::: First & foremost; all of us here at The Mom Projecthope you and your families are staying well + safe. That's the most important thingand the rest is just that: the rest. :::
The Mom Project is here for you -- and hustling to build a better (WFHWK) workplace for all.
Next up: blazing the "H" on the #WFHWK trail.
It's been a week. Literally and figuratively.
And the reality of really being IN it (our homes) -- with kids, pets, cooking, snack doling, dishes, homeschooling, child raising, chores, laundry (where did it all come from, everyone lives in their jammies??), and work (yeah that), amidst a global pandemic -- are starting to settle in.
Regular schedule? I don’t even know her.
This article from The Guardian grabbed our attention today. It surfaced stats we already knew -- women are 7x more likely to care for the kids on a daily basis (Gallup), mothers do 2.6x as much caregiving & domestic work as their partners (UN Women), etc. -- and suggested that the burden on women will grow as we continue to experience the coronavirus’ impact.
So, suggestion. Let's consider this whole 'new and chaotic normal' a fresh start, an opportunity to bring stability into our homes and make sure the burden doesn't fall on women as we all adjust. Run the business of home and family like the collaborative and admired boss you are. Let’s drill down into super household productivity mode (since we’re here all day, every day, for a while), shall we?
Caveats: In no way does this assume partners aren't doing their fair share. Let's all start from a place of empathy and compassion as we navigate the novel intricacies of #WFHWK. Teamwork makes the dream work, especially at home. Huge shoutout to the single parents -- we know you are legit doing it all, and we see you.
We're betting on the bright side here.
Step 1: Call the only in-person meeting you'll be having for a while ...
Agenda: WFHWK Action Plan
Mission, Values, Legacy
Outcome: Household Harmony
Noodle on the answers to these 3 critical questions: (tip: involve your kids!)
Mission: What’s our purpose as a family?
Values: What do we believe as a family?
Legacy: What do we want to be known for as a family?
Chores & Household Responsibilities
Nitty Gritty: What roles and responsibilities are most important for the household to run in a way where both partners feel valued and satisfied? Write it ALL out. Don't forget the new stuff that has popped up the past few weeks. Save child-related items for next agenda item.
Ownership: Partners then select the items they want to really own.
Leftovers: Divide fairly. For real, and don't hold back. This is the time. Your health depends on it.
Gut check & sign off: Does everyone feel the breakdown is fair? Yes: move to the next. No: keep at it til it’s four thumbs up.
The Longest Shortest Time: Kids.
Note: This is where things can get especially tough, but why it’s even more important to communicate. The current public health crisis is impacting families in unprecedented ways -- which makes it THE time to reassess how each partner is contributing to raising and educating the children.
Discussion: What factors are most important for you as parents to ensure you’re proud of how you’re raising your kids? Discuss how current circumstances have impacted your home and children.
Breakdown: Get VERY comprehensive here, breaking down each point with subtasks.
Charter: Each person picks the ones they’re best suited to captain.
Loose Ends: Divvy them up.
Gut check & sign off: Work through these until you both feel VERY good about it. Keep the communication flowing, this is where the magic happens.
Higher Level: What’s important to your family once the above basic needs are met and that align with your mission, values and legacy? Travel, sports, volunteering, learning new skills, music?
Priorities: Mutually agree on the TWO most important initiatives for your family.
Ownership: Each partner selects ONE to own, the other agrees to support.
Gut check & sign off. Agree on this? Yay, keep it moving. Not so much? Keep talking.
Collaboration tip: Bring the kids to the table at this point to see where they’d enjoy contributing.
Prominently post in a high-traffic location for transparency and visibility. Admire it. Invest daily. Iterate and evolve together.
And there you have it!
Less gloom and doom, more progress, empathy, love. You and your partner just looked a weird set of circumstances in the face and ensured everyone can thrive. How we spend this time will impact our families long term, so let's try to make the most of being together with those we're with.
P.S. Share your story! We'd love to hear how you've approached this challenge -- drop a comment below! We'll share your knowledge from the front lines.
P.P.S. Really want to invest? Grab the book Fair Play (audiobook & cards, too) to chat through with your partner. It’s a great, interactive, actionable exercise to make sure the work of your life is all hands on deck.