I’ve spent much of the last 10 weeks feeling guilty.
No, not guilty because I’ve been roaming around without a mask or crowding public beaches. I’m still locked down. I have asthma thanks to a hospitalization from pneumonia a few years ago. I’m well aware that lung-related illnesses that don’t kill you also don’t make you stronger: My three-year battle to get my asthma diagnosed and treated isn’t something I’d wish on anyone. Nor was the pneumonia. And pneumonia-like symptoms are considered a “mild” case of COVID-19.
I’m certainly not feeling mom guilt. Holy smokes. I’m doing more for my kids than I ever have before. And I’m indulging them much more than I have before. I let them have more screen time—I bought them a Nintendo just before lockdown, something I told them weeks before would never happen. When they throw a fit, I am more likely to drop whatever I am doing and hold them than put them in time out. There is one new-normal rule in our house, one thing that is absolutely not allowed: The words “no fair.” No one in this house has a right to say those words compared to what is playing out around us in the wider world.
No, my guilt is a form of professional survivor’s guilt: Guilt that my business is healthy and growing right now while so many others are suffering. Chairman Mom is a digital-first community for working women, in particular working mothers. While others scramble to build digital communities and cobble together ways they can “solve” the biggest problems arising from this crisis, we were already working on them for three years.
And still, there are ways in which our business had to change immediately—and maybe permanently. Even a business that seems designed for a time like this had to recognize that nothing was designed for times like these.
In the immediate aftermath of the Shelter in Place order, it was all about finding the Band-Aid. But now it’s dawning on all of us that there’s no going back to “normal.” So what now?
Today’s new questions on Chairman Mom:
- Does anyone think work productivity will decrease when they go back to work in-person?
- How do I help my kids suddenly develop good email habits?