Tips for Balancing Remote Work and Full-Time Parenting During COVID-19

The following is a guest post. All opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of us here at HSWT. Thank you!

By: Sheyla Scaffo, People Experience Associate & Executive Business Administrator at Bunny Studio

Many parents are currently navigating an entirely new normal: Working from home while taking care of their kids full-time. As school picks back up and many kids remain at home for remote learning, figuring out how to balance their schedule and a full-time job sometimes feels totally unmanageable.

Most parents have had experience working remotely in one-off, unplanned situations. However, working at home day in and day out for the foreseeable future while also caring for (and in some cases, teaching) kids at home proves to be a major struggle without careful planning where needed and flexibility when possible.

Read on to learn how to create better routines and habits that can help parents maintain a healthy work-life integration:

1. When possible, keep things flexible
This is often easier said than done. However, when you do have the ability, consider getting creative with your work schedule to base your hours around your kids’ schedules. Giving yourself the flexibility to work differently during this time is crucial to maintaining work-life balance.

This can work in a variety of ways. For example, if you’re an early morning person or a night owl, or you are used to commuting a long way, consider working on projects during these times when kids are usually sleeping. Of course, there will always be vital tasks and meetings that require collaboration with your colleagues during regular work hours, but finding ways to give yourself time for small breaks during the day will help you and your kids stay on track.

2. Establish a kid-free zone
There will be times when you need to hunker down and complete work items free from distractions, which is why it is important to establish an area of the house where you can separate yourself from your family.

Not only is it important for this space to be free from other people, but it also needs to be free from other distractions such as dirty laundry and other messes. Keeping the area clean and organized will keep you from wanting to disengage from work to complete other tasks.

3. Clearly communicate with your family
If you have a partner who is also working from home and sharing kid duties with you, it is crucial to communicate the times you can and cannot help out during the day. Setting these expectations will allow for a much smoother daily routine.

It is also important to communicate with your children if they are old enough. Set expectations for when there will be breaks in your day that you can check-in, whether it be a quick snack break, lunch, or even hourly check-ins.

4. Utilize special toys and screen time during work hours
Set aside designated toys and other gadgets, as well as movies or TV shows, to be used when you need to focus-in during the day. This will give your kids something to look forward to and will allow for some distraction-free work time.
 
5. Don’t overwork
During this time, it can be easy to feel like we need to push ourselves to work extra hours, but the reality is that taking the time to unplug and reset each day is critical to success as a parent and an employee.

With schools and offices closed, parents are likely finding themselves faced with a to-do list that has only grown. Although many of us have now had a few months to settle into fully-remote work, that does not mean keeping up with distance-learning while figuring out the best way to accomplish your work has gotten any easier. Designing a schedule that fits your needs is easier said than done, but following the above tips should help ensure you are on the right track.

Should you find yourself out of work during this time, consider that there are other work options out there, such as freelance and contract work, that may help you meet your scheduling and finance needs. Freelancing is also a great source of supplemental income for people while they look for new full-time employment. Just make sure you choose the right platform to help you get the right kind of projects, such as Bunny Studio.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE Extends Brookside Cabaret Through the Summer Live Performances and Fine Dining

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stotts-Managing Director) announced today that it will continue its popular live Brookside Cabaret every Thursday and Saturday night through September with a talented roster of Broadway and Paper Mill favorites.

Brookside Cabaret will feature performances by Matt CastleDwayne Clark, the Louis Danowsky TrioElizabeth Ward LandErin Maguire, Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, Kyle Taylor Parker, Kelli Rabke, Joe Regan, Susan Speidel, and Rema Webb.

“We are so grateful to be working with these extraordinary performers and to have a chance to provide them with the audiences they have been yearning for since the shutdown in March. Brookside Cabaret has been a huge hit with audiences and performers. Now we are looking forward to an exciting summer ​of great entertainment in our beautiful courtyard. We’ll keep the cabaret going as long as the weather holds up,” says Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director.

“The Carriage House Restaurant has been adored by Paper Mill’s theater patrons and considered a great amenity for our audience. This time has given the restaurant a real chance to shine and to become a destination on its own. We are happy the community is enjoying the food, atmosphere and entertainment,” says Mike Stotts, Managing Director.

Brookside Cabaret and Dining is sponsored by PNC Wealth Management and Szerlip & Co.

Carriage House Restaurant Brookside Dining Wednesday–Sunday

The Carriage House Restaurant at the F.M. Kirby Carriage House opens for alfresco dining at 5:00PM Wednesday–Saturday for prix fixe dinner as well as high-top seating for small plates and cocktails. Brunch is available on Sunday from 11:00AM to 2:00PM. Diners will enjoy live performances every Thursday and Saturday night.

Brookside dining prix fixe two-course dinner is $40 per person Wednesday and Friday, and $70 per person Thursday and Saturday with live entertainment. Small plates and cocktails are available at high-top tables ($30 minimum per person on nights with live entertainment). Sunday brunch is $30 per person including fresh fruit salad and a choice of entrée.

For menus, additional information and to make reservations, order curbside pickup, and learn more about our safety protocols, visit papermill.org/restaurant.

Brookside Cabaret Schedule of Performers, Thursday and Saturday Nights at 7pm

Thursday, July 30: Erin Maguire: An Evening of Comedy and Song

Saturday, August 1: Louis Danowsky Trio: Broadway Blues

Thursday, August 6: Matt Castle

Saturday, August 8: Susan Speidel and Joe Regan

Thursday, August 13: Matt Castle

Saturday, August 15: Louis Danowsky Trio: Broadway Blues

Thursday, August 20: Elizabeth Ward Land with Matt Castle: A Linda Ronstadt Tribute

Saturday, August 22: Susan Speidel and Joe Regan

Thursday & Saturday, August 27 & 29: Kelli Rabke with John Fischer on piano and Sean Harkness on guitar

Thursday, September 3: Elizabeth Ward Land with Matt Castle: A Linda Ronstadt Tribute

Saturday, September 5: Susan Speidel and Joe Regan

Thursday & Saturday, September 10 & 12: Nicole Vanessa Ortiz

Thursday, September 17: Kyle Taylor Parker: An Evening of Broadway Soul

Saturday, September 19: To be announced

Thursday, September 24: Dwayne Clark

Saturday, September 26: Rema Webb: A Tribute to Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald

In case of rain, Thursday night performances will be rescheduled to Friday night, and Saturday night performances will be rescheduled to Sunday night.  Patrons should plan accordingly.

Be Aware of the Rising Number of Car Accidents as You Travel This Summer

All 50 states began some process of reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the country to enter lockdown in March and April. Even while several states have begun to impose restrictions again, as you travel the country this summer, you will notice that the rate of car accidents is on the rise.

This expected rise in car accidents comes after reports of relatively low numbers of car accidents during the coronavirus lockdowns. As many states begin to resume operations, officials predict that there will be a sharp rise in car accidents and injuries over the next few summer months.

 Expect Summer 2020 to See an Increased Number of Car Accident Fatalities

 Summer often brings an increased number of car accidents. Not only is the weather often more suitable for driving, but people also tend to travel more during long holiday weekends like Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. Additionally, many holiday celebrations as well as other summer festivities will involve the combination of alcohol and an increased number of vehicles on the road, which will lead to more accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports more car accidents occur daily between July and August than any other time of the year. Some experts even refer to the period between Memorial Day and Labor as the “100 deadliest days” due to the large number of car accidents that occur then. When these factors are combined with antsy drivers eager to hit the roadways once again during the COVID-19 reopening’s, travelers should be aware that the number of deadly car accidents that occur in the U.S. this summer is likely to be higher than ever.

How a Re-Opened Economy Will Lead to More Car Accidents

Many people anxiously await the day when the United States can begin moving past COVID-19 and we can travel the country as freely as we once did. In the interim, however, we are seeing a sharp increase in car travelers this summer, as many are not yet ready to board an airplane.

Tips on Staying Safe While Road Tripping this Summer

Some of the helpful strategies that you can follow to reduce your risk of ending up in an accident while on a road trip this summer include:

  • Routinely check your vehicle’s tire pressure. Well-maintained tires can protect motorists from unexpected breakdowns.
  • Pack safely, which includes not exceeding your vehicle’s payload capacity.
  • Take steps to manage both glare and heat. This could always include keeping sunglasses nearby or using a sun shield beneath your vehicle’s windshield.
  • Rain showers can occur suddenly in the summer. If you find yourself driving through the rain, remember that roads become particularly slippery soon after rainfall.
  • There is often an increased number of bicyclists and motorcyclists on the roads during the summer. Remember to safely share the road with these drivers.

Speak with a Knowledgeable Car Accident Attorney

Even if you try your best to stay safe while traveling this summer, the risk of car accidents is still likely to go up over the next few months. While the moments following a car accident can be overwhelming, it can help greatly to speak with a knowledgeable car accident attorney from the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe. Contact our law office today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Coral UV 3-in-1 Sanitizer

With recent attention paid to UV-C sanitizers for at home disinfection, we want to introduce you to the Coral UV 3-in-1 Sanitizer: a compact, UV-C sanitizer that provides an easy and chemical free solution for sanitizing everyday items. Our most used items collect the most germs but are the hardest to clean (keys, cell phones, TV remotes). The UV 3-in-1 sanitizer is an effective solution for limiting germs around yourself and your home.

UV light sanitizer

Coral UV uses a high energy, artificial UV-C ray that breaks down the DNA of bacteria and germs and disrupts their ability to reproduce. Compared to other forms of disinfection, the Coral UV 3-in-1 doesn’t damage materials over time like steam sanitizers, can sanitize items in as little as 10 minutes, and requires minimal maintenance.

With an influx of UV-C sanitizers hitting the market, there are a few key functions that distinguish Coral UV from other brands:

  • Accreditation & 3rd Party Testing – Coral UV can back up their claims of 99.9% UV-C sanitation with successful tests from accredited institutions.

  • Minimal design – No one has room in their home for a UV-C sanitizer as large as a mini fridge. Coral UV is a top-open, compact sanitizer that naturally fits in with the rest of your kitchen, nursery, or living room. This helps to maintain consistent use.

  • Stainless Steel Chamber – Reflective stainless steel ensures the sanitizing UV-C light reaches every corner inside the device.

  • Drying function – A built in drying function is convenient for items you might rinse off beforehand, such as pacifiers and water bottles. Coral UV is one of the only sanitizers that has this option.

  • Replaceable parts – Over a long period of time, UV-C lamps can lose some of their strength. Coral UV has replaceable bulbs included and for purchase on their website so you don’t have to eventually replace the entire unit.

The Coral UV 3-in-1 sanitizer will be stocked for purchase at coraluv.com and on Amazon.

Here is a video of myself and my young son learning how to use it. It’s pretty easy, we think you will love it- especially now, with the urgent need to be as clean as possible.