I started working from home for the first time in March of 2020. Layla, my daughter, also started her first year of preschool at the same time and boy, has it been a journey and a major adjustment for the both of us! Without much warning, I had to quickly learn how to balance the same workload as when I was in an office with every moment of attention that my daughter needed. I always felt as if time was running against me. I was constantly unable to complete my day’s work, and my daughter seemed to always be unhappy. Needless to say, it was a very difficult period. I was frequently frustrated with myself and exhausted at the end of every day.
During this season, I began attending Claris Health’s weekly parenting class online with Niki. This class helped me tremendously. Niki taught about how to create a schedule that allowed me to work from home without interruption for a solid 30 minutes or so. Other helpful tools were learning how to alternate times to play with my daughter by playing with her for five minutes, working for 20 minutes, and then coming back to check on her every so often by taking a walk outside for a breath of fresh air. These were already relieving a lot of the tension we felt at home. Niki also taught us about parent/child play ideas which were very easy and simple to implement and brought a great deal of fun to Layla. One was to use a blanket to hold all her stuffed animals and pop them up and down.Another was “toy rotation,” putting some toys away and bringing them back a few weeks later. Since they seemed “new,” she would play with them for a good amount of time, which allowed me to work without disturbance. I understand that these ideas might sound simple, but a stressed out parent may not be able to think of these things right off the bat. Therefore I have been beyond grateful to Claris for providing me with these parenting classes. I only shared a few examples of what I learned, but there are many others that made the entire working-from-home process much easier.
Another hardship of staying at home during a pandemic is isolation. As a single mom, I don’t have many interactions with other adults. I’m unable to talk about my issues or have an adult conversation once in a while, and that’s really hard. Claris however, is always available for a one-on-one appointment! They listen with empathy and without judgment. I particularly enjoyed my one-on-one with Niki. She knows how to listen, and she always gives thoughtful advice to my problems. Thank you Niki!
On top of the parenting classes and emotional support, the resources that we received brightened our days. The Christmas gifts, toys, books, and food truly made Layla and I hap
Almost one year into this unprecedented time, I feel more stable and confident about my situation. As I am writing this short story right now, my daughter is playing happily next to me with the toys we recently received from Claris. She seems content and does not interrupt me anymore. It has been a long process to get to this point, where each of us understands what we need to go through this well and still share precious moments with each other. We would not have gotten to this point without the support from Claris’ wonderful parenting classes. My special thanks go to the program director, Niki Woolsey, a great friend, and a mentor to my parenting journey. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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