Back to School During a Pandemic: Career Moms Share How They Prepared

November 03, 2020

Via Jamaica Observer

SINCE March 2020 when the first COVID-19 case was confirmed here in Jamaica the year has been anything but normal, leading to a change in routines and 'life as we knew it' indefinitely, including what 'back-to-school' looked like for parents.

Majority of schools, at all levels, are now operating online and delivering lessons virtually, which has come with its own set of challenges. Below, moms of children of varying age groups share how they prepared for back-to-school and how they are balancing the demands of their careers with ensuring the smooth transition of online learning for their children. We asked the career women, who work at Sagicor Group Jamaica, the following questions: How did you prepare for back to school this year? How do you balance the new paradigm of your children learning virtually from home, with you working from home and/or going into office? What coping advice would you give to other parents?

Jodi-Kaye Ennis, corporate strategy manager and mother of three-year-old Josiah:

With so much uncertainty this year, back-to-school preparation was a little different as I delayed purchasing school books and instead stocked up on stationery and craft material.

Managing this new paradigm for me has been challenging, as some days it gets overwhelming, but I do my best to ensure he is settled and that I balance my workday. Overseeing a three-year-old doing online classes is not ideal as he misses being able to play with his friends — a key component of learning development at his age. Despite the challenges faced sometimes, I am also grateful that I work with a company that facilitates me working from home, which has been such a blessing during this time as it provides the added emotional support for Josiah.

What I found has helped me, and what I would advise career mothers to do, is to take it one day at a time, reach out to other mothers, and most importantly, seek support from family, friends and other persons in your circle.