The Home Front: Finding balance.

Head of Core Experience, Jenn W. talks about what it’s been like finding routine balance in a household of introverts.

“Balance? What’s that? Quite frankly I haven’t been balancing it all. I’m in survival mode where I take it day by day. Each day is different. Work meetings change. My kids’ school zoom classes have only recently become more regular and scheduled. It’s crazy and cacophonous in our house. The only thing that has provided some semblance of sanity has been creating a daily family schedule. It helps organize the day, enables my 8 and 10-year-old to be more self-sufficient and lets them know when my husband and I are in meetings.

When they announced school closures, first I wanted to cry. My second thought was, “do I have enough wine?” I also had a pep talk with myself to be forgiving and to relent on any A-type mom expectations I naturally wanted to instill. Mental and physical health would top the list, everything else would slowly come into place when we got hold of the first two.

Thankfully, I love doing arts and crafts with my kids. If there’s a silver lining in all this it’s that I get to share with them all the creative and fun art activities I always said I would do if I had free time. We’ve made lots of soap, woven bracelets, painted, and baked lots of bread. I just wished it didn’t take a pandemic for me to realize what I had been missing out on.

I’ve focused on making each room or area around the home more comfortable so we feel free to roam around and be alone as we choose. Each of my boys has their own room. I’ve done a few things to make their rooms more comfortable like setting up a well-lit workspace and desk, adding rugs and pillows for a more comfortable reading space – things that make spending time in their spaces more enjoyable. I also set up a table in our backyard to create a private working space outside of the house. We are a family of introverts, so space and alone time is a lifeline to all of us. I would say this is one area we’ve successfully navigated.

Most of the time I want to whine and tell you how horrible this new normal is. On the other hand, the pandemic and requirements to social distance and shelter in place have shined a light on many existing social and economical issues. Anything and everything from the technology disparity between those with Internet access, people with non-essential jobs out of work for months, to the unequal invisible labor forced onto moms who usually bear the household burden along with work  – all of these issues have long existed, but now we are forced to address it because the status quo is untenable. Solutions are being worked on at a rapid breaking pace and I don’t know if this would have happened without nature forcing our hand.”

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