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Juggling Work and Family at Home During the Pandemic

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Kate Crocco with daughters Charlotte (Charlie) and Annabelle.
Photo by Sweet Alice Photography

Kate Crocco, LCSW, knows what it’s like to juggle work and family. She is a licensed psychotherapist and a confidence and mindset coach who works one-on-one with aspiring and established bosses to help them maximize their full potential.

She’s also mom to an 18-month-old and a 3-year-old. And she and her husband, Andrew Crocco, are co-owners of The Beacon Daily restaurant in Beacon. How does she do it? The coaching business is online, she sees psychotherapy patients in virtual sessions, and she has part-time childcare. Plus, she’s somewhat of a superwoman.

In February, Hudson Valley interviewed Crocco about her new book Thinking Like a Boss; we checked in again to see how things were going with her clients during the first full week of the coronavirus restrictions and mandates.

What are you hearing from your coaching business clients regarding COVID-19?

Many of my clients own brick-and-mortar businesses. As soon as we started receiving news that non-essential businesses must close down, I knew the panic would begin.

So I invited all of my coaching clients onto a group video call to process their feelings of fear, panic, overwhelm, scarcity, paralysis — as you can imagine, the list goes on…By the end of the call, they were no longer holding their breath, but ready to dig into creating solutions to better serve their clients and customers during this time, and keep their businesses thriving. 

What tips do you have for working moms of small businesses during this time?

Set the bar low. I learned this lesson big-time three years ago after having my first child. I thought I would be able to work just as hard as I did before kiddos; and honestly, it was unrealistic. I am grateful for that experience because it taught me to cut out all non-essential tasks within my business. What are those needle-movers in your business? Most essential is staying top of mind and of service to your customers.

What are some things you do to make your day easier at home?

I’ve been running a full-time business for several years now, with about 10-20 hours a week of childcare. If you can wake up before everyone else and get a few hours of work in, you will have much more patience throughout the day with your family. Give yourself something to look forward to in order to get up early. I set my coffee up the night before and trust me, I’m excited to grab that 5 a.m. cup because I know I will have some quiet time before everyone else is up.

I spend my first 10 minutes reading a devotional or affirmations. Then I dive into work. My oldest wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and I sit her in front of the TV until the youngest wakes up around 7:30. We have breakfast around 8 a.m. This gives me almost three hours of work before the day even begins. I know that none of this is ideal, so remind yourself that this is only for a season —  it won’t be forever.

Do you think the way we are working during the pandemic will prompt a permanent change in workplaces?

Yes! I think companies are going to be shocked how productive employees can be while working from the comfort of their home. First, for many, travel time is alleviated. People can take this time to exercise or get their full eight hours of sleep for once.

I think this will especially have a big impact on mothers. Many women don’t return back to work after having kids because of these very reasons — the high costs of daycare, inflexible work hours, etc. If employers can be more flexible…we will begin to see more women enter back into the workforce. This is why there has been a huge surge in women starting businesses over the last several years, flexibility.

To learn more about Kate Crocco, go to www.katecrocco.com.

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