It was such a memorable day when I decided to finally work again after 2 years of being a SAHM (stay at home mom). Now, working from home is a part of how we spell out the word N-O-R-M-A-L. Schools are shut down, temporary closures of establishments here and there, and most businesses have sent workers home. The reason is that we are constantly trying to practice social distancing as we try to flatten that curve like accountable citizens. So…are you one of the many people who have already built their own working nooks or stations at home? If yes, you are my people and that is how most of us are right now.
My life now, I am stuck in attempting to fit 8 hours of work into a day while craving for intentional moments with my child, our family. My tiny earthling has been growing every day and each day, I have to keep up and be present. It’s crazy hard. There are days when things feel out of control but then I realize that I need to control what I can and just move forward. That’s the new drill in our home.
My Zoom is on every single day. It just took me a couple of days to master scheduling, admitting, unmuting and a lot more about it. It has been my way to connect with people. There are times when I get to prepare my OOTD but in most days, house clothes all day long paired with some splash of soup, cheese on the side, my toddler’s dried tears and sweat topped with some sticky paint that he just spilled on me. Gooey! There is no quiet anymore, just Blippi, Elmo and pompoms all over the place, not to mention the different tones of how my name is called out every minute.
And that is what you call, WFHWK – Work from Home with Kids (Kidlat is my son’s name so I better stick to that acronym, right?)
I can say that I am a planner, raise your hand mama (or daddy) if you are, too! I always make a work checklist but now, I have learned to be fully prepared to toss it out or tweak it a little bit when needed. And that is absolutely fine! We are all simply trying our best in less than ideal circumstances and that is damn good enough. Now more than ever, we are working parents who multitask like bosses. Most believe that moms are often “the keepers”. We have our to-do lists constantly running through our heads for work life, home life, and personal life. But the biggest issue that we have now is TIME. Time is so quick that it will just slip away at the blink of an eye as fast as an ant snaps its jaw. That half a millisecond quick!
How do I manage? Let me share with you a few. I learned to breathe and let it go. I schedule doing the laundry at night and it’s ready to fold the next day BUT I didn’t say that I will fold it the next day. I will fold it when I can. Breathe and let it go. I told my husband that it’s my turn to cook lunch today BUT I got a Zoom invite and remembered that we have a meeting in 5 minutes, so I said my sweetest sorry, passed the pan and joined the video conference. Breathe and let it go. Lucky that I have someone who understands because just like me, he also manages daily works for our small local business while winging our parenting roles and I believe that we are crazily doing it just fine. Not perfect but very happy.
Another way to do it is to keep that human connection at its best. I sometimes send a chat to my best friend or colleague and exchange a few jokes with them. This helps a lot whenever I get really tired and exhausted. Try to connect with your chat groups and share some mini breakdowns or make them share about their little victories for the week. When you find the right folks that you can relate to and share with, your WFH (WK) life is going to feel a lot more fun. Now is the time to keep yourself connected to the community and to the world.
Lastly, it may help to make your own set of non-negotiables. These are the things that you will do for yourself no matter what. It may take an hour if you are that fortunate or even just a minute or two. This doesn’t need to be something monumental, but it should be YOURS. An example of this is having a good cup of coffee in the morning while updating your journal. You can also play on your favorite song while taking a bath and no one else can call out your name and expect you to answer “What do you need now???”. Or just a simple quiet time in your garden because your plants are all blooming as you started to be a plantita a few weeks ago. Own it and feel it. It’s a valid break from all the hard work and body pains that this set up is giving you. Whatever it is that would make your WFH(WK) life feel a bit more like YOUR life, put it on your schedule and keep the appointment with yourself.
Working from home may be a struggle especially if you have kids. Some may say that it’s easy, able to manage it with no sweat but we all somehow have the same judgement that this pandemic is hitting most people really hard in different ways. The best part of it all is the chance that we are all given to know our families and homes even more and to appreciate every bit of blessing that comes with waking up for another day, healthy and alive. May all your hard work be rewarded in the end. Salute!