That tempting coffee challenge
Those gorgeous dress-up posts
That try a new hobby drive
Those Netflix marathons
That energetic, upbeat feeling
Those read, relax, and rejuvenate slogans
If you’re not able to relate to one or any of these, you’re not alone.
If you’re a parent, working from home, trying to manage your time between work, homeschooling, household chores and keeping your child away from the screen, I hear you. I hear you saying – am I the only one who is not able to be productive?
Am I the only one who is not able to manage it all?
Like you, even I have read those how-to-be-productive-while-wfh posts, registered for multiple webinars and have prepared long to-do lists.
But let me be very honest, I haven’t attended even a single webinar till now, I haven’t counted the pending items on my to-do list but I won’t be surprised if it has reached a count of million, and those productivity tips from hundreds of experts look like written in interstellar language meant for aliens from another planet.
No, you’re not the only one who is flustered, tired and not able to understand those I-am-making-the-most-of-this-lockdown-phase posts that social media is flooded with.
My average day these days goes in replying to emails from the kitchen countertop, troubleshooting the zoom calls of my son’s virtual classes in between my own calls, reading and doodling with my son in between chopping the veggies, recoding videos of his home-tasks while working on my own presentations and plans.
In between, I chant NO-MORE-SCREEN approximately 100 times per hour to him.
Yes, I know the internet is filled with virtual resources and hundreds of activities are available for free now, I also understand that schools are setting up virtual learning systems and that there are awesome content creators trying to produce engaging resources for kids, even I have been doing my tiny bit to have some fun creative time with my son and little readers of my other blog.
But, despite all these resources, no one can take away the toll and pressure of working along with parenting locked up inside the house 24*7.
My son, for his age, is actually quite cooperative but I don’t think he or any child of his age could ever be prepared for a social distancing and secluded life like this. He keeps on listening to our conversations of one of the painful personal crisis that I am going through right now and the world crisis in general. His head is full of anxiety and worry. To add to that, we had moved to a new country recently and he could hardly make new friends here before this lockdown started. My partner who has taken up a new job has his own work pressures to deal with.
Amidst dealing with my own issues, managing an anxious child, being an understanding wife and a dedicated professional, at times, I feel I am losing it all. I crave for 15 mins of peaceful time and there are days that I don’t get even that.
There are days when I feel very happy about the time that I am getting to spend with my junior and there are days when I am at my wits end wondering when will the school reopen? There are days when I am optimistic and energetic and there are days when I feel exhausted like a parachutist about to jump.
This phase is tough for all, perhaps tougher for many in ways more than I can ever imagine. I think the only thing we can do right now is to accept that – it’s okay to be not okay. It’s okay to be anxious, tired, scared and it’s okay to be not so productive.
Let’s hope the world heals faster and this too shall pass.
The only two things that have worked for me so far in keeping my sanity in check to some extent are:
- I have started to wake up earlier. I am in general, an early riser but now I have added an hour extra to my morning routine and I try to do things that require focus and concentration when others are asleep.
- I have reduced my expectations from myself. I can’t have it all at the same time and I try to remind myself often that it’s ok to be not at your best every day.
How are you all coping up? Any practical, implementable tips from working parents on balancing work and home at this time? Would love to hear from you and will only hear if you’re a parent too 🙂