I have spent the past week and half on annual leave (that’s correct – I have wasted seven days of my leave in a lockdown). Today was my first day back in the “real” world – in the world where we have to work from home while taking care of our children at the same time. I mean like “what???”
I am a single parent of an almost-2-yr-old darling (read “little sh!t”) whom I love with my whole heart and more. I normally struggle coping with him at weekends because he needs entertainment every waking minute and can sit still for about 45 seconds at a time. So when I was told I would work from home while taking care of my son, I nodded the same way I would nod if someone told me they had been abducted by aliens.
This morning I woke up all charged up and determined to do it. By 9:30 am during a video meeting my child was quite literally climbing onto me using my hair to pull himself up. At 9:45 he became very quiet and finally entertained himself. I suspected he might be in the bathroom drinking toilet bleach. When the meeting was over a few minutes later, the bleach was untouched but I found black permanent marker drawings on the furniture. They will go well with the chocolate hand prints on the walls and miniature tyre marks on the doors.
Finally, we got to nap time which meant I can get some work done. It took me 45 mins to send him to sleep, but it was totally worth it as he slept for whole 16 minutes. Out of my work day he spent about 30% time squeaking, howling and throwing himself onto the floor.
Going mad towards the end of the day, I donned a blonde curly wig for the wide team meeting. Losing my fear of embarrassing myself, I have won some sort of “best coffee mug” competition, only thank to my wig, having no coffee mug handy.
Now here I am at the end of the day, only just starting to actually work, thinking “How will I keep this up for another two or more months?”
I haven’t got a clue.
Even my own mother who has got a PhD in pedagogy wanted my advice on this because apparently she gets asked that question all the time.
My advice to her was:
You know when Jesus was on the cross and he got offered wine but refused? Well, parents homeschooling their little ones while trying to work from home are essentially hanging on their own crosses. The wine offered to Jesus was intended as a type of painkiller. You are in pain. My advice is: take the wine! You need to take the edge off the pain, so please do whatever it takes – exercise, wine, chocolate, kicking the wall… whatever it takes. Because you need to stay sane – because you don’t want to snap and scream at your children – because you don’t want to be unkind – because you cannot lose your sense of humour. So do whatever works for you, no matter what it is, because all is fair in love and war 😉