Since COVID-19 sheltered my family in place 3 weeks ago, I’ve repeated the mantra “hour-by-hour” to myself at least 297 times. As a working parent, life has always come with its fair share of plate spinning. With the world outside our four walls shutting down to prevent the spread of a dangerous infection, new plates started to stack on an already delicate balancing act.

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The first week was a disaster. The plates came toppling down despite an exhaustive effort to keep them all up. Since then we’ve started to find our routine. Crafting a new normal in this completely abnormal time. Measuring our time not by days or weeks, but by hours. That said, our ability to settle into a routine was largely reliant on one thing: technology.

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THANK GOODNESS FOR TECHNOLOGY!

I think I speak for humans everywhere when I scream that. Seriously, what would we be doing without it right now? The world would literally be dark. We wouldn’t be #AloneTogether. We’d just be alone.

While homebound, we’ve had virtual playdates, meetings, tutoring sessions, and gymnastics classes. It’s not the same as the real thing of course, but it helps. A LOT. Technology in a time like this is a blessing and how we lean on it continues to evolve.

So we did what we normally do when we needed a child care hand, we called in a professional. Not to come in person, of course. The help came virtually.

Earlier this week, my husband and I both had meetings at 2pm that couldn’t move. Our daughter was struggling with some school work. We wanted to be there to support her but our hands were tied. So we did what we normally do when we needed a child care hand, we called in a professional. Not to come in person, of course. The help came virtually. Our sitter was a virtual sounding board for our daughter working through her schoolwork and we sat on the other side of the room on work calls.

It was better than I imagined it would be! For a solid hour, everyone got to focus on what they needed to get done. Right now, the simple act of being able to focus on one thing at a time is a legitimate gift.

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When this same scenario presented itself a week prior, we tried to juggle the plates on our own. It resulted in frustration and hurt feelings for all involved. When the day was over, we all felt completely burned out and exhausted. Turns out, outsourcing even one of our plates for a single hour saved the day.

Knowing that virtual sitting help is now a tool in my toolbox has eased a bit of my stress in this incredibly wild time. There’s also the added bonus of being able to continue to offer work to the network of sitters we’ve built and relied upon over the years when it’s needed most. We’re lucky that our livelihood has not been directly impacted by this crisis. We’re supporting our local restaurants and businesses as much as we can during this time. Supporting our child care providers during this time should be no different.

We truly are all in this together. The village is alive and well—it just has to be virtual right now.

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