Lots of you resonated with the lack of ‘me time’ in our last blog. In our final WFH blog we’re thinking about another time squeeze in our lives. Homework. How many of you have your mini me sat with you doing their school work while you take a conference call? For those with school age kids it’s certainly been a test of our skills to home-school about topics we haven’t done since we left school! (Big high five to all the teachers. Gosh, do we miss you). Why did we ever complain when we ‘just’ had homework to do with them? I’ll remind you why; because when you’ve worked a full day, contended with the busy commute home, fed the hangry kids and walked the dog – finding time to squeeze in homework, as important as you know it is, is a massive challenge! Perhaps being able to WFH in the future could help us manage this busy part of family life? After all, we are bringing up the doctors, police officers and leaders of the future. What a responsibility we have!
In our final WFH blog, our marketing manager Sarona shares what its being like home schooling her 5 year old while entertaining a 2 year old and working full time.
The set up
Working for a company that really supports flexible working for parents, I was already used to working from home which was a big plus. It meant I didn’t have to go through any painful processes to get set up and our team was already used to connecting remotely. We did have to get set up for having the kids at home though. A 5 year old and a 2 year old have limited patience for waiting for Mum to finish a work call and are drawn to a video call like a moth to a flame, they’ve developed excellent video bombing skills! So early mornings have been my friend. Working before the kids get up, I switch with my husband in the afternoon so that he can work.
Our 5 year old has no appetite for anything school related in the mornings so it falls to me to try and keep the learning going in the afternoons. I’ve let her take the lead, so she can choose maths or reading and then we try and figure out a game that involves either. Seeing how many snails we can count in the garden or how long the daisy chain would be if we added 4 more daisies, that kind of thing. Some online learning resources have been useful too and I feel so lucky that she’s in reception and therefore there’s very little structured learning that she needs to do. My friends with older kids are tearing their hair out.
Having lunch everyday with my family has been a real treat. Getting the girls involved with our Home With The Kiddies content was great, they loved feeling like they were helping with my work.
Constantly feeling guilty about not giving your kids your full attention – being present in the house but not fully present for them.
Most winging-it moment
Walking my eldest daughter through an online Maths Factor lesson, whist taking part in a critical team call, whilst cleaning up a spectacular potty training accident…all at once. This tested my multi-tasking skills to the max and made me fall even more in love with my wireless headphones.
What my friends are saying
Most of them are desperate for some help with the kids and have given up with any concept of home schooling in favour of a happier household. Many of them see this as a real turning point. They’re demonstrating that wfh can work in the most difficult of scenarios so are hopeful this could mean more opportunities to ditch the morning commute in the future and spend some more quality time with their family without compromising their work.
Biggest lesson learnt
Just outside the laundry cupboard has the best wi-fi signal! And I have more patience than I thought I did, even though it’s being massively tested right now.
What does lockdown mean for working mums?
If WFH and flexible working conditions become standard then this can only benefit working mums. Being able to ditch the guilt and better balance working life and parenthood could be a huge bonus to come out of a really terrible situation. We know that a happier mum means happier kids so there could be a real benefit to society if some of these working practices become widespread after lockdown.
Let us know below or on Instagram what you think about the topics discussed in our WFH (Winging it From Home) series.
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