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On air and at home: How NBCU moms are juggling work, family while covering coronavirus

The concept of “work/life balance” has taken on a new meaning during the coronavirus pandemic. With many offices, schools and other spaces closed, parents (and particularly women) around the world are working while caring for family members at the very same time.

Know Your Value recently spoke to several on-air moms at NBC News and MSNBC to find out how they’re handling the “new normal,” as well as their top tips and greatest challenges.

Sheinelle Jones, “3rd Hour of TODAY” co-host

How she’s managing overall: Jones recently went on medical leave for vocal cord surgery, so she had already been “completely consumed” with the school lives of 10-year-old Kayin and 7-year-old twins Clara and Uche. She’s currently managing work from their three virtual classrooms, and it’s been challenging to come up with ways to keep the children connected to their friends. When Jones starts work again next week, that will add a significant layer to the daily tasks.

“I told them that when Mommy is going live, they’ll have to read quietly or do something that doesn’t require my immediate attention,” she told Know Your Value. “The silver lining to all of this, is that I’m getting a closer look at where my kids are academically. While it is stressful juggling it all at once, I’m thankful for this time I have with them, because I’m not usually home in the mornings.”

Her biggest challenge: “My biggest challenge is trying not to feel overwhelmed by it all. It sometimes feels like I bounce between cooking and teaching, while also silently worrying about how long we’ll have to stay quarantined. From worries about this virus, to mental health, to squeezed finances, it’s a lot to carry emotionally for so many families.”

Her best tip: “Try to find examples of grace. For me, it’s being able to spend time with my family, and occasionally closing the door to a room — alone — just to get a break! Thinking about others and reaching out to friends and family also helps. My faith in God brings me the most peace.”