Three weeks ago, it all sounded like it might be quite fun, didn’t it?
Working from home on your laptop during the national lockdown. No stressful commute to work. And for those not required to pitch up for Skype meetings, the lure of lying around in your PJs all day. Bliss!
And just think how much you could get done in these few weeks away from the office! Finally, some quiet time to set goals and plan strategy for the rest of the year. Maybe brush up on skills with an online course or some serious reading. Or even turn those vague ideas in the back of your mind into an income generating side hustle.
Welcome to reality
Your kids are at home too. You love them, of course you do. But who can honestly say they enjoy being followed round all day, every day by a toddler whose favourite word is Why? Or having to learn how to be a teacher overnight, so you can home school the older kids?
And the house is a mess! BL (Before Lockdown), you may have been lucky enough to have someone else cleaning your home, washing the dishes and doing the ironing while you were at work. Now it’s all on you. Not even the option of popping into Steers or Macdonalds on the way home to pick up tonight’s supper. You have to cook. Every single night.
So how much time is left to actually work? After you’ve spent 30 minutes on Pinterest looking for ideas for kids’ activities, and set them up with crayons, paper, glue, scissors, you might be able to quickly check your emails before the kids start whining for snacks. Or sibling wars break out.
Now it’s time for your online meeting – but your toddler chooses this moment to sit at your feet screaming for attention. You get the dinner on and wash dishes whilst keenly aware that your child is on his or her fifth hour of screen time for the day.
And when finally everyone is fed, bathed and safely in bed, and all the mess tidied away, you find yourself back at the computer desperately trying to do your job. Because you’re lucky to even have a job.
The truth is that no one can do it all. That’s why on regular days, there were others handling their jobs whilst you stuck with yours.
Don’t beat yourself up
Don’t expect too much of yourself in these anxious and stressful weeks. Just do the best you can. It won’t be forever. And when it’s all over, we’ll appreciate our domestic workers, our nannies, teachers, partners, employers, and most especially our moms that much more!
Some wise words
We can all take something away from his lovely message from the Manager of a company in the US to his staff:
- You are not “working from home”. You are “at home, during a crisis, trying to work”.
- Your personal physical, mental and emotional health is extremely important right now. Take care of yourself.
- You should not try to compensate for lost productivity by working longer hours.
- Be kind to yourself and don’t judge how you are coping based on how you see others coping.
- Be kind to others and don’t judge them on how they are coping based on how you are coping.
- Success will not be measured the same way it was when things were normal.