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Back To Office Na Ang Parents, Paano Tulungan Ang Kids Mag-Adjust
PHOTO BY /SHUTTERSTOCK
  • With Alert Level 1 happening in just a matter of days, moms and dads who have been blessed to work from home are now asking how can we prepare our kids?

    More and more offices are requiring its employees to return to in person working, though most are easing its employees back in. 

    At Smart Parenting Village, an anonymous member recently asked: 

    "Hi SPV. Meron ba dito na babalik na or bumalik na sa office or site-based na work? Pano niyo po prinepare yung mga kids niko after being together lagi for the past 2 years? Ako lang ba nasesepanx? Pano run kayo nag prepare ng sarili niyo hehe. Thank you po!" 

    Pasalubong, sepanx, and video calls

    Moms replied to this anonymous parent saying they too, are feeling the separation anxiety. Even if for some, their offices have not yet officially announced that reporting to the office will soon be required.
     
    “Wala pang specific date pero nasesepanx na ako now pa lang, if only mas maging open ang companies na gawing WFH (work from home) yung mag work na pwede naman talagang i-WFH. Sakit sa heart,” says Kat Barrion, a lease administrator and mom to a 7-month-old baby.
     
    That torn “nakakaiyak” feeling of leaving your kids to work is relatable for many parents, especially after two years of being together all day, every day. Another SPV mom Charlene Chia who is already required to report to work a few days a week says:
     
    “Kung maka-ngawa yung anak ko akala mo di na ako babalik. Five years old na kaya lahat ng pagpapa-awa sasabihin, kesyo sasabihin pa ika ‘Kawawa naman ako Nanay? Wala na ako katabi umatulong nanay?’ Nakakaiyak eh.”
     
    Public school teacher and mom of three Klara Emiliza offers advice, always assure your kids before you leave for work. She says she makes sure to tell them she loves them and takes advantage of technology to help them stay connected even if they are apart.
     
    “Sinasabi ko lang po lagi na may work si mommy kaya aalis. Pero kahit wala si mommy, love kayo ni mommy–kuya, ate, bunso.

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    She addds, "Nag-video call din po ako, at si three years old ko lagi sinasabi ‘I miss you mommy’, hehehe. Naka-open lang yung video call, kita ko si three-year-old na naglalaro, pasayaw-sayaw. Hindi po ako pala bigay ng pasalubong. Pero nagmemerienda kami lagi pag-uwi ko. Tapos binabantayan ko sila pagka-uwi ko.”
     
    Pasalubong is Maria Perez’s style. “Sinasabi ko, pag uwi ko may pasalubong,” says the mom of one.

    Maria is already reporting to work once a week and her company will increase it to twice a week once Alert Level 1 is implemented. She adds, “Looking for ways na din para maextend ang WFH ko. Probably will use VL (vacation leave) hahaha. Sanay na sa WFH.

    PHOTO BY /SHUTTERSTOCK

    Tips for going back to work

    The struggle is real for parents and the first step to adjusting back to working on site or at the office is to accept that there will be adjustments again. In the same way that we had to learn to work from home all week, we’ll have to re-learn working in person.
     
    Below are tips for adjusting back to the office for parents:

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    1. You may have conflicting emotions.

    You may experience many emotions at the same time like the “joy for the quiet work environment, overwhelmed with the transition, grief about time away from home,” says psychotherapist Kelly Bos to Very Well Family.
     
    Go easy on yourself when you’re dealing with all these different emotions. You’re not a bad parent if you enjoy getting time away to work. 

    2. Don't be surprised the kids will not remember the family dynamic pre-pandemic, especially the younger ones.

    When you expect that your kids will also have to adjust, you will be able to patient if there are tears and meltdowns. Expect separation anxiety, especially if your kids are still schooling from home while you have to go back to work.
     
    By lowering our expectations of ourselves and of our kids, everyone will be able to transition better. Talk to them about the upcoming changes and ask them if they have ideas about to help with the adjustment.

    3. Try getting organized.

    You can try meal planning for the work week to lessen the amount of choices you need to make through the week. Another good habit to develop or to return to is preparing your work bag and clothes the night before you need to report to work.
     
    Organization can lessen the stress of the rush that you might not be used to anymore.

    4. Make sure to stay connected with the kids.

    Take your cue from Klara, fill the kids’ love tank before the change happens. Spend lots of quality time before the change will take place. And schedule when you can spend time with them whether after work every day or on the weekends.
     
    If you still have work from home days, maximize the time you have on those days. Play with the kids or watch a quick show together. 
     
    Send them short messages when you’re working in the office or check in with video calls. You can also leave them notes to read when you’re out.
     
    Final tip: Rather than expecting life to be like it was pre-pandemic, know that there will be challenges. Keep connecting with your kids but remember it might be uncomfortable while you are adjusting.

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