It’s been an interesting time for parents worldwide that need to work and effectively “homeschool” their children. The team at Local Logic has been struggling to juggle this new normal as well. One of our team members even became a new parent, right at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak!
It’s definitely not business as usual when you're going from an office, and kids in school/daycare, to everyone being in the same residence all day long for over 28 days.
We are facing the realities of loved ones' health at risk, alongside building a business, and also raising a family. All that while being locked indoors.
We wanted to share what it has been like for us as parents over these last few weeks and let you know that we are all in this together. Even if you don’t have kids, many of your peers may. We hope this can give you a glimpse into the working parent during COVID-19.
Who are we?
Pierre Calzadilla: Head of Growth for Local Logic, I have four boys and they are 12, 9, 7 and 4. Also have my parents with us temporarily.
Alex H. Caron: Product manager at Local Logic and new dad of a 6 weeks-old son.
Alex Pagé: Co-founder and senior software developer, and I have a 16 months-old son.
Flo Duval: UX/UI designer at Local Logic. I have a 2 years old daughter.
Madeline Hammer: Broker Relations Lead. I have a 9 years old son
What is one moment that stands out during this quarantine so far for you?
Alex H. Caron: Although I am back full time after my paternal leave, I get to see my child grow every day. Whether it’s his first "smile", or just the fact that you can see the improvement of the range of his eyesight, those are moments that I wouldn’t get to experience so closely if I was at the office.
Alex Pagé: I had the opportunity to see my son's first steps. If there was no quarantine, it would have probably happened during daycare. It was a really special moment for me and my partner, as we were waiting for him to walk for a while now.
Flo Duval: As I was working, my daughter started walking slowly around the house looking bored. I started to feel bad because I thought about how she must miss all of her friends at daycare. She has been used to running around and doing all sorts of fun activities. One day I was working on my computer, and she came up to me with a really sad face and said: “Daddy, I want to play with my daddy.” So I couldn’t do anything but stop working and go play with her. Even though this is a time where kids may need to be bored sometimes, the fact that she has no friends to play with is really sad for me.
Madeline Hammer: We were lucky to receive a trampoline from another family who had outgrown it. I didn’t want to bring it home due to the potential liability - but when things were happening, I changed my course and my friends came and set it up! We have a blast on it. We’ve created our own private games - just like little kids do, and we laugh uncontrollably together on it. It’s true moments of departure from the madness.
Pierre Calzadilla: On a sunny day I took a walk with one of my sons (4) and it was wonderful. We talked and imagined what cracks in the ground looked like (see Baby Yoda below), and I was all of a sudden grateful for this time with them. I now make time every 2 hours for a 15 minute walk, or play time with my sons. Minecraft, catch, drawing - 15 minutes is a long time for a kid - and they love it. It’s really helped my wife, and truly helped me feel like a better dad. I also realize how hard it must be to be a teacher!
What have the last 28+ days been like for you—as a parent?
Alex H. Caron: I won’t lie, adapting to parenthood and working from home has been intense. Let’s say that I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to get those solid 7-8 hours of sleep I normally take to feel fresh and ready for my day of work. The first weeks, I basically slept and worked when I could. (Pretty lucky to work in a company where leadership understands that there is a learning curve in becoming a parent). Slowly, as I get to know my child, my own limits and how to be as helpful as possible to my girlfriend, I adapt. As a product manager and someone who loves to work, I always try to have a great impact for my team and be productive...but it will be a work in progress to find the right balance between being a dad and a PM. I am happy that my baby is patient enough with his father and that he doesn’t mind attending our Zoom meetings with me.
Alex Pagé: Since the first week, my partner and I transformed our condo into a daycare. We wanted to make sure that our kid didn't feel bored. We also split the weekdays, so one of us can have a full day of work without being too disrupted. So to answer the question, I feel blessed as a parent because I can have quality time with my child.
Flo Duval: Mostly playing with my daughter during the day, cooking with her, painting, drawing. We usually take a walk in the park in the afternoon. And when she’s asleep I start to work for a few hours if I still have some energy at the end of the day. Always trying to control screen time as much as possible because she’s still quite young.
Madeline Hammer: Challenging. Every bit of my adult skillset is challenged. From the kitchen to the house to working full time to parenting and teaching - wow - I thought I needed to be organized when I was traveling 70% of the time. This period has been intense. On the lighter side, Zeke comes into a high percentage of my meetings and I introduce him to clients and my coworkers all cheerfully say hi. That part is cool and I think a good business lesson for him.
Pierre Calzadilla: Rough! I am lucky my kids can play together, but being home alone, with no dates, no time away from the kids is really hard for my wife and I. We are used to finding time to get away, even if it is for an hour to have coffee at a cafe, or dinner out. They aren’t old enough to be left alone, and by the time they are in bed, it’s dark and cold out. It’s exhausting to figure out activities, school lessons, constant meals and snacks - our grocery bill has ballooned astronomically!
How has this time changed the way your view of parenting?
Alex H. Caron: The whole parenting thing is new to me. The main thing I can testify to, is that without this pandemic, I wouldn’t have the chance to be as present for my girlfriend and my son during the day and I think this is priceless.
Alex Pagé: It made me a lot more patient and comfortable with myself as a parent. Not having help from daycare nor parents made me realize how much real being a parent is :)
Madeline Hammer: Diet. I’ve learned that diet and rest steer our moods just as much with my 9 year old as they did when he was little. Our diets won’t be the same after this period.
Pierre Calzadilla Man, full-time parenting is hard. It’s easy to go to work, and only engage with my kids a few hours a night, it’s a totally different experience to be with them all day and night - while working. I also am married to a saint.
What’s your kids favorite thing to do right now?
Alex H. Caron: Well...pretty much looking at colours on the play mat, crying (of course during the most important meetings), eating and sleeping.
Alex Pagé: Making toilet paper towers… Actually making towers with anything he can find. Also, playing the demo songs on my electronic piano.
Flo Duval: She enjoys painting a lot, drawing, play-do, duplos block. We watched the Cirque du Soleil on tv and she was blown away.
Madeline Hammer: Roblox. He speeds though his schoolwork and chores to get online and play and gab with his friends.
Pierre Calzadilla: Minecraft has free add-ons in the marketplace with educational layers, puzzles, and cool add-ons like dragons. I like Minecraft because they can use their imagination and create things. My wife also started reading the whole Chronicles of Narnia to them, and they love it! One of my boys has really grown as a reader during this time.
What’s one thing you could not survive this quarantine without as it comes to your kids?
Alex H. Caron: My baby carrier...oh that’s a time/life saver. Allows me to work and call in meetings, while the baby is sleeping.
Alex Pagé: Wine… hahaha
Flo Duval: Books and Paint
Madeline Hammer: Colorado’s amazing sunny days in spring. Our bike rides have been so fun. He might actually know left from right soon!
Pierre Calzadilla: Definitely their mother! Followed by tablets, xbox, and TV. Lastly, nice sunny days. Those days are the best so the kids can be in the backyard - definitely the backyard is a star during this time!
Here is a round-up of parenting links during the crisis—no sponsorship, we just like them:
- IXL is a great app for learning, many school boards already provide access
- DuoLingo has a kids app for learning French & Spanish, it’s really great.
- Education.com has great free worksheets by grade if your school doesn’t provide them.
- ABC Mouse is a great website for learning with engaging content for kids via many mediums and using rewards - think gamified learning. It’s really great in regular times, they offer 49% off and free 30 days right now. Great for many elementary age levels.
- Minecraft has free maps in the member community with science lessons, and even a map of the International Space Station to explore. Best to access via the store in your preferred platform.