What routine? This Michigan family is learning how to thrive amidst the chaos of workload schedules, appointments, and more. But they’re facing it all together.
ALLEN PARK, MI—Across the state, Michiganders young and old have been forced to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, creating new challenges for many people used to a certain routine, and the separation of work and home life.
Among them are Julian Bond, 37 of Allen Park. Bond, who currently works as a social media manager for NSF International, a global public health organization in Ann Arbor, has had to adjust on the fly and learn to focus amid distractions he never dealt with in the office.
Bond, who has twin boys, Drew and Jake, with his wife Beth, works full time for the company.
Both parents were sent home to work remotely at the same time their sons’ daycare was forced to shut its doors.
“I think this whole experience definitely redefined the words ‘work/life balance,’ as I had to adapt to being at home almost 24/7 the first few months like fellow working parents and trying to juggle everything,” Bond said.
“I remember literally chasing kids around while at the same time also remembering to attend a 10 a.m. Zoom work meeting.”
Working in the healthcare industry, Bond has seen the damage the virus is capable of doing first-hand, which led to some tense moments for the father of two and University of Michigan-Dearborn graduate.
“On top of work/life balance, the natural uncertainty was with discovering something new about the virus and just finding out ways to try to keep a normal routine, but also staying safe and straight up scared of everything out there for awhile there,” Bond said.
The chaotic nature of caring for two energetic young boys while simultaneously working two full-time jobs has been challenging, but the Bond family is learning to take it in stride while also enjoying the experience as much as possible.
“Elmo’s World is constantly playing in the background,” Bond said.
“With being at home, there’s sadly some many unintentional distractions and some days, I’d often feel like I wasn’t truly concentrating on giving my all with my job and straight up adjusting to ‘not seeing any human beings in real life’ while only seeing and hearing all of my co-workers via a small computer screen.”
Through it all, Bond has made up his mind to focus on the positives of the situation, and has been rewarded with more family time. He’s been given the chance to experience something most working parents never get the chance to: the day-to-day joy of watching his kids grow up.
“I seriously do appreciate all of the time that I have had with my family at home and seeing my little 4 year olds slowly grow up to be not so little anymore,” he said. “So I do truly appreciate this during this hectic time.”
After months of adjusting, the work-from-home kinks have been worked out, giving Julian and Beth the opportunity to stay productive and effective, both as employees and parents.
“Now after six months, me and my wife were able to get a daily new routine down pat, where we’re able to work, watch our kids, and making sure to give each other mental breaks throughout the day and week,” Bond said.
Julian and his son Jake.