I am can say I have enjoyed working from home most of the time during the pandemic, however in most events had happened it also came to be a little bit too much for me in the end. I would like to share the learnings I had during the pandemic and how am I able to manage a family, preschooler and working at the same time.
Needless to say the pandemic changed our lives drastically. My family life, work life balance and also the way I manage my own health has been affected. In beginning I have totally enjoyed working in the comfort of my home, with the fear building inside me that the virus is there anywhere.
Working with a preschooler
Unknowingly, I just continued working with a my daughter is supposed to be in school. I have stress managing work, at the same time being there to provide and attend to her needs. My energy is consumed of better parenting while working with my daughter, in which I failed as I have to accomplished tasks I have to do for work. I have beat up myself of perfectionism to be able to still excel on my craft while continuously mothering my daughter everyday. The end result was not very pleasant for my peers at work and I have to find an immediate solution.
Happily we have COVID-19 parental leave here in Belgium, I was able to take half a day and breathe while my daughter stay will me. For a month and a half, I am glad to have a little time to put off the laptop earlier and focus while parenting. The most awaited time of government announcing that preschools are opening up again, we are also able to spend time together as mother and daughter. I was very happy that the government were reasonable enough to base their decision to let the 12 years old student study from home and the kindergarten back open with teachers extra precautions in line with COVID-19. The parks are open, outside we can play and we can be able to walk to the woods to change our moral mindset.
Still the on and off COVID-19 cases in the school gave us nightmares, after day after finding solutions where to, how to manage parenting while working from home. My husband works in the transportation industry so he has to work in the workshop everyday. He has zero chance of working from home.
Unwanted events (private and I cannot be able to really share as much as I would want to) and planned life that’s another story from moving to and selling our apartment. Stress level went up and we have to manage life stressing events.
The most stressful event had happened to us selling the apartment and thinking if there would be someone who would buy it in moment of pandemic. Working while moving, preparing all the packages, boxes and throwing things out. I have no family, closer to me here so I got few people who m I can count on during this major milestone in our lives. My husband also did managed movers, people who helped us packing everything and unpacking things we had to new house, we cannot be thankful more enough to have them with us.
Stressful, waiting time, admin and selling and buying is not easy here in Europe and it has so many factors as well that the guy who bought our apartment has so many demands.
Again, Belgium has so many benefits I was to able to file paid moving leave and I had a day off the moment of the big day. Then the unexpected event happened made me leave from work for 3 more days, tired but accomplished. Emotionally, physically tiring phase we have to face.
Bon! We are over it and did it as a team! Of course, along the way got my laptop with me working anywhere I need to be with internet. Haha! We had no connection and thank God for a friend who live closed by, I bothered them for the span of 1 one and a half to be able to have internet connection. The struggle of winter, not being able to drive, riding a bike or my electric made me mobile and was also able to work in the office few weekends.
We also had to deal with home improvements, and this time comparing societies that can provide what we need for our home. A lot of managing, cleaning, speaking with people to deal with. Our home is the perfect cocoon we have now. We were camping in our own living room for months before everything has been done. Now, here and there combined with the precious pieces from my parents-in-laws apartment, our home is complete. We can never be thankful enough to this blessing.
When it is too much?
I had enough that even I have no vaccine yet I already want to see my colleagues. I had to deal with anxiety, worries and hormonal imbalances. Played role lacking of physical contact with people around you, hugs and seeing people smiling at you. Having to meet ang mingle physically than on long zoom meetings. Then I say it is too much.
I am so ready to be back! Smell the metro and hear the noise of Brussels. I am so ready to come back to 2/5. I am waiting for my vaccine – second dose on 26 July. Cannot wait to be fully protected. I was actually already in the office this week Monday and enjoyed it so much! The only thing making me stress is when I am in the public transport with no oxygen wearing a mask, apart form that everything is fabulous!
What kept me sane?
Sports! Rope skipping, biking, running and working out! The best decision ever made after weighing 69 kilograms. I did intermittent fasting and sports respectively and I am more than happier. When you are no longer motivated, this is the indication that you are not anymore on the right track. Meaning, you are fed up being home and you need a change.
In life balance is very important, this is something I have learned along the way of family life and parenting, adulting plays a lot too.
Taking care of myself as an individual, keeping up writing which was a struggle because of pre-occupations and busy-ness during the pandemic, this is what made me realized I had too much time being home. Well, the comfort of waking up each day and jumping in the shower anytime you want, kitchen is too near so tend to eat a lot. I am really thankful for the possibility to be back at least twice a week and balancing harmony of our family life.
We are healthy and everyone are happy, good condition with career and school. We continue to live each day with thankfulness and gratitude.