How An Empty Nester Balances Remote Work With College Kids

Ripple’s community manager, Andrea, describes how she manages remote work with college aged kids back at home.

I am an empty nester. At first, it was a big adjustment. After juggling work, school, sports and activity schedules for so long, having time all to myself was weird.

But over time, I became used to my new “normal”, and even enjoy it! I have my routines, a good work/life balance and, most importantly, get to watch my children grow into independent young adults. I’m doing great.

The COVID Boomerang

Now my two college-aged children, one a senior, the other a sophomore, are home for the remainder of the school year and probably the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for any time I get to spend with them. Their own independent lives are beginning soon (time really flies), and for my daughter, the senior, much sooner than she anticipated.

Managing Life Changes and Remote Work

Now, we are all adjusting to life amid a pandemic.

Their lives were flipped upside down. No more college life. No more classes with professors and students, no more hanging out with friends, pulling all-nighters studying (um, partying). I am navigating these changes with them to help them stay productive in school, still, be connected to their friends and enjoy family time together.

For me, no more book club, no more dinners or walks with friends, no more going into the office. As the community manager of a shared office space, that’s a big deal. I miss the daily interactions with our members and meeting new people that come into the office daily.

Technology Helps Us Stay Connected to Our “Normal” Lives

We all have one thing going in our favor: Technology. As we adapt to our temporary new normal, technology is a huge advantage. We can reach out to coworkers and clients via, Facebook, Instagram, FaceTime and Zoom meetings.

Even though we are social distancing to do our part, we can still be social. We’ve been scheduling a virtual lunches and happy hours with our clients. Scheduling meetings on Zoom or Google Hangouts and picking up the phone to call clients, coworkers and family.

Even though face-to-face interaction may be on hold, the interactions themselves do not need to be.

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