Parents, You’ve Got This

by Apr 15, 2020employee engagement0 comments

Something really amazing happened last week.

One of my team members has a son, Davis, with quadriplegia and blindness. He was born this way; doctors told his parents to prepare for the worst.

Now at age 7, Davis is working hard to overcome all odds.

And last week, for the first time ever, Davis stood up. All by himself.

My team member sent us all a video, and I’ve watched it probably 15 times. It gives me such a wonderful feeling of hope.

It reminds me that a mother’s belief in her child is perhaps more powerful than anything else in the world.

I also need to be reminded that I must believe in myself. 

As a parent of a 10-month-old son and a 6-year-old daughter, I’m doing what many others are – trying to work full-time while homeschooling my child.

Except none of us are homeschooling our children. That would be an overstatement. What we’re actually doing is trying to hold it together, while we try to ensure our children’s brains get some sort of useful stimulation, while we try to remain on top of business. 

I don’t know about you, but at night I often experience a lot of guilt for all those moments throughout the day I chose work over my children. It would be great to dive into true homeschooling, but it’s not realistic. I’m also a career woman at heart, and Civility Partners is my baby too. 

So I’m learning to let loose, be okay with not working 40-50 hours, and to relax on the rules.

I don’t apologize for the sound of kids in the background. It doesn’t make me unprofessional; it makes me human. 

But I’m lucky because I’m the leader here. I don’t report to a boss. (Though I’m not totally bossless. I do report to my employees and clients as they expect certain things from me.)

I implore all leaders out there to make it clear that you understand your workforce is challenged to stay on task, work normal hours, and keep kids out of sight during video calls. Let them know you just want them to do the best that they can, and that you’d be satisfied with that. 

Just to be clear, I’m not throwing professionalism out the door completely.

I am suggesting that the definition of professionalism now include keeping a straight face while your child is throwing pieces of apple at you while you’re talking to a client via webcam. 

Stay strong. You’re extraordinary. 


PS. We’re doing a mastermind group, where you can talk with others about how they’re managing today’s challenges with their workforceJoin us by registering here. It’s free and every other Friday. Upcoming topic is managing equality, inclusivity and equity during a time that will most certainly impact some groups much more than others.

PPS. None of the COVID-19 laws and regulations have changed California’s harassment prevention training rules. We’ve got a live interactive webinar on Wed, April 16 if you’ve got people you need to train. Register any of your team members here.

About Catherine Mattice Zundel

Catherine Mattice Zundel, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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