Are you a self-employed business owner still able to work but needing to juggle schoolwork or kids Easter entertainment? Are you finding it hard?
Are you feeling you are failing at both because you can’t quite get the balance right?
If you are nodding your head here, can I start by saying - you are not alone.
My blog posts are usually about selling and offering sales tips, but today I feel the need to get this weight off my chest.
The juggle is real
We are going through ‘unprecedented times’ - it’s an overused term at the moment but never more appropriate. The Lockdown of 2020 is wreaking havoc everywhere. The poor individuals who are suffering in the hospitals, alone. Those that have died and their families unable to say goodbye. The front line workers - doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, bus drivers, social workers, teachers, supermarket staff, government - so many and in no particular order. But those of us at home too suddenly thrust into homeschooling and extra feeding. I’m quite envious of posts regarding taking up new hobbies, taking the time to read and getting bored! How? When?
I’m the parent to two primary aged children. I’d just got used to having my ‘days’ back after my youngest went off to school last September. I had established a good routine but like many others, that’s out the window for the foreseeable. We are a month into homeschooling (we started isolating a week before the national lockdown, due to my husband showing mild symptoms of COVID-19; he’s fine though). I have gone from being very organised the first week, to full-on panic attack the second week and a f*ck-it attitude the third week. This week my kids keep reminding me it is the Easter holidays and they are ‘allowed’ to not do school work! I’ve downloaded all the various free educational apps, printed off innumerable worksheets, subscribed to kids fitness workouts and baked like never before.
At the same time I have gained a new client (yes really), held virtual training workshops and gone ‘live’ on my Facebook page and one of my clients Facebook pages. I’ve actually reconnected with quite a few old colleagues who have kindly had the time to help me with a project that is keeping me occupied more than normal (because it is not normal times).
Staying home and staying safe
We are staying home and staying safe (not stuck at home) and getting out for our daily exercise walking the family dog while keeping to the social distancing rules. Today my kids built an awesome assault course in our garden for their dad and me to complete after lunch (nearly hurled my lunch it was that complex).
BUT I am truly exhausted. Not just from the assault course, but from all this juggling. Worrying that I’m not servicing my clients, and at the same time, worrying that the kids are having too much screen time.
Working out when we next need to get groceries and meal planning (I’m not a natural planner) so we make sure we have in all that we need. All this takes up a lot of brain space.
The uncertainty of not knowing when this will end is a constant worry in the back of my mind. It will be for everyone, everywhere, won’t it?
And actually recognising that this is something no-one has the practice of, no-one can foretell you what’s next, should allow us a little breathing space. We are all trying to figure out what the new norm is. I think we can say no to clients without fear of reprimand if they start putting extra demands on us. We need to be a little bit selfish in light of this craziness.
I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I need to STOP feeling guilty. My clients are amazing and realise I am currently juggling more balls than Henry VIII’s court jester so things will need to wait, my kids seem to be coping fine with this isolation thing and my husband and I are falling into a sharing groove (with only the occasional snipe at each other - no more than usual).
This weekend I plan to stop the juggle for three days and turn off my phone, turn off my laptop and just try and switch off as much as a family with young children can.
If you can, then please try it. If you can’t don’t feel bad about it. We are safe at home and that, surely, is the most important thing.
My call to action at the end of this blog is simple,
STAY HOME and STAY SAFE