How She Does It

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Working From Home and Home Educating During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Whilst everyone attempts to adjust to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, parents worldwide find their children’s schools closed try to find the best way to juggle both working and continuing to educate their children.

Teaching children is full-time job, that is now expected to be undertaken by parents, who are also trying to work. Whilst this task is almost impossible, I really wanted to hear how other women are trying their best to do this, and so I asked some women I know how its going…

Content Creator

Lucy Nicholls

At home with her son & daughter, Arthur aged 4 and Lola aged 10

What my day looks like: We have a loose routine that we kind of fell into, which kicks off with Joe Wicks, PE Classes. Me and the children do his workout at 9am every morning and have done since the beginning of school closures, I find that this really gets us set up and started for the day! 

We then eat some breakfast and get showered and ready for the day! 
Lola starts her school work at her desk in her room, I shoot a bit of content while Arthur plays and then I make us all lunch and we all sit and eat together. 

After lunch I work with Arthur’s on his school work for a couple of hours until Lola is finished her work for the day.
I then tidy up and sort dinner and house chores while they have some chill time.
Family football match commences usually just before dinner with the kids and Jonathan after his day of working from home is over. Always ends in tears. I do not play! 
We all sit for dinner. 
Bath and then bed (Johnathan and I take turns to do this) 
Gin and chocolate time, I get on Instagram to work on content and engagement for the evening and emails for the next day! This is a look at our typical day mostly 🙂 

How I’m coping: I’m coping better than I expected. I am finding that keeping organised, busy and focused on things we need to do helps a lot. Don’t get me wrong, things are a lot slower paced which I am loving and I am loving more time with the children. I suffer with social anxiety so I do worry about when things eventually go back to normal how I will adjust again to that change. 

What I’m wearing: I am getting dressed and doing my make-up down most days now, but not all! I have been wearing a lot of 90s style joggers and sweaters from Pretty Little Thing and have been experimenting with putting smarter items with the joggers for a more dressed feel – like a white shirt for instance. I am living in my Birkenstock’s and I also got some 90s sweat shorts from Topshop, I love them!

I’m also looking to buy myself a couple of treats for the capsule wardrobe I am building, I’m obsessed with linen shirts from Arket so I will be asking for a voucher for my birthday! 

What I’ve realised: This is hard and I needed time to adjust, but I love having my children at home and not getting just a tired few hours after school each day. I would like to sit in the coffee shop alone though, I can’t lie! Haha! I think because I know the situation I am accepting things and trying to enjoy it because its sink or swim, right? I don’t want to feel stressed and down about it, it’s happening and we will deal with it the best we can! 

I have realised also it’s ok to drink in the afternoons 🙂 

Lucy is on Instagram here @lucy.nicholls_

Adjudicator (Team Manager)

Yinka

At home with Nathaniel, 6 and Maia, almost 3

What my day looks like:
After trying to work a full day at the start of the school closure, I realised that it would be challenging to do both work and home-school. 
Now, I usually start my work day around 6am so that I can be done around 1:30pm (although this isn’t fixed and I’ve worked later than this). While I’m working, my children are mostly with their dad.
Work wise, my day will involve at least one meeting (for example with my team, the senior managers or a 1-1 catch up. 
I will then reply to emails and respond to queries from my team. This usually involves me reviewing a piece of work or clarifying a particular process. 
When I log off, I have a late lunch then I’ll do some school work with my son for about 2/3 hours. By the time we’re done, it’s time for my children to eat and then get ready for bed. 
I usually connect to my church’s prayer line at 7pm. When it finishes around 8pm, Nathaniel and Maia will go to bed and I’ll either catch up with my family via a video call, catch up on a show and/or fall asleep on the sofa. 

How I’m coping: My friends and family have been my support system. When I need some encouragement or a diversion, they provide the much needed relief. 

Self-talk: I have so many ways to get motivated or avoid being in a funk. There are some wonderful scripture inspired affirmations that I rely on, and passages that encourage me (Psalms 27 and 91 are current faves.) 
In general, I also use the phrase: “By any means necessary”. For me, this means I do what I need to do, while being flexible about my journey or the process I take to get to the end result. For example, I’ve been asked how I can wake up so early for work or how I can do 10-12 hour days in the office. As my end result is a day off every week, I focus on that instead. 

What I’m learning – my children are so very different but take after their dad and I in so many ways.

Yinka is on Instagram here @mamalovesnate

Risk Project Manager

Monika M

At home with 3 teenagers, Ryan 17, Adam 14, Sara 13

What my day looks like: I get up at 6.30am, get changed into my gym clothes, I work out for about an hour. After working out, I shower and get dressed for work. I check on the kids to see if they are waking up (usually not), I then go to the study and login into work, just after 8am. I normally work until 12pm and have a break for lunch. Sometimes,  I can have an hour break, when I am busy its grabbing a sandwich and eating at my desk. When I have time for a lunch break,  I do I like to cook with the kids and my husband. The kids help with preparation, and we  usually delegate cleaning up the kitchen to them and I log back into work. I tend to be finished with work by 5.30pm. Sometimes,  I can work a bit later but I try not to as usually by that point I’m pretty drained it.

I’ll try to go for a walk outside for about 30 to 40 minutes usually with my daughter. When we get home we decide what we’re going have for dinner. We have dinner around 7.30pm. The children are left to clean  and tidy the kitchen, however I still need to wipe down surfaces and sweep the floors. My husband and I will watch TV,  the kids will go to back to their rooms or play games in the study. I tend to go to bed for 10 o’clock. 

As my children are all at secondary school, I don’t need to supervise them doing homework, however I need to continually remind them to complete tasks assigned by school, they have portals that clearly show what homework has been set per subject. So both my husband and I have to divide  and conquer, review each subject that  is being worked on, ensure that the work completed is a decent standard. It’s hard to remember when long term projects are due, so we make a note in the family diary with final hand in date and weekly countdown before due date. 

How I’m coping: I am coping reasonably well, as I have a quite structured day, I find that without a routine I do find it quite hard to cope and more likely to feel melancholy. I don’t have any times when I am bored, as there is always something to do. I think that it helps to have five of us in one house, we chat to one another, joke and tease like any other family.

What I’m wearing: A typical outfit for me is a navy t-shirt with sequin lemon applique and chartreuse slim trousers. 

Mantra: I don’t actually have one, if I need to do something then I stop and think about how I will approach it and then execute my plan. I feel that exercise always helps me stay positive.

What I’ve realised: I am enjoying teaching the kids how to do everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, laundry and gardening, skills that they will need when they leave home. As I have more time with them at home, its easier to talk to them and spend more time teaching them. I am learning that I am quite resilient person who has a generally positive outlook in life.   

Monika is on Instagram here @MonikaGoesToWork

Consultant Legal Director & Content Creator

Cyran

At home with Poppy, aged 6

What my day looks like: I try to wake up early to get some time by myself before Pops wake up, but usually if I wake up she tends to wake up too, which defeats the object, but I still try. The Hubs alarm goes off at 5am, sometimes I wake up at the same time and meditate whilst he gets ready for work, otherwise I wake up between 5:30 and 6am.

I make myself my honey and lemon concoction and I tend to work on a piece of focussed work first thing. I usually create content as I go for Instagram Stories – I snap a photos during the day and usually upload in batches. I work from about 6am until about 8:30 until Poppy gets out of bed.

We are ‘unschooling’ at home, but we do some of the English and Maths work set her school, I’m very relaxed if I’m honest, but we usually start her work at 9am.

At 10am, if I’m not on a conference call, I make myself a coffee and go into the virtual staff room which is a video call. Poppy says hello to my colleagues and I have a moment of chit chat. It really helps to break up the day for 15 minutes.

Work is very stop-start with a 6-year-old at home and so I try to batch my work day so that I can take breaks to play with her.

In the afternoon I set up Pops with some art work or coding; something fun. Sometimes we’ll watch a documentary or a YouTube video that is related to what she has been learning that week. I put dinner on at about 4pm and The Hubs comes home at about 5ish and then he takes the reins. I go back to work until dinner time at about 6ish. Pops goes to bed at about 8pm and I often work in the evenings too. Setting a time to switch off is important, I’m realising because there is always something you could be doing.

How I’m coping: Staying connected with family and friends using Whatsapp, Houseparty and old-skool phone-calls. Social media actually keeps me very sane. My content at the moment is light-hearted, laughing really is my medicine and so catching up with people that make me laugh and interacting with my audience on Instagram takes the edge off.

On the self-care; I am sticking to a proper skincare routine, I am meditating more, praying more and developing a more consistent gratitude practice. I’m not drinking alcohol during quarantine – I’ll save it until I can go out and really splurge in a swanky bar somewhere!

What I’m wearing: I usually go for a smart blouse or t-shirt and stretchy jeans at the moment. In the evenings, I’m wearing my beloved pyjamas, of course.

Self-talk: I read this a little while ago: “What you take for granted another person is praying for”, it reminds me to be grateful for what I have and focus on the possibilities instead of problems.

Any curveballs: The Hubs can’t do his job at home, so I’m at home by myself with Pops most of the time.

How I’m Getting Creative: Mainly with my content. I am creating and posting content I wouldn’t ordinarily. I haven’t wanted to post about shopping a whole lot, plus my legal work takes precedence at the moment as its in an ‘essential’ industry during quarantine. I have however, been recommending everyday things I’m using and reviewing as our lives have changed. Where I’d usually go out for dinner and review the restaurant, I’m now talking about decluttering, decorating and other things I use at home! I have set up my Amazon Storefront and I’ve shared that with followers.

I have also been writing more blog posts because I’m finding writing very cathartic – I’m writing a weekly blog post call ed The Column which is a weekend note about the last week and how we’re spending the weekend and I have also been creating TikTok content which is silly and fun.

I’m on Instagram here @CorporateStyleStory

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