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#ShareKoLang It's Okay If Your Child Is On Your Lap During Work Video Calls
PHOTO BY Grace Salvador
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    My interviewee was embarrassed because his son insisted on sitting on his lap while doing the interview. He was telling his son, "Later, later, Papa is in an interview."

    The little boy started to cry and kept reaching for his Papa. Siyempre hindi alam ni little boy ano kasi ang interview.

    I told my interviewee it was okay to continue with the interview even if his son was with him. I saw that he was uneasy, so I got my little man to sit on my lap, too, to make him feel comfortable.

    We laughed, continued, and finished the interview with our reasons for working, sitting on our laps. I could still ask my interviewee the questions I needed to ask. And he was still able to answer despite having his little boy on his shoulders, sleeping.

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    Can we please stop pretending that our kids aren't around us?

    With this pandemic, many of us work from home where our kids also eat, sleep and now go to school — they do kid stuff!

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    I am lucky to have a job that can allow me to work from home and have flexible hours. But having kids around adds more flavor to this.

    My kids are ages 9, 6, and 4 and are all adjusting to homeschooling, too, so I need to be with them as I work.

    It was all too crazy when the lockdown started. My kids were kicking the door while I was trying to have uninterrupted time. (Of course, 'di nangyari yun). Then homeschooling started pa! We had to look after them and do homework while still fulfilling work duties.

    My primary concern was giving my 100% at work despite having my kids around. But all that did was to make everything more stressful.

    I cannot minimize the fact that I have three adorable kids. And it is not suitable for me to think that they are an impediment for me to succeed in my career.

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    My kids are a part of me — packaged deal kami! I am not me without my kids. So I have to learn to be more comfortable admitting the little people's demands in my life as I work from home. After all, my kids are still my number 1 priority.

    There is really a lack of support for working parents out there.

    Yes, stressed tayong lahat. But being work-from-home parents is a different kind of stress.

    So let's normalize having kids around.

    Let's talk about our kids more at work.

    Let our kids wave at our co-workers during Zoom calls.

    Let dads have kids on their lap during interviews.

    Let's do this for moms, for dads.

    Let's give working parents the support they deserve.

    This piece originally appeared as a Facebook post by Grace Salvador, a mom of three and happily married for 10 years. They moved to the province during the pandemic and now lives a more simple life with her family.

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    Grace started her page, The Budget Mama, on social media to advocate her passion for financial literacy and help families achieve their goals and dreams through budgeting. She is a graduate of the Registered Financial Planner Philippines and a certified investment solicitor by the SEC.

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