In a matter of days, most of our routines went from normal to completely out of sorts. That’s especially true for those wedding pros with kids at home. And since there’s not exactly a guide book out there as to how to deal with working from home during a pandemic, we turned to our community of wedding pros to get their advice. Here, 10 ways to deal — as told to us from others going through it just like you.
1. Wake Up Early
“I like to wake up an hour or two before my little ones get out of bed,” says Andrea Eppolito, of Andrea Eppolito Events in Las Vegas. “This gives me time to check my messages, respond to clients, and work with colleagues in other time zones in peace and quiet! Then, when my kids get up, I can give them some undivided attention without feeling the pull of work.”
2. Re-Create the School Day
“We have two little ones at home: a two-year-old and a five-year-old who is in kindergarten (and loves school!), so we’re dividing and conquering her learning on an agenda her teacher sends us daily,” says Aleah and Nick of Valley & Co in Seattle, WA. “If you don’t have an agenda from teachers, try to create your own and base it around age-appropriate tasks your kids would generally do in class but also include things that are exciting to them (like a fun science project). Setting the tone for starting school in the morning around the normal time opens up one of us emailing in the morning and prioritizing our day. We tend to keep Zoom or phone calls towards the end of the day as we’ve determined that’s a good quiet time for the kids.”
3. Set Up a Designated Area
“This has been key to get my work done,” says Clara Hough of House of Hough in Houston. “I know it sounds like this is common sense but I tend to be one to move all around the house with my laptop.”
4. Take Small Breaks
“In addition to managing our online wedding magazine, my wife and I are now homeschooling twin 9-year-olds,” says Kirsten Palladino of Equally Wed. “What’s been helpful for our family’s sanity is taking small breaks in between school assignments such as a 5-minute dance break with a song from Alexa, as well as showing our kids what fun can be had on the internet, such as watching our local puppetry arts center (Atlanta) put on shows via Facebook Live or virtual museum tours or illustrators like Mo Willems giving drawing lessons.”
5. Divide and Conquer
“We are rotating between mommy time, daddy time, alone time, and family time,” says Andrea. “By breaking the day into time blocks, the kids can stay on a schedule and we can all do things we enjoy–separately and together.”
6. Keep Up With the Extracurriculars
“Find out which of your kids’ regular activities, gym classes or music lessons, are being offered online,” says Clara. “For example, my son is able to take his piano lessons via FaceTime.”
7. Plan Your Day in Advance
“Think about jotting down a nightly task list when your kids have gone to bed so you feel ready in the morning to conquer the day as best you can!” says Aleah and Nick. “Start your day with the largest and most pressing tasks as (we’ve found) once the kiddos go to bed we catch up on emails or pen a blog post or organize our social media channels, but generally don’t have the capacity to draft a proposal or create a design plan.”
8. Designate Time for Outside Everyday
“As far as actually getting any work done, we’re relegating the afternoons to free time in the house or backyard for the kids, which translates into time for us to focus on work,” says Kirsten. “It’s not perfect, but we’re surviving and enjoying each other as best we can.”
9. Give the (Older) Kids Some Leeway
“I’ve encouraged the kids to play board games, and read (which they love to do) but I am also letting them do a lot of what they want,” says Clara. “While my daughter has been keeping up with her friends via FaceTime my son does not really “talk” to his friends on the phone unless they are playing video games together so I let him play more than I usually would.”
10. Plan For the Future
“We have organized our task lists with some business housekeeping that have us thinking ahead to plans and goals for 2021 a bit earlier,” says Aleah and Nick. “Some of these tasks include:
Team management: Creating an updated manual and processes book for our team
Marketing: Assessing our marketing strategies and trimming anything paid that has a low ROI.
House cleaning: Doing some spring cleaning at home and at our studio.
Sprucing: Updating our website with a few new galleries and revisiting copy.
Outreach: Checking in on industry friends and past clients, as well as keeping in close contact with current clients.
Finally, remember to get fresh air if you can and give yourself lots of grace!
At The Knot and WeddingWire, we are echoing these sentiments and educating our couples on the importance of rescheduling. We understand that COVID-19 impacts the entire industry and we want you to feel prepared. Stay tuned for more education coming your way via @weddingpro.
About the author: Anja Winikka is the former editor of TheKnot.com and The Knot Magazines turned educator and contributing editor @WeddingPro. She’s on a mission to help creatives, community leaders, and wedding businesses own their stories and tell the world about it (follow along via Instagram @anjawinikka).