Ed. note: This was written with one hand while helping a toddler with the other and rocking an infant in a carrier with one foot, which is a far more realistic work-from-home childcare plan than the federal government has offered.
Thanks to the global pandemic that is the coronavirus, law firms of all kinds are bending over backwards to offer their employees feasible work-from-home platforms so that business may go on as usual — or as close to usual as possible. Of course, this isn’t always possible when children are involved, and while the coronavirus crisis is ongoing, children are going to be heavily involved in their parents’ lives.
For the purposes of social distancing, schools in many states have closed their doors and have turned to virtual classrooms, with e-learning plans in effect for students in preschool all the way through high school. Some parents are now lawyers and teachers, which throws a wrench into the whole concept of working from home.
But not to worry, because certain federal agencies have come up with a way for parents to manage both their work and childcare responsibilities. The example schedule below reportedly comes from the Securities and Exchange Commission, and it’s been described by sources in the following colorful ways:
- “Fucking insane”;
- “Nauseating”; and
- “Even more burdensome than parenting regularly is.”
Without further ado, here’s a federal agency’s ideas for a feasible WFH childcare plan:
What kind of fantasyland does this childcare plan come from? When (not if) I’m awake at 5:30 a.m., it’s because I’ve already started my childcare “tour of duty” for the day. No day exists where a parent without household help doesn’t have to perform childcare responsibilities prior to 9:30 a.m. If you think a parent is going to have uninterrupted time in the afternoon to do work from 3 to 6 p.m., then you’ve got another thing coming. The only realistic aspects of this plan are the fact that there’s no time for the parent to eat or sleep for more than five-and-a-half hours (at least that’s what it’s like in a household with a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old).
Much like the parents who are expected to model their work-from-home and childcare arrangements after this example, this isn’t going to work.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of the coronavirus crisis
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.
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