The Ward family has spent the past two weeks in self-isolation facing the same challenges that are now so familiar to many of us – working from home, and doing so with children. “Truth bomb here – working from home with small children is extremely challenging,” says Ashley, who works in communications.
We try to divide our childminding time throughout the day to ensure we’re each able to get work done, but it’s been hard. Our kids are not old enough to be left unsupervised for any length of time.”
The family has needed to get creative to keep the kids entertained. They have done everything from obstacle courses and treasure hunts to sharing video messages with friends who are also in self-isolation.
Holland, left, and Adelaide enjoy a princess dress-up party while at home under self-isolation.
“Generally, we’re trying to make this a fun and non-scary experience for our kids,” says Ashley. “We’re letting them have treats through SkiptheDishes, have movie marathons and just generally view this as a crazy indoor vacation with us. I don’t want them to remember this as a time of crisis or anxiety. Plus, there are some perks to being isolated – like wearing PJs all day.”
For Ashley, a special part of the experience has been the amount of support the family has received both from within and beyond their work communities.
“Our teams have been wonderful at helping to pick up for us, and we can’t thank them enough,” says Ashley. “We’ve had endless offers of support, anything from delivering us groceries to offering to bring our kids new crafts and books. We’ve actually reconnected with many old friends as a result of this. Everyone just wants to help, which is amazing!”
Ashley’s advice for those in self-isolation who are working from home with kids running around: “It takes a few days to find your groove for sure, but I think you’ll find that we’re more resilient than we think. In some ways, this is an opportunity for us to reconnect as families and spend some good quality time together,” she says. “I’m not going to say it’s always rainbows and unicorns, because it’s not. Some days are hard. Others are great. We’re just trying to take it one day at a time.”