It’s funny to think that only a couple of weeks ago, life was progressing as normal. There were rumblings in the media about coronavirus, but I think the majority of us were not taking it that seriously. Suddenly, during the third week of March, things got a lot more serious and my boss asked us all to start working from home indefinitely.
Firstly, I am so grateful to be able to work from home. Last year, I would have been considered a keyworker and expected to work everyday, putting my family at risk. My heart goes out to each and everyone of you who is in this position at the moment, because it must be terrifying. Thankfully, my job can be done remotely, so for the last two weeks I’ve been working from home, with the last week working from home with the children here. It’s not easy, but we’ve managed.
Again, I am very lucky that my husband is here at home with is, as I doubt I would get anything done if he wasn’t. Even so, working from home with children in the house is tough – there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. Both my husband and I are working at home (although, I’m doing longer hours) and we have a three year old and a fifteen month old to look after too.
So what does my day look like, working from home with two kids whilst self isolating/in quarantine? Obviously every day is different, but on the whole, this is what our quarantine day looks like. Can you relate?
5.30 – Get woken up by Dexter asking to watch Paw Patrol on our TV which we let him do just to get five more minutes sleep – but before we can, the baby starts crying.
6.00 – I’m downstairs making toast and coffee for everyone which we then enjoy in bed snuggled up as a family of four.
6.30 – Get dressed, get the boys dressed and head downstairs to play a little. Once they’re set up with Lego/playdoh/colouring/train tracks, I put a load of washing on, tidy the kitchen, hoover the lounge and make a list of jobs I would like us both to work through during the day like hanging washing out, tidying small areas, or completing errands.
8.00 – Neil comes downstairs too, so I finish getting ready, make a coffee and get in front of the computer ready for a video call at 8.30am.
8.30 – The work day officially begins, although I’ve usually begun working before this. We have a video call for us all to catch up on what work we have. Dexter normally likes to burst in during this to let me know he’s having an allergic reaction to something, he’s hungry or he’s bored.
9.00 – The baby gets put down for his nap. I’m usually still on video call at this point and his cries tear me up. I would normally go in and out until he settles, but I can’t.
9.30 – Neil has his daily video call now, so I come downstairs to watch Dexter (and some days Felix if he’s not ready to nap yet) for fifteen minutes while he does that.
9.45 – Back to work. I start working through my tasks, but am interrupted at least once an hour. I usually work solidly until 2pm as that’s when we would usually have lunch in the office.
12.00 – The baby wakes up and Neil makes their lunch. They usually have wraps, salad, crisps, cheese, fruit and yoghurt.
2.00 – I come down to have my lunch. Felix is ready for his next nap and Dexter is glued to his tablet. Neil is working from his tablet and the lounge is a total mess.
2.30 – It’s time to get back to work, but Neil needs some peace and quiet to do work so I won’t be returning to my desk until 3ish. I take the boys into the garden and do work from my phone, luckily a lot of the social media side of things can be done from my phone.
3.00 – Back to work, I’ve got about four hours of work left to do, but only two and a half hours thanks to constant interruptions and losing half an hour earlier. I try to stay calm and not start rushing things, but as more work starts piling up, I start to feel panicked.
5.00 – It’s the official end of the work day, but I still have some tasks to complete. Neil is itching to have his time to respond to emails, create lessons and get his work done, so I go down to start the boys’ tea.
6.00 – The boys are full and we sit in the lounge and play. Some days we pop out for a quick walk, but mostly I am too tired.
6.30 – It’s Felix’s bedtime which doesn’t take long. I now have half an hour to play with Dexter, but usually he’s so knackered, he just wants to watch YouTube.
7.00 – It’s Dexter’s bedtime, two books, one glass of water, lots of cuddles and kisses and a big chat. He falls asleep immediately. I can now finish off my tasks for the day that I didn’t manage to get done.
8.30 – Neil’s nearly finished his work, so I start making our tea. I’m doing really quick meals like pad Thai, rice dishes using microwavable rice pouches and pasta meals.
9.00 – Time to settle down and watch TV. We’ve started watching Poldark on Netflix as we seem to have watched everything else!
10.00 – Poldark finishes and Neil puts on Family Guy. I fall asleep almost immediately, ready for my wake up call at 5am tomorrow.
So, that’s what our days look like. Some days I feel like we are really nailing it and other days it feels so hard and stressful. I have had to stop myself from feeling guilty over the amount of TV and tablet time and the fact that if I don’t get the boys dressed in the morning, that they’ll stay in their pyjamas all day. On the whole, we are just surviving. Doing what we need to do to pay the bills, look after our health and survive.
What does your working from home quarantine routine look like? Please tell me I am not the only one feeling like a failure!