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Nurturing our relationships

Some thoughts on appreciating the upsides of the pandemic.

Laura Warren

Our family's experience with the pandemic was typical in so many ways. In the early days, we wondered how we would do our day jobs around the edges of homeschooling.  With both of us working in entrepreneurial roles and without any real "village" to raise the children, we needed to figure out how to juggle our new dual roles.  Those first weeks were defined by us taking turns carting our laptops to all four corners of the house looking for a quiet place to be productive. Working on the bed in the master bedroom was my go-to until the horrendous ergonomics of the situation taught me better. What got us through those first weeks was our even division of the burden.

As the months passed, we found a rhythm and as we move into our kids’ third year of covid-affected learning, I find myself focused more on the silver lining than the continued stress.  The main change I've noticed is that I have an overall enhanced experience of balance.  That may seem counter-intuitive, but it flows from the stolen moments with my family that come from working predominantly from home.

What symbolizes it for me is my ability to walk our daughter to school, which is down the block from our house.  She starts after 9 am and, before the pandemic, I would be into my second billable hour by then.  Now, I can get to my desk as early as ever (without the daily commute) and take a 12-minute morning break to walk our daughter to school.  Those few minutes are true quality time and but one of many examples of nurturing I've benefitted from during my new pandemic normal.

I derive a lot of meaning from my civil litigation practice.  I am blessed to work with the finest colleagues and to have complex files that keep my neurons firing in the most creative ways. 

While my work is rewarding on so many levels, I found myself, particularly before the pandemic, reflecting on how to be more nurturing. Of course, I get a good dose of it in helping my clients and working with my colleagues to ensure our firm is a model of excellence. But the amount of "me" that was left to share after meeting all my professional responsibilities  often felt inadequate to nurture my family.  Over the years, I have worked to achieve that balance but have noticed that with the pandemic came flexibility, which helped. 

The stresses and downsides of the pandemic remain very real.  But, these days I find myself appreciating the upsides from an otherwise very challenging stretch.