After reading the story of one mom’s tough go of parenting and working during lockdown, this reader reached out to share what life has been like in her household.
She covers life as a working parent, and what she does to cope with the stress that comes with living under quarantine.
‘The same routine every day’
I read the piece submitted by the mom trying to cope with work and her young kids during lockdown. She is not alone.
I also work from home (as an essential worker for a financial company), but I have very strict boundaries that help me cope. I have the same routine every day.
I get up at the same time every morning, hit the shower, get dressed, make my breakfast and am on my laptop at 08:00.
I take a lunch break of one hour EVERY day, and I shut down my laptop at 16:30. I am strictly keeping to my working hours.
I need to – for my own sanity. I consciously divide my work and personal time. If I don’t, I’ll get too anxious and stressed and impossible to live with.
‘Please do not assume that I don’t have anything else to do’
Being barraged by phone calls and e-mails knots my insides. People have more time on their hands, and cannot/do not understand that some of us are actually still putting in a full day’s work during this time.
If you don’t answer an e-mail immediately, they send a second one etc. If you don’t know what my desk looks like please do not assume that I don’t have anything else to do.
Luckily my children are teenagers, so they don’t need too much of my input in terms of their homework, but they still need their parents to be strong for them.
We are their security blanket, and that puts more pressure on us to cope with everything.
‘Every fear that rears its head gets shoved to a corner of my mind’
My work keeps me sane during this time, but it also prevents me from coping with what is going on in the world at the moment.
I do not allow myself to think about anything and every fear that rears its head gets shoved to a corner of my mind.
That is definitely not healthy, and at night, in my dreams, every suppressed thought and fear surfaces as a nightmare – dodging tsunami’s, trying to rid myself of snakes living inside my body and having the virus symptoms.
'Tired of being strong all the time'
This morning I woke up just to find out that our beloved cat of 6 years was run over by a car during the early hours of the morning.
It opened the floodgates, and even 5 hours later, I still cannot speak to anyone without getting choked up.I am crying for our cat because I really loved him, but I am also crying for every emotion, fear and worry that I suppressed these past couple of weeks.
I am crying, because I am tired of being strong all the time.
I know I am mildly depressed but that I also try to suppress. I have after all a family I need to stay strong for.
In the end, I will follow my routine (albeit a little less enthusiastically every morning) and I’ll try to not snap at my loved ones as my frustrations mount and my nerves get frayed.
I just pray that my family and I will survive these times.
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