By now, many parents are learning just how hard it is to work from home while the kids are in the house, but hey, at least we don’t have the pressure of running an entire country during a global health crisis, right?
Justin Trudeau and his family have been in self-isolation for a little over a week now, but according to an article from Politico, the Prime Minister of Canada has been working from home while taking care of his three kids—all by himself! What?!
That’s right, because his wife Sophie has tested positive for COVID-19, Trudeau has been managing the needs of an entire country AND his three kids while she is stuck quarantined in a separate part of their house.
Luckily for him, though, his kids Hadrien, Ella-Grace and Xavier aren’t too young (they’re six, 11 and 12, respectively), so he probably isn’t being called into the bathroom to wipe a bum in the middle of all his conference calls. But imagine what it must be like to make these huge government decisions while your kids run around the house screaming at each other in the other room? Is Sophie trying to referee inevitable sibling squabbles through a closed door? It’s quite the picture.
Most likely though, the kids are probably pretty good at keeping themselves occupied while their dad works. Apparently, they’ve been playing with Lego sets, which have been left at the door, along with food supplies, by staffers. (As all parents know, cooking three meals a day for your kids while working full-time is no small task.)
As for Sophie, we wouldn’t be surprised if she’s video-calling her kids from inside her room, which would be an easy way to read them bedtime stories or help with online homework, too.
Because Trudeau has been watching his kids on his own for the past week, it’s not surprising that he addressed Canadian kids directly in his speech on Sunday, thanking them for doing their best to adapt to this new way of life.
“And to all the kids out there, all of a sudden you’ve heard you can’t go on playdates or have sleepovers. Your playgrounds and schools have closed, and your March Break was certainly different than what you’d hoped for,” he said. “I get it from my kids as well, they’re watching a whole lot more movies, but they miss their friends, and at the same time they’re worried about what’s going on out there in the world and what their future may hold.”
“I know this is a big change,” he continued. “But we have to do this not just for ourselves, but for our grandparents, our nurses, our doctors and everyone working at our hospitals. And you kids are helping a lot. The doctors and scientists have been clear that social distancing—which means staying at least two metres apart, and staying home as much as possible—is the best way to help each other. And you’re having to wash your hands a lot. So a special thanks to all you kids. Thank you for helping your parents work from home. For sacrificing your usual day, for doing math class around the kitchen table, and for trusting in science.”
He closed out his statement telling kids that the federal government is “going to have more to say to [kids] soon, so stay tuned.”
We wonder if he’s hinting that more information about the rest of the academic year—and how parents are expected to manage prolonged school closures in each province—will be released soon. Guess we’ll just have to sit tight for now.