By now, schools have started for some and others will start in the coming weeks. What that looks like for many families with children depends on location. Some are meeting in person, some completely online, and others have given parents the choice.
With this uncertainty, there is uncertainty in how many people will be working this fall. Even if you do not have children, you will be affected by others in your office and the accommodations that must be made for them. Many employers are offering flexible work options for parents. Some will be more flexible than others. At the end of the day, it all adds up to more 2020 fatigue that the COVID-19 continues to plague us with.
Parents have had their children home since March; this is not their idea of utopia. Those that are working remotely are balancing so many plates in the air. Parents, who are not equipped, trained, or prepared to be teachers to their kids have had to take on that role while also maintaining their jobs. In addition to needing flexibility, be patient and understanding with them if they are not the same person you are used to. They are going to get short, with their partners, with the teachers, with their children, and maybe even with their coworkers. When that happens, recognize they are just lashing out. It is not about you. Be gracious and give them the space to recover.
And if you are the business owner in charge, be kind and have grace upon yourself. If you are the one lashing out due to stress and fatigue, do not beat yourself up. Give yourself grace. Be open with your team. Let them know what you are juggling. This is not the time to hide behind your leadership role but rather lead by example. There are going to be more rough days ahead and more balancing.
Regardless of whether you are a parent, a teacher, an employer, a coworker, or a friend, you are going to be affected by this in some way. It will wear you down. Take time to take care of yourself. What we have seen time and time again during this pandemic is the strength of community. Be sure to lean on your community so that you have the support you need.
Grace and community go hand in hand. We are still in this together.