My son walked by in his underpants during a Zoom meeting yesterday.
A year ago, I would have wanted to crawl into a hole. But now? Not ideal, maybe, but not a big deal. In a pandemic, every day is bring your kids to work day.
Kids at home have been my favorite thing about the current situation. Well, not mine. At least not in the sense that I have a first-grade classroom in my office, or I’m never alone anymore, or my day is a lot choppier with interruptions now. But rather everyone else’s kids—with everyone at home, it suddenly became OK to have family breach the workplace.
Reality is Here and Hopefully to Stay
I’ve worked for myself for 16 years and always from a home office. After I became a mom, my son had a very special talent for getting sick or needing to be home for some reason whenever I had big meetings scheduled. I was always a little panicked when he would make noise or interrupt me…what if the client hears him? They’ll think I’m not working! They’ll think I’m not focused on or committed to the project we’re doing! Or—gasp—they’ll think I’m unprofessional!
Whether or not any of those assumptions were true (and I can pretty much guarantee they’re not), the pandemic pulled the veil away. Being a mom is one of the best parts of my life, but I always felt I had to try to keep that hidden during working hours. Now everybody has kids and pets at home, or has colleagues who do, and we all know that we’re able to get our work done in spite of that. Now when I’m on a Zoom call, if my son happens to wander in (usually in underpants), nobody cares. We have a chuckle, and we keep on business-ing.
Still, I try to minimize interruptions during meetings, but I love the sense of connection and authenticity that has come about as a result of us all being in the same boat. And I feel like I can bring more of my true self into my interactions at work, which is really freeing. I hope this is one of the effects of the pandemic that sticks around after things return to “normal.”
What realities are setting in for you right now? I’d love to hear about your experiences and perspectives.
Speaking of Zooming…
If you’re looking to get on my calendar for a video chat about business or what’s happening in your world, you can easily snag a spot at https://calendly.com/weihercreative.