As the mother of two grown children (and no grandchildren – yet), I have been vaguely aware that school is starting soon. Other than the political kerfuffle about masks, I didn’t realize the impact this fourth COVID wave is having on parents – who also happen to be our teammates.
In a recent article in The Cut, Amil Niazi reports,
“Here we are, deep in a fourth wave, with schools about to reopen, and many of us are stuck in the same precarious, exhausting schedules of work and care. Only this time, with the emergence of the Delta variant and lagging vaccination rates, pediatric ICU numbers are spiking, children under 12 are more vulnerable than ever, and it’s clear this marathon sprint we’re running has no end point…As employers rush to return to normal, the grace period afforded to parents and moms, in particular, feels like it’s waning. Many workplaces want employees back in the office full-time and have less tolerance for the day-to-day chaos of working and raising kids in the middle of *all this*.”
Of her own parenting experience, Niazi writes:
“The only real difference between last summer and now is that at least back then people were still asking how I was.”
Yikes! Emma Hinchliffe in Fortune’s Broadsheet offers sage advice:
“Whether you’re a manager, a parent, a journalist, or all of the above, the answer seems to be: remember that parents are still facing a crisis—and one that’s in many ways getting harder with time, not easier. And, of course, listen. As Niazi ends her piece, ‘We’re still here, we’re still screaming, but is anyone listening?”
I hope you are listening and being empathetic to your team members as this pandemic drags on.
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF | Master, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator. She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 27 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action. Her latest book, 123 Ways to Add Pizazz to a Panel Discussion was published in January 2021.
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