By: Mason McPike, PE, LEED AP
As a working parent, what are some of the unique challenges you faced during this past year as COVID turned our world upside down?
We decided to have a third daughter in November of 2019. My wife and I were expecting that with my two older girls (Ellie-10, and Avery-6) both in school that Katie would have plenty of time with our newborn Reese. I expected help more at home already (getting ready for school, etc) but wasn’t prepared to have the girls home-schooled from spring break on!
What did you children feel/think/verbalize about being quarantined?
I don’t think they understood the magnitude of the situation until the following school year. They missed their friends the most, but I think they enjoyed having more time with Mom and Dad who had to work from home as well for the first time. It made it a really long summer for us.
What were some silver linings to come out of this time?
I was able to spend much more time with Reese than I did with the younger girls at that age. As a family we spent a lot of time swimming in our pool, cooking out, and having the kids watch movies that we grew up watching as children — Indiana Jones, Goonies, the entire Star Wars Trilogy were just a few. Without the extra time together that summer, I am not sure the kids would have been exposed to these classics.
How do you feel Telios has supported you during COVID?
They were very flexible with all employees, but especially those with younger children who were going through the biggest change in their day to day. Tutoring services were offered (which I was glad to take advantage of). It gave my wife a much needed break each week and someone else who could assist in topics that the kids might have been struggling with.
Did you find the tutoring services helpful for your kids? What were the highlights?
Yes, our Tutor Lily was very patient with the kids. She came to our house a few times, but the kids really enjoyed going up to the office when it was opened back up. Avery was able to work on her reading and Ellie was able to progress in long division without her Dad trying to teach her shortcuts (which apparently now is frowned upon). We were able to talk with Lily in advance about what would be relevant for the week and she also mixed in fun activities.
Did you feel Telios has changed because of COVID? Do you think the changes are here to stay?
I think everyone has changed in some regard. The most positive thing is that people are more observant of the challenges our friends and employees are facing, and are now more open to talking about how we can help them times of need. At Telios, we believe that productive and challenging work is key to both the business and employees growth, but it is not and never will be more important than the safety of our employees and the needs of their families.
What are some words of encouragement or advice you can give other working parents, especially during these challenging times?
Regardless of the additional stress placed on us during the pandemic, we will still look back and miss the extra time we were able spend with our families.