BY ASHLEE (Guest Writer)
Last week, as a country all gathered round our TV’s to find out our fate for the next month and whilst a total lockdown was expected it was still something that sent a chill through my core…. the schools were shutting. I, like many other parents out there work full time, and I have been working from home since the beginning of the last lockdown in March. It was an adjustment to say the least, but luckily for me, whilst I continued to work my husband was placed on furlough which meant he could take over the non-enviable task of running Daddy’s Home School.
This time round, it is different. Both me and my husband are working full time and have our 7-year-old daughter completing her schooling from home. Now, I love my daughter very much but being sat in the same room as her for 13 hours a day is a little hard to take particularly when I have a job which requires me being able to focus just on what I’m doing, which can be difficult when I am listening to “Sir…. Sir….Sir” continually.
We have been lucky in a lot of respects that our 4-year-old can still go to the childminders and the 7-year-old has zoom lessons all day which should require little interaction from me, however it doesn’t go that way sometimes and I have been pulled away from work in order to help solve technical problems (thanks zoom) and to run through problems that she cant understand and her teacher is otherwise occupied.
I’ve always tried to be honest when talking about parenthood especially when it comes to things people are afraid to say for fear of being judged, so here we are a week in..
This is what I have learnt so far:
- I absolutely made the right choice in not becoming a teacher……I don’t have the patience for it, and I salute those of you who do!
- Self-care has NEVER been more important; I have to take time out more now because I am surrounded by work and the kids 24/7
- I miss being in the office…. it’s quiet, have tea on tap and I can snack all day with no judgement.
- I am incredibly thankful that my daughter enjoys learning and wants to participate in school. To those of you whose children don’t enjoy it I can’t even imagine how hard this is for you (P.S. its OK to sneak off for a cheeky gin in the cupboard….no judgement here)
- We are all winging it, no one has a definite plan that works for this situation and every single situation is different. Don’t worry if your kids are not doing much “learning” this is new for all of us.
- Take each day as it comes, I’m a planner and I’ve had to stop because no one knows just what will happen each day!
Being a working parent is very similar to being a juggler. You have several balls in the air at the same time making sure that nothing drops. Work, the kids, the house, finances, social life, partners, mental load, and ourselves.
In unprecedented times like this its OK to drop a few balls in order to keep your sanity. The house is a mess? So what? It’s not like anyone can come and see it? Your workplace needs to be accommodating to the situation. Hopefully your colleagues are understanding that you may disappear from time to time but it is unavoidable.
Be kind to yourself and remember that we’re all in this together! Have you been working from home?
YOU CAN FIND ASHLEE ON:
BLOG: STICK THE KETTLE ON