Day 1 Home-working and home-educating 23 March 2020
“I’ve got this all figured out”, I thought. “This will be a piece of cake. I am only part-time, and I am lucky to have my husband (a musician) around every day to help…”
First up I Skyped my line manager about temporarily changing my hours to start earlier and have a nice lunch break with my family.
Then I lay in bed catching up on emails and drinking coffee, until realised that was causing discomfort in my lower back. Eventually I had a quick shower then changed into clean daytime pyjamas.
I came downstairs to find both my girls attempting their online homework, but both were struggling and frustrated, not least because the servers used for the work their schools had set did not have sufficient capacity for this sudden increase in demand.
I tried to crack on with some work in Excel, but my work all seemed so pointless and futile, as I’m not a “key worker” and not saving anybody’s lives. I suspect shelf-stackers were getting more job satisfaction than me at that point.
I soon had to stop to cuddle and soothe a sobbing Jess (8), who was feeling unexpectedly sad she wasn’t at school in a proper maths lesson with her friends. I gave some paints to Jess and suggested she paint an extreme weather conditions picture (one of the suggestions in the grid for this week’s topic), thinking I will worry about the mess later.
Then I had to send a tearful and feverish Izzy (11) back to bed, crossing my fingers she had not picked up the dreaded virus at school the previous week, but trying not to think about it.
While I was upstairs tucking Izzy in, I was distracted by the pile of clean laundry to put away. Then I took a break to assemble a chicken curry in the slow cooker (which the kids would later dismiss as “minging” and refuse to eat).
Calmly (honestly) I asked my husband Si to get off his lazy behind and risk taking Jess to Specsavers, as she had inconveniently broken her new glasses.
Enjoyed the peace and quiet, and was able to concentrate better on my Excel spreadsheet work until Jess and Si returned, glasses fixed (probably dripping with lethal viruses, but of course neither remembered to wash their hands).
After work I ate a very late lunch, a fried egg bagel which Si eventually cooked after my series of not very subtle hints (so much for that idyllic family lunch I had envisaged), then started to rant at him for not doing enough to help around the house.
That’s when my low simmer finally reached boiling point. I quickly changed into my running gear and stormed out, for fear of properly losing my temper and having a monumental meltdown. To be honest, I think Si’s life would have been in more danger from me than from Covid-19 if the government had ever prevented running as my daily exercise. He is apparently clinically vulnerable, due to type 1 diabetes, but he’s as strong as an ox… and equally useful around the house.
I really enjoyed my solo countryside run, reflecting on how privileged I am to have my health and to live near such lovely scenery, but that feeling of contentment did not last long. My anxiously whirring mind gradually convinced me that some minor breathing issues were down to the dreaded virus and that I would pass it to my family and endanger their lives (hello, remember hay fever is still a thing!).
I eventually returned from my run, far calmer, hugged Si and thanked him for emptying the bins and cooking that egg bagel. I checked on my girls, who were both feeling much better. I love my family really. Nobody’s perfect.
Work done: A few email exchanges and one MI report.
School work done: One extreme weather picture, reflecting my mood.
I hope you’re all inspired 😎