I don’t want to get the COVID so now I homeostasis. It’s like a bad movie out there, but as long as I practice good homeostasis things will be alright. Maybe this new meaning of the term will help us achieve greater equilibrium between the interdependent elements of our professional and personal lives. So here are some lessons I’ve learned from my third week of homeostasis.
“Work from Home Dad” and “Home Dad” are two different people.
Kids have no idea you have an alter ego and professional career outside of the home. To them, you are always “Just Dad”. When you work from home, they will not respect your need for privacy when you’re on that important conference call. How many of you have been embarrassed on a Skype call when your kid passes in the background wearing only their underwear? Set limits. Change out of your pajamas every morning and enter “WFH Dad Mode.” Let them know that from this hour to this hour you are no longer “Home Dad” but are someone different. Even better, lock yourself in another bedroom or spare garage so they cannot see or hear you.
Don’t watch TV.
I’m so done with news reports of COVID case statistics, mortality rates, and estimates of “flattening the curve”. How many experts need to tell me to wash my hands, wear my mask, don’t touch my face, distance from others, and stay at home? Running the TV in the background does nothing but spread the panic. Light some candles and turn on the music. Maybe your kids will respect your fondness of The Ramones and The Rolling Stones.
Be nice to each other.
We will not run out of food in this country. There is no need to buy what you don’t need for more than the next few days. It sends a bad message to your neighbors when they see your grocery cart loaded with tons of meat, eggs, water, and TP. Relax – don’t let them think you’re selfless, greedy, and panicked. A friend of mine who lives near my hometown in Western Massachusetts tells me her small town has banded together. They share eggs, goats, and chickens throughout their small community. The other day her neighbor backed into her driveway with a pick-up truck loaded with fruits and vegetables to give away to anyone passing by. This is how small communities survive, and we should all learn from this.
I’m hopeful I can once again commute to my beautiful office by sometime this summer, and I miss my morning visits to Starbucks. But as Yogi said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”