting our toddler to bed. It was a nice change to host #stayathome dinner dates that went past 7:00 PM.”
*For our US audience, Nancy suggests Blue Apron.
- Get out your yoga mat or go for a run. If they’re looking to stay fit or just clear their head, our #tptmoms agree that these are two of their favorite ways to de-stress. While you certainly can incorporate your little ones into your routine, sometimes you just need alone time.
- Celebrate yourself this weekend. How are you fitting in “time for me” this Mother’s Day?
Sabrina Riaz, a Director of Strategic Accounts based in Montreal, Canada, and #tptmom–to-be has a few plans to celebrate her impending motherhood, even if it can’t involve a nice glass of bubbly this year. “This Mother’s Day, I will not only be celebrating my mom, but also be carving out some time for myself ahead of the big day. Instead of reading up on the top 10 strollers
, or which swaddle method is the best, it’ll be spent binge-watching Netflix and eating takeout."
Some of our favorite free online activities for kids:
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
Learn to Draw Cartoons with Christopher Hart
Cirque du Soleil’s 60-Minute Specials
- Scholastic Learn at Home https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
Free Audible Stories for Kids
Stay-at-Home Story Time with Oliver Jeffers
Cosmic Kids Yoga
PE with Joe Live on YouTube
Watch Real Canadian Bears Live
DIY Craft Mornings
Learn about the Solar System at the Natural History Museum
If you have any fun tips or resources to share, #tptmoms wants to hear from you. If you’re a TransPerfect employee that would like to join the conversation, email Help Desk to add yourself to the distro. Happy Mother’s Day, all!