Until now, I kept my mouth shut because I didn't have the time or energy to be judged and chastised, but when a co-worker announced on a work conference call that she'd done the same thing I'd done, I let out a sigh of relief. Maybe I wasn't the worst mom after all.

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This whole pandemic has been awful on so many fronts. And yet, it's been wonderful at the same time. Families are spending more time together, life has slowed down enough that we've all had the opportunity to really stop and think about the things that are important to us and what we've missed, and what we will make time to do when this is all over.

And then there are the meetings. All the meetings, all the time. Meetings in the morning, meetings in the afternoons, meetings in the evening. There's been so much talk about how working from home during the pandemic has caused a lot of people to burn out but I think it's not so much the working from home business, as it is the whole constant meetings business.

I know people who are burned out from burning the candle at both ends and dealing with meetings that seem to last ages, repeat themselves, and cover things that could simply be sent in an email that could be read at a later time like when we're cooking dinner or laying in bed before sleep. You know, times when we're not trying to get other high-priority, must be completed immediately work done.

And the video conference side of it all! Can we talk about that for a second? All of the video meetings means that I've got to keep things tidy, keep my child off the screen, and keep him quiet, too because a child's face popping into the screen or the sound of a child loudly playing or crying in the background is only cute for so long and now that we're a year into this, it isn't cute at all.

So what did my co-worker say she had to do? She admitted that she'd bribed her kids saying something along the lines of, "girls if you let mommy get through this meeting without being loud, coming into the room, or destroying the house, I'll give you a piece of candy and some tablet time."

Here comes my confession. I too have had to resort to this sort of bribery with my son and I have and continue to feel so much guilt about it. My house is his house too and he deserves to be a kid, but what is a parent supposed to do when bowing out of a meeting isn't an option and an interrupting child raises eyebrows?

You can tell me the truth, I promise I won't judge you if you don't judge me. Has there been a time or two (or dozen) during this pandemic that you've had to bribe your child (ren) just to get through a work video meeting? Will you be as happy as I will when we don't have to endure them anymore?

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