Thursday, 23 July 2020

Quarantine Diaries: Working from Home Headaches

We are now coming to four months on from the start of lockdown, and although restrictions have eased, I am still working from home with no likelihood of returning to the office until at least September.


This means I have productive days, unproductive days, frustrating days

I like that I can exercise in the morning instead of my commute time.

I like that I can greet the kids with love as each one wakes up.

I like that I can watch the kids and see what they are doing, eating, watching.

I love that I can pray on time and with ease as it’s easier to make ablution at home than the office.


But there are days when it is an uphill struggle. Today was one of them:

Back to back meetings

E-mails piling up

Work and tasks growing in the background         

But all of that is part of the job and all you can do is take one thing at a time, focus and do your best.

At least in a vaguely sensible, civilised world that’s all you can do.


Sensible and civilised are limited commodities in my house, especially when the youngest two are on the loose.

Today was the day for them not to play up, especially as I was meeting the Chief Exec, Directors and my manager. So of course everyone did.

The girls got into a fight upstairs and I could hear them screaming upstairs, hubby was making phone calls in the hallways just outside at the top of his lungs and the boys were asking me what was for lunch. Thank God for the mute button and the blurry background effect on MS Teams (where we host our online meetings), I don’t think my offices management team needed to see my husband roaming around in his vest first thing in the morning 😊

If my youngest gets even an inkling that the video is on in a meeting, she will drape herself over me and wait for someone to say how cute she is, so I have to lie and tell her the camera is off before I chase her off.

If Darling gets upset, she sobs loudly (usually with my oldest daughter yelling at her to shut up and let her sleep) until I stop everything and placate her.

And if Gorgeous happens to come out of the little man-cave he has turned our front room into, he’ll start dancing or clowning behind me while I’m in a meeting.


Thankfully my oldest two are sensible and will try to discourage the others from disturbing me and will leave me to work apart from the occasional sidling up and asking for money or trying to show me something on their phones.


Part of me wants to set boundaries and tell them to leave me alone, let me work, or at least not make strange noises or cry loudly when I am speaking to people. A bigger part prioritises the needs of the children and wants to make it clear that the children come first and work later.


Today after solid meetings from 9am to 2pm, I stopped work and just cooked. It gave me a break from working, if not a chance to rest, and it made me feel good to cook something that everyone would enjoy and eat their fill of (rice and chicken).


Then I decided to change the scene, so after prayers, I headed over to my mum with the youngest two and my laptop and logged on again to work for a few more hours.  She kept me company, fed me snacks and my sister kept the girls occupied.



It was the breather and change of scene that I needed. I still came home to a stack of dishes, getting the kids dinner and trying to chase Gorgeous out of his bat cave, but I didn’t feel so harassed and exhausted as I do some days by 5pm.


Tomorrow is another day to navigate and another chance at getting the balance right insh’Allah.


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