Work-life balance is it possible with kids in lockdown?

Author Nick Croucher
May 24, 2020

Working and looking after kids just doesn’t work.

Take comfort from the fact that no one with small kids is doing a good job and that’s a lot of the population.

Most people/bosses/companies get it, but that doesn’t actually help when you are trying to fit it all in and you now have new financial worries.

A combination of worry, pressure, anxiety, fear, guilt and exhaustion takes its toll on your physical and mental health. So when I was asked to talk about how I manage my own wellbeing and work life balance with kids in these difficult circumstances, I realised I have no answers but there is comfort in knowing that most people are finding it impossibly hard. In my network common themes of self-kindness are exercise, wine, great TV, talking to family and friends, helping others by volunteering and not forgetting to share hilarious ‘rona’ memes via WhatsApp. Have you seen the Iggy Pop one?

I think the secret is learning to tolerate the feelings of worry, accept that is really, really hard right now and will be for a while. There is no way to balance working from home with kids in lockdown. No one I know thinks it works, no one loves it and I can bet you all of their kids are happy, thriving and learning. 

You might be questioning if your job might suffer more than your kids, or it might not. Or you might be too frightened to admit you can’t juggle all the balls, so that you don’t lose your job.

Within my professional network I know many organisations are working hard to ensure that their staff can create a work-life balance and positively impact their wellbeing. Some of my clients are paying all their workers in full and not furloughing them, even though they can’t work right now.  

Some organisations with a little less cash are topping up their furloughed people, sending them wellbeing hampers and keeping them warm and engaged. 

Many people in leadership roles are aware that the current situation presents an opportunity to demonstrate their support for their staff. If you are in a leadership role you know that being decent to your people will pay off later – they will work harder than ever. Combining this with real flexible working for all, and you’ll be earning their loyalty and stopping any future retention issues.