Working In Lockdown
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Although there are many businesses that have had to come to a halt due to Covid-19, for some industries it’s possible to keep working more or less as usual. I am used to working from home and can regularly be found writing on the sofa, however even I must admit it took a few weeks to get into the swing of all this lockdown malarkey.
When her school shut 10 weeks ago, Jessica (my step-daughter) spent the first two weeks with us and every other week since. Initially, I went in to full on “Mary Poppins-mode” and barely worked in the traditional sense at all. Entertaining an 8 year old is a full-time job and if I wasn't being a teacher, I was going from one activity to another or attempting to keep the house clean and tidy, which, as you can imagine, became rather stressful. Thankfully Jessica is well behaved (most of the time) and it has been so wonderful to have her home with us. She has truly become my shadow and I can't go and brush my teeth without having her follow me or ask where I am going.I’m not sure who is going to struggle the most when she has to return to school, me or her. We have baked bread and cakes together, done a long list of arts and crafts, had picnics, trips to the park, learnt TikTok dances, photographed a Lego wedding, made dens and so much more. It has been so amazing but it doesn't pay the bills.
Lockdown has in many ways been a blessing, but as the weeks have flown by I knew I needed to find a better balance to get more work done before my to -do list got too long. I think I have just about cracked it now but it hasn't been easy and I want to let everyone who is feeling the same way know, you are not alone.
When I have spoken with clients recently, it seems many of you are facing the same difficulties. There will be a balance that is right for you and your own family, you just have to play around until you find what works. It's important to remember that each man, woman and child in the world is going through their own complicated journey right now and that includes you so don’t be too hard on yourself if not everything on your list gets done today.
When Jessica is home, I try to stick to a routine as much as I can, partly because I need it just as much as she does. We still do lots of fun activities but in recent weeks, I have tried to sandwich more free play time in and enforce a strict 7pm bedtime which is now pretty successful. Luckily, she has an amazing imagination so playing schools or pretending her Barbies are going for sleepovers is entertaining for quite some time.
We turn the tv off and have the radio on instead and it’s actually so lovely listening to her play and sing whilst I work or potter around the house. She is in her own little world of innocence and I think it's been great for her to have this time to just be a child.
In some ways, it has been hard to try to explain that Daddy and “Smethy” (their nickname for me) can't always play but we both agree it is also important that we teach her a strong work ethic. She may think some days are a little boring compared to others but also knows that the snack cupboard doesn't refill itself and Lego doesn't just appear by magic. If you are trying to juggle running a business from home whilst keeping your children entertained, you have my greatest respect. It is not easy, but I promise it will all be worth it in the end.
Bethany Here are some of the lockdown activities we have enjoyed