#EmiTogether: What YouTube exec. Erin Schaefer does to stay grounded with her husband, family and friends

This week we have Erin Schaefer, a long-time Google and YouTube executive, who has led global teams in Partnerships, Trust & Safety, Support Operations, Go-to-Market Strategy and Sales. Erin lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Neil, and raising Kyle (8) and Lily (5). As an executive, super mom/wife and a great friend, Erin is always a source of inspiration to us – thanks for the interview, Erin!

In light of what’s going on with COVID-19, WFH, and Social Distancing, what are some new routines or rituals that you’ve introduced as a couple or as a family?

We are doing a family bike / scoot / walk / run around our neighborhood every afternoon. Before COVID-19, afternoons and weekends were booked full of sports, music, dance, birthday parties, etc and we rarely took the time to explore our neighborhood. We are all LOVING exploring new streets, finding new flowers and birds, and getting more capable on two wheels. We’ve already agreed that we will keep this ritual going even after the shelter in place / remain at home order lifts.

What are you doing intentionally for you and your partner to stay sane during this challenging period?

For my partner, Neil, I’m checking in…a lot! Many times a day, I ask him simply: how are you doing? Need anything? It’s a small thing but it helps ensure we stay on the same page and that he knows I care about him. For me – an extrovert – I’m making sure to stay connected with my friends via messaging and video calls. I’m also giving myself permission to take a bath, read a magazine, or play mindless spelling games (WordScapes!) online.

Can you inspire us with something positive that came out of this situation?

Our five year-old daughter told us: “I know Coronavirus is really hard and really bad, but at least we are getting to spend more time together. And the people in my family are my very favorite people.” Indeed!

With all children at home and both parents working, how do you divide up child-care and home duties? How do you balance work?

We’ve been trying to split the days so one person works in the morning and one in the afternoon. However, a simple split like that is often not possible, of course. So we also put critical meetings – when we really need the other parent to cover – on each other’s calendars.  And if all else fails…Frozen 2 or a few minutes of Roblox!

What are 3 things you want your children to say about the relationship you have with your partner?

Mom and Dad love each other. They are kind to each other (and to us). Mom and Dad share the work – they both have jobs and they both help at home.