The truth? … I pulled my kids out of school x2-3 weeks before Victorian schools officially closed, because I could. And because I felt like it was my civic duty to flatten the curve, because I could.
I’m in a privileged position, I know.
I’m the Founding Director of my own company, and so that means I don’t have to negotiate flexible work options with pre-historic dinosaurs in senior management, because I am senior management … and I know that working throughout a global pandemic [and an economic crisis] will still happen for me [it’ll just look different for a little while, i.e full WFH workforce, and my pivoting to evening work while I “crisis school” my x2 children during the day].
Here’s what I’ve done to help me continue to run my company, whilst simultaneously “crisis schooling” my children [aged 6 and 9 years old]:
Lower your standards
First and foremost [and as a recovering perfectionist, who – sometimes – relapses] I seriously needed to pep talk myself [hard] about what my standards would look like in this climate, and they involve: a little [a lot] too much tech time for the kids, a sloppy lookin’ house, mediocre meals, referring to home schooling as what it really is [which is crisis schooling] … that in itself has switched my understanding of what schooling looks like in this climate.
An important sidenote I like to remind myself of? … Winston Churchill hated his entire schooling years [and went on record to say he basically learnt *nothing* at school], and then went on to become Prime Minister of Britain, so, ya know … my kids not being able to enjoy term 2 of primary school to its usual standards? I’m not losing sleep over this.
Additionally, Donald Trump [somehow] managed to become POTUS. #thatisall
Get smart about what “school” looks like during a crisis
And so on that note? I had to get “schooled” myself on why the school days at school are from 9am-3pm’ish, i.e the reason it’s such a *big* day is because they have to cater to so many students [and the oh-so-many various learning needs], and the crazy thing about all o’ this? … kids only need 1.5 hours of targeted teaching.
Once I realised this, I was like, well KNOCK ME DOWN WITH A FEATHER, y’all.
And so … we spend our days doing 1.5 hours of targeted teaching, and the rest? #lifeskillz 😉
[sometimes? Life skillz are Roblux. Or minecraft].
Watch my husband, and learn
This one has been powerful, honestly.
I have sat in my “WFH office” [ahem. Kitchen table], and I’ve listened to my husband talk to people in a professional setting, and … the man does not apologise.
And I am into it.
Kids screaming in the background? He gives no f*cks. He makes no apologies. He point blank refuses to apologise for the “background noise”, and I’ve listened to it all and I’ve gotta be honest … it’s been a revelation to me, because I’ve realised I’ve spent a lot of my time apologising for being a Mother.
A lot. Too much, actually. And so it ends here, and if there’s been one good thing to come out of working at the same table as my husband [jay-sus, he makes and takes so many phone calls per day], it’s been the lessons that have come from his point-blank-refusal to apologise for being a parent.
Stop picturing the faces within the “audience”
And so then on that note? My [our] confidence coach [I say our, because I now book my confidence coach for different members of my team now when they’re needing to dip into more confidence, but lack the tools to know how] explained that you’ve gotta stop picturing the faces of your “audience” when you’re presenting.
What she means by that? … imagine you’re delivering a speech, and you look out to the audience and you only see disapproval? It’ll throw you, yea?
This is what it feels like being a leader sometimes [a lot, actually], i.e no matter how hard you try to make the right decisions [and dare I say it? Chase approval] … you’re met with disapproval.
The best way to flip that? … knowing that sometimes? Doing your job means presenting the hard stuff, and delivering the hard stuff, and not picturing the faces. Because sometimes [and particularly in this climate], the faces simply cannot be a factor in your decision making.
I’m not doing a good job at explaining this, I know, but you should book Megan if you’re someone who chases approval a little [or a lot] too much.
Lead [my team] by example
This has been a big one, and I did this in a usual climate anyway.
But in this climate especially? … I’m showing my team that I’m working remotely the only way that’s [currently] possible, i.e on my own terms [which for me? Is 3pm-11pm].
I have to remind them a lot [especially our working parents] that I’m not counting hours, but tasks complete. I don’t mind when you do the work, so long as it gets done, and if you can’t get it done? … we can be flex. and look to reduce hours if needed during this climate [i.e when our working parents aren’t just performing the role of strategist, but “crisis teacher” too].
Tasks, not hours.
Invite my children to my “entrepreneurial school”
And then finally? … I’ve decided my kids will learn enough [a lot, actually] from simply watching me work / being encouraged to join in / having open conversations with them about various tasks that I perform on the daily etc.
The result? … my 9yo son has just opened his first eBay store / developed excel spreadsheets accordingly, and my 6yo daughter? … she’s seriously interested in some of the people management conversations I’ve been having with her, and learning all about how hard I work to ensure that my team are happy, and fulfilled, and motivated [and so much more, but ya know … she’s six].
How’s it all been going for you?
Care to share your key takeaways below in the hopes that others learn from your key learnings?