Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Oh, happy days! We have come to the fourth (and last!) step of a simple four step process that will get your partner engaged in active ownership of childcare and schooling while we are on lockdown. I’m hopeful that after implementing the first 3 steps that you are feeling a little less stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed and that you are no longer going it alone and doing #allthethings.
If you haven’t made your way through these steps OR if you need a refresher, you can find the details here:
After working through these steps with your partner, your family now has an agreed to plan that is visible to everyone and you are all using it as the guide to navigate your days. Now what?
Step 4: Moving Forward
While I would love so very much to tell you that you are all set and that there is smooth sailing ahead, I can’t do that. I can’t do that because I’d be lying. Cuz here’s the thing…even on good days things shift and change. And in this pandemic world, everything seems to be changing all the time.
In order to deal with “life in extreme flux”, you and your partner are going to have regularly occurring meetings (yeah, I just heard the collective, “Oh hell’s no!” on that one). I know the thought of adding yet another meeting sounds painful. But having short, regularly occurring meetings is going to save you a lot of hurt.
You and your partner should meet at least once a week. Review the upcoming week and capture any work, school, childcare, and household responsibilities that fall outside of the agreed to plan. In other words, look for anomalies that would create at need to shift schedules. Work with your partner to shift the schedule as needed. Be sure to swap shifts, not just give them up. For example, if your partner needs to give up a “kid duty” shift to accommodate work, then your partner should swap it out for one of your “kid duty” shifts. Be protective of your shifts because, if you’re not, next thing you know you may wind up with more “kid duty” or “household duty” shifts than originally agreed to.
Also, discuss what is working and what is not working. If anomalies that have been identified in the past seem to become re-occuring, then its time to review and revise the baseline plan.
Ideally, you and your partner will host a daily family meeting. Use this time to cover the plan for the upcoming day and make sure everyone knows which parent is on duty for what and when. It’s also a great time to get a pulse check from your kids. You might be pleasantly surprised with the feedback and solutions they have to offer.
If you’d like additional details on Step 4: Moving Forward check out this video. For support, tips and insights on surviving the COVID-19 lockdown, please come join me and other working moms at the Working Moms on Lockdown group on Facebook. And, be sure to follow me on Facebook to get the latest info on how to attain an equitable division of labor in your home.
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