Parenting in a pandemic
By: Shell Energy
07 May 2020
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions mean parents across the country will need to plan for a couple more weeks at home with their kids. Many of us will be juggling the roles of teacher, carer, personal chef and entertainer all at once, while still maintaining other responsibilities like working from home.
Old routines are likely to have been dropped entirely to help keep your household running smoothly (or at all), and after weeks of being stuck in the house, we don’t blame you if you’re feeling a bit frazzled.
Many of us at Shell Energy are parents so we know that working from home while looking after kids is no easy feat at all, despite it being the safest and best option for us all right now.
Parent and professional at home
We spoke to our People Engagement Manager, Helen Hyde, who’s working from home with her husband and two children, Max (6) and Eliza (2).
“Initially, I felt like I had a plan in place to make the most of lockdown and the new world we find ourselves in. That evaporated pretty quickly! Two days in, I found that the hour-by-hour schedule for me, my husband and the kids was just too unrealistic to stick to. I was getting frustrated when things didn’t go to plan. When your life has had a certain kind of order for so long, it’s hard to let go, but it’s been so much easier since I’ve been less strict and I’ve now settled into a new rhythm.
“I still keep up with the routine where possible. The kids are up and ready for the day by 8am. Otherwise, the temptation is to just stay in pyjamas all day. I know we’ve all had those days, but it’s helped me to feel more mentally prepared, especially as I’m still working from home full time. We have meals at set times, we try to go outside at least once a day (even when it’s raining), and I try to have fun and get creative with the kids as best I can in between work. As for the rest - we just try our best to fit it all in!
“Pressure from social media can be hard to handle at times. The amount of posts can be overwhelming, especially when you see other people doing all these lovely and elaborate activities with their children. It makes you feel guilty for having a career; pressure that’s not needed in an already heightened situation. We’re all doing our best and that’s all we can do.
“Shell Energy has been extremely accommodating to all of us who are parents. Children playing in the background of meetings has become the new normal for us, even when mine decide it’s time to put the entire contents of my garden into my living room! The support and understanding from all colleagues across the business has been great.”
Shell Energy Kids
Looking for something to help pass the time as you count down the days until schools reopen? Introducing our Shell Energy kids’ activity programme - here to help colleagues like Helen, our customers and any parents out there looking for some extra resources for their kids.
It’s possible that lockdown could end up being a long slog, so we’ve put together a series of fun, educational activity packs aimed at little ones to help parents keep them entertained when (home) school’s out - or if you just need a few minutes of quiet time to fire off some work emails or get dinner on the go.
We’ll be releasing a four-part series of fun downloadable activity packs over the next few weeks - they’re jam-packed with everything from word searches to quizzes to exciting games the younglings can play in the safety of your home, all themed around energy and broadband. We’ll teach your kids what’s what with a watt while you take a moment for yourself. Win-win.