You’re working from home and looking after your three children. How are you coping?
It’s been a very real journey and it took a few days for us to find our rhythm. I knew teachers had a tough job already but my level of respect for them has increased a thousand-fold. We’re adapting. What I’ve realised more than ever is we have to be very forgiving to ourselves. Not every day will go according to plan and that’s totally ok. It’s been a marathon of being thrown resources from the school, other parents, friends and making sense of it all. We have a loose schedule that we follow and that really helps to keep our sense of flow. It’s been a lot of team work.
What does your average day look like?
We have the same routine as usual apart from leaving the house. It’s really helped us. Luckily my 7 year old helped me create their weekly schedule and they get a lot of time in the garden regardless of the weather. Our nanny’s role has been modified and now she is their virtual tutor via zoom. She logs in at 9am and supervises my son (7) and daughter (5) with their work. Sites like BBC bitesize and Prodigy maths have been great and Tech Will Save Us Future Inventors boxes have been brilliant for Science. While they’re at “home school” aka the dining table, I work in my room or in the kitchen. My husband and I take it in turns to entertain our 2 year old, depending on who has to take a call. The school day ends at 3 and they can play freely until 5 when screens are allowed. We have dinner at 6pm every day. We make more of a fuss around mealtimes now and treat it like a party. We have to be thankful for the little things. We also do fun things in between and document our day on Instagram. The kids love it.
How do you stay in the ‘work mindset?’
It can be hard to stay in the “work mindset” when you are quite honestly worried about finding a delivery slot for your food shopping and amidst all the uncertainty but what helps me the most is staying connected to the founders we are here to support. They need us now more than ever and it’s my duty to do what I can and most importantly not panic. I am really lucky that my work can be quite social and I love speaking to people and hearing what they are building so I find that has been great for me and keeps me wanting to learn more. I meditate, speak to other investors, friends and mentors and try to ensure I am looking after my mental well-being so that I can find the headspace to work effectively. It’s a muscle, and it will get easier over time. Most importantly, I try not to be too hard on myself. This is new territory for all of us.
Tips for anyone struggling to find their new ‘normal’?
Be kind to yourself and don’t compare. Do what’s right for your situation and it may look totally different to the next person. Find ways to make yourself happy. It could be as simple as having your morning tea or coffee by yourself, reading or listening to music and dancing.
What are you doing to ‘stay sane’?
Although I come across as an extrovert, I need a lot of alone time to reboot. I wake up a little earlier than the kids and have my tea staring into the garden. In the evenings, once the kids are in bed, I watch a bit of Netflix. Self-care is so important too and since we can’t get to salons, I give myself a manicure and pedicure and a face mask. I’ve also invested in aromatherapy oils as that always keeps me calm. Also my friends have been my rock. We spend a lot more time on whatsapp video than ever before to feel connected. These connections are more important than ever and we need each other to ‘stay sane’.
How do you keep your kids engaged in their schoolwork and connected?
My kids love colouring so I recently invested in a printer and we print out colouring pages for them. There are so many resources and we have found other parents are great with sharing ideas. KoruKids, Kidadl and Tech Will Save Us have brilliant resources on their websites.
We’ve learnt not to push too much when they resist school work. We ask them what they want to learn and that has helped massively. The school provided lots of worksheets so we mix that up with some gamified content on the computer. Some days are better than others but honestly if they learn one thing a day, I’m happy with that. The real win is seeing them all learn from each other, especially my youngest who has hugely benefited. There’s always a silver lining.
What do you wear when you’re ‘on duty’ working from home?
When I’m working from home I love to wear something bright if possible. If I’m being perfectly honest I tend to wear jeans or leggings and a nice jumper. I also love blazers so a t-shirt and blazer always makes me feel confident. It’s so true that what you wear affect how you feel.
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