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Plative Stories: Parenting in a Pandemic

When the pandemic hit in 2020, life took a turn, and people worldwide had to adjust to a new reality. From grocery shopping to online learning, everything changed. Parents had to quickly adjust and figure out how to navigate taking care of their children without daycare and in-person school support. I sat down with a few parents at Plative to learn how they have handled parenting in this pandemic.

Plative Parent: Alex Greco

Tell us about your background:

  • I’m the VP of Finance here at Plative based out of the New York City office but have been working remotely from my house in New Jersey since the pandemic hit. I’m a father to two boys ages two and 5 months.

How have you balanced working from home while taking care of your children?

  • My wife also works full time so daycare has been essential for us. When daycare is closed and we’re both working from home with the kids, my wife and I will synchronize calendars. At the beginning of every morning, we’ll each highlight what meetings or time slots we absolutely need to be in uninterrupted and plan around the critical time slots of the day. 

What challenges have you faced and how are you working to overcome them? 

  • The biggest challenge I’ve found working remotely during the pandemic with young children is the inability to focus at times. Since childhood, we’ve been reading, studying, or working in quiet atmospheres whether it’s a library or study hall and now we find ourselves trying to concentrate in an atmosphere that can feel like Wrestlemania. We need to be able to accept that there are some things we can do in the presence of our kids and some things that won’t be possible. I look at my schedule each morning and decide what tasks/meetings I can do in the presence of my kids and what tasks I know I’m going to need deep concentration for and plan to do those while they’re asleep either during the day or at night. I also value my time a lot more now. When I do get that 4 or 5 hours uninterrupted window of working time, it becomes very important to benefit from that time as much done as possible.  

How has Plative supported you in parenting during the pandemic?

  • Since Plative was heavily remote-based before the pandemic hit, the tools and resources needed to do my job were already set up in a way that going remote was minimally disruptive compared to other industries. Culturally, the people at Plative have been supportive and understanding. If I need to suddenly drop from a call or need to push a meeting back, even if they don’t have children, people get it here and have been accommodating.  

What are some tips you’d like to share with other parents or parents-to-be who are in a similar situation?

  • Life will throw unexpected wrenches your way and you need to have a general plan for how to deal with them. During the pandemic, daycare would often shut down without notice and I would suddenly go from what was supposed to be a meticulously tight and deadline-driven agenda to playing man-to-man defense against my rambunctious and energetic oldest son. He thinks he’s playing a game and scores points by slamming my laptop shut while I’m working or doing as much property damage as he can when my attention is turned from him. After several sessions of falling behind on work and failing to defend the items in my house, I decided to create a “bunker room”. The “bunker room” is babyproof and ready at all times for when you find out 30 seconds before that very important call you’ve been working towards all week, that your son will be attending the call as well.  This way I have a backup parachute ready to deploy at all times.

Plative Parent: Duni Okunato 

Duni and family

Tell us about your background:

  • I’m a Salesforce Project Manager here at Plative based in Atlanta, GA. I’m a mother of two boys ages four and one.

How have you balanced working from home while taking care of your children?

  • During the initial phase of the pandemic, my partner and I split parenting responsibilities, so the other could work. Teammates, clients, and managers were also very understanding and gracious, as many of them were going through the same thing. At times, I needed to take extra days off and I was given the ability to do that when needed. It was fantastic to have support at home and support at work.

What challenges have you faced and how are you working to overcome them?

  • After the first few months of the pandemic passed, work responsibilities began to increase again. Unfortunately, young children aren’t as flexible and don’t understand that Mommy has to work. I made a tough decision to re-enroll my children in daycare. It was relieving to see that many daycares enhanced their health and wellness strategies to reduce contact, increase cleaning, and administer stronger standards. That gave me a lot more comfort in sending my little ones out into the world again. Luckily, we haven’t had any outbreaks and I’m very grateful for the Daycare and Parenting community for taking precautions.

How has Plative supported you in parenting during the pandemic?

  • It’s great that I can work remotely during this time. Although I may not see my colleagues and clients in person, we often keep our cameras on during meetings and have various opportunities to hang out virtually. We also have a very active channel on Slack called “plativegram” that we use to send fun pictures and life updates, which helps develop relationships with colleagues. In addition, Plative is great about enabling me to take time off when needed.

What are some tips you’d like to share with other parents or parents-to-be who are in a similar situation?

  • You can still prioritize your children and balance responsibilities during a pandemic by leveraging your friends, family, and community. There are times when things aren’t completely balanced and that’s okay too. With some patience, creative thinking, and support from your work and personal community, you can cultivate a lifestyle that enables you to be the best parent to your children.

Ready to work alongside awesome parents like Alex and Duni? Check out our open roles! 

People

Plative Stories: Parenting in a Pandemic

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