A day in my life currently starts with a daily 8.45am call and then for the rest of the day I am back to back, jumping between WebEx, Teams and Zoom every day with very little time between meetings until around 6.30pm. My husband, who also works full time, makes all our meals and pretty much singlehandedly keeps the house in check. So, he’s not happy either. I’m unavailable for everyone in my household. Including the dog.
Every week since lockdown I think I’ll do better. I’ll take a day off and that will make it better. Help my 10-year-old with her schoolwork. But she prevaricates and I lose patience and quite frankly it is easier to work.
The 4-year-old suffers the most. She’s pretty much been left to her own devices. When I try to spend time and teach her anything, she refuses. Her development seems to have gone backwards. But really, she’s lonely and sad and seeking attention.
I haven’t really ever struggled with mum guilt. I’ve got a brilliant nanny who has filled in for me and we all seemed content with my presence in the evenings and weekends. Now we’re locked down I can’t do that. And I must admit I don’t like what I’m left with. It’s too confronting and uncomfortable.
So, this week with my new realisation of myself I’m trying a new tact.
I’m taking two hours off a day to spend with the kids. I won’t lie. It is hard. My stomach has a pit in it during the two hours as I avoid picking up my phone or laptop. But I do feel like a better mum.
So, whilst I’ve hated working from home, it’s been the catalyst to face the most destructive part of me; it is also requiring a huge behaviour change.
Lockdown might just have done me and my family a favour, no matter how hard I’ve found it.