CEMO — Chief Executive Mom Officer

Two different sides of the same story…

6 am. The alarm clock rings.

Fantastic. Another day when 24 hours will not be enough… Thanks, dear COVID-19. Thanks for Working From Home- No, I must concentrate.

Deep breathing. “I’m a worthy CEO. I’m a worthy CEO.” Ouch! I just stepped on my toddler’s legos. Again. All week, I’ve been trying to find the time for the lego castle he wants us to build together. And I’ve been failing for seven days straight. I’m the worst mother in the world.

Once again- I must concentrate. Let’s make a mental list of what I have to do; coffee, emails, fruit salad for my boy, online meetings- and in between offer help with this paper monster the kindergarten teacher asked for. Buttoned-down shirt combined with purple pyjamas. If only my employees could see me… No, I am a worthy CEO. Oh, my little one has woken up! There we go again with that new singing thing… My manager is calling. My laptop beeps: “meeting with a client in 5 minutes”. Deep. Breaths.

Did you know that…

1 in 4 women are considering stepping back from their careers because of COVID-19 (COVID-19 pandemic affected working mothers?| World Economic Forum (weforum. org)). Or that more than 4 in 10 working mothers say that they’ve reduced their working hours to care for a child (Nice, But What Moms Really Need This Mother’s Day Are Better Work-Life Policies ( Is it to wonder?

From another point of view…

8 am?

It’s a new daaaayyy! Hurrah, another day of school from home, where I get to be with my pajamas and my lego toys. Today I will build a super huge castle for my mom because she works all the time in that mooz thing. No, in the Zoom thing. Yes, there.

Anyway, she gets so tired but I love her and I am so happy that we spend all day together now with this CODIV thing. Today, Mrs. Amelia will teach us how to make paper monsters from the computer. I can’t wait! I miss my friends so much but it’s okay… I can sing a song every time I want to feel them close. That’s what Mrs. Amelia said. So I do sing all the songs we learned at school- louder and louder, so my friends can hear me- wherever they are.

Let’s be realistic.

When you’re a parent, working from home is a real challenge. Not to break it to you, but the “Perfect” CEMO simply does not exist. But you definitely can become your best version of a CEMO. Burnout, anxiety, stress, and exhaustion, during and due to the COVID-19 pandemic affect more female working parents than males (in the Workplace |McKinsey). At the same time, the pandemic influences children’s psychology as well. Relevant research collected data from 114 caregivers from 31 countries, reporting child anxiety symptoms, including focus reduction, sleeping difficulties, and appetite changes (https://doi. org/10.1007/s44202–021–00002–6).

In times when everyone focuses on the lost hard skills training due to COVID-19, let us open the dialogue about soft skills. How can our children process and cope with the challenges of this unpredicted and difficult time- or any similar times that may come in the future?

Emotional Intelligence. Adaptability. Flexibility. Time management.

It takes all of that, and more. It takes soft skills.

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