Under [extreme] pressure - work, homeschool and national lockdown #3
Every evening I think the same. Tomorrow will be different. I’ll get organised, I’ll be really patient, motivate the children to do their homeschooling in the morning so it doesn’t drag on all day and end up in a frantic rush at 5pm. In amongst this, I will do the work I need to do, take some calls and All Will Be Well.
Every morning at some point, I realise that is just not going to happen. That the reality is there will be tears (probably mine), the house will be an absolute tip with the toddler tipping over every game and box known to man and the older two running off every time I utter the words ‘school work’.
There is so much pressure, even if some of it is self inflicted.
Pressure to do all the work set for your children
Pressure to keep the house in some semblance of normality
Pressure to remember your online delivery cut off times lest you forget and end up with the two bottles of champagne you put in when reserving your spot
Pressure to ensure every walk outside is thoroughly risk assessed
Pressure to keep working as if you don’t have three feral children running around
It’s a lot.
It’s no wonder so many people are struggling under this lockdown and that’s without even getting into the fact that it’s January which has to be the most depressing month of the year.
January is supposed to signify New Year’s Resolutions and abstaining from alcohol for a month. 2021 is feeling very much like the 2020 we were so happy to say goodbye to.
I do think there is a massive lack of support for working mothers as highlighted so brilliantly by Mother Pukka (aka Anna Whitehouse) and Pregnant then Screwed. It’s the working mothers who are often the ones having to manage the impossible juggle of homeschooling and working or taking a back step from work in order to homeschool.
For my part, I am doing the insane juggle. I have worked so hard on building up my business and I just can’t put it on the back burner. It provides me with sanity and purpose. Yes I feel under a lot of pressure, I need to work evenings and weekends and I never seem to get much of a break. And yes, I put my children in front of the TV so I can have a Zoom call without risk of interruption. And yes, I do really wish it wasn’t all on me.
It does help knowing it’s hard for everyone and there’s real solidarity that comes from that. I’m just trying to ride the wave, desperately hoping it doesn’t last too long.
Hannah Russell owns Mini and Mighty, a marketing business focusing on parents running small business