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Let’s face it, this pandemic has been tough on many – and working parents are no exception! 

At Criminal Law Mums we know that parenting in 2020 has been beyond challenging. The pressure to somehow balance being a good parent, employee and spouse has never been so intense. Thankfully though, with restrictions easing, we’re getting a taste of our ‘new normal’. 

But what does this look like for working parents? To be honest, there’s probably nothing ‘normal’ about the new normal – it’s the next set of adjustments for living in a post-COVID world. Here are our thoughts on the top three changes for parents.

  • Kids returning to school

 

Hallelujah! Our kids are back at school!

Each state is taking the return to school a little differently, with some states (SA and WA) offering remote and distance learning, and others only offering face-to-face learning. The good news is that in many cases, students are not being marked absent or penalised for choosing to stay home. 

Thankfully, our ‘new normal’ is seeing kids safely in classrooms and giving parents some much-needed relief from homeschooling, parenting and working from home all in one. Finding the right balance between safety and education requires lots of vigilance, but there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel!  

And while having kids out of the house means less interruptions and less demands, it’s still an adjustment. For those parents working from home (in what’s suddenly a much quieter household), we want to remind you to go easy on yourself. You’ve been compromising and multi-tasking for months, so it could be a while before you’re performing at your best – give yourself a break, and don’t expect anything to feel ‘normal’ for a while.

  • Returning to the office 

 

We’re already seeing huge changes to our working environments. While some offices are re-opening, our current health laws mean it’s impossible for everyone to return to the office like we did pre-COVID. 

And at the same time, some parents have adjusted to working from home – and have even found it better for work-life balance or productivity.

We can say confidently that while there are a lot of unknowns with this one, new ways of working are essential. Employers who embrace greater flexibility with working arrangements will win out. It’s not unlikely that the ‘new normal’ for many working parents will be a hybrid of working from home, working remotely and working in the office. 

 

  • Getting out of ‘survival mode’ and thinking about what’s next

 

As we ease out of lockdown, it’s time to start thinking about moving away from survival mode into some form of growth. Easier said than done, we know! 

The pandemic meant a ton of instant and dramatic changes to our lives, and as a result of that many of us were simply trying to get through each day. Now that COVID-19 is less of a threat, we can start looking towards the future and thinking a little more ‘big picture’ about ourselves, our businesses and our families. 

So it’s time to start looking for the lessons learnt, the opportunities that have come from this experience, and what’s going well. For us at Criminal Law Mums, it’s meant some pretty big adjustments but we’ve also been able to put together an awesome new webinar series! 

We’ve also loved being a part of a  community during this time and leaning on our wonderful Criminal Law Mums members for support and solidarity. 

If you’re looking for a sense of community and sisterhood in the legal profession, feel free to email us at welcome@criminallawmums.com or join our online communities.