By Sara Woolrich, JCM Operations Director
Sat in my big cosy chair by my record player and a big pile of books, this is my little corner of heaven in the chaos that is my house.
I can see the kitchen with the washing up that constantly needs doing, the stack of baking equipment that is being used more now than in the last 10 years put together! Craft projects at various stages of completion and many, many cardboard boxes that have been turned into Pirate Ships, Mini Zoo’s and even a lighthouse with working light (my proudest!)
That being said, this morning, the house is spotless and organised (in a way only an 9 year old could make it!) As my little boy is doing everything he can to get back in the good books and off his Playstation ban.
I’ve been struggling with the delicate balance of understanding that my 9 and 5 year old each have their own feelings about this situation and are struggling with it just like the rest of us, but also not allowing this to dictate their bad behaviour and attitude.
I’ve tried every version of this I can – keeping normal routine as if they were still in school and sticking to normal bedtime (I currently can’t remember a night when they were asleep before 10!) Then we tried structuring the day around 3 key educational activities and loading the rest with more fun stuff. This turned into bribing them with screen time to just get them to do one bloody sum!!
Alexa has become my teaching assistant and the enforcer of snack time and punishments – she is on track for Employee of the Month!
We are now on day 102 of our lockdown – Hubby and I are both working from home and trying to keep the kids as educated as we can.
But whilst Daddy is locked away in the home office 8 till 4, Mummy is walking around with headphones permanently attached to her, either on her phone or plugged into her laptop for ANOTHER video call until Hubby tags me out and then I spend the evening in the office keeping on top of the business.
It used to be novel for the kids to see us working and I don’t think I’ve done a call yet that one of the kids hasn’t popped up on, especially given I work with my Dad and my sister so they were excited to see them. It is actually my favourite part of working from home and has been a lovely way of building relationships with the clients.
But this novelty has definitely run its course and if I go anywhere near my laptop during the day, I get big complaints from the littlest one.
The clients and my team, of course (given half of them are family!), are really understanding and most of them in a similar situation but you certainly feel the pull of their requests and timelines.
Working in a Cloud based software company, this is a busy time for us! As the majority of people are now working from home and have time to develop their own businesses, we are very lucky to be able to support people with this.
So whilst my job still requires my full time attention, so do my children now and the heartstrings are definitely feeling the strain.
Social Media thrusting in your face all these wonderful people that have used this time to revamp their homes and learning new skills, turning themselves into super athletes and 5 star chefs! It is hard to remember that this isn’t real life, these are snapshots of an ideal moment in a hectic day.
But living with the overwhelming feeling of being constantly busy whilst simultaneously feeling like you’re not doing enough, it is draining.
Being a full time working Mum in the normal world is a lot to deal with, even with the incredible support I get from my family. The thing that keeps snapping me out of my spiraling is that everyone is in the same storm, different boats, but we are all just trying to navigate this the best we can.
Just when you think you have a handle on things – there is another announcement and a new set of rules to figure out and you feel like you are back at square one!
I need hugs, I need my hairdresser and I need the seaside. But I need my kids to feel safe and happy above anything else (no matter how bad my roots are!)
We will cautiously step out into the new world and embrace what it has to offer, but when the kids are both back in school full time and Hubby and I are back in our respective offices, I know I will miss this time.