We are all navigating our way around the lockdown. You might be furloughed or are working from home. Maybe you’re one of the vital key workers across a myriad of industries, or perhaps you’re in a role that can maintain social distancing and so continue your normal travels out to your place of work, but instead through quiet roads and empty high streets. Perhaps you have already faced redundancy, uncertain of what lies ahead, of which you have my huge sympathy and I hope the future provides something better for you.
For me, I’m combining work and study alongside looking after my daughter during the day. My husband works in a role that has continued in the workplace, and so we have the normality of him going to and from home for work, during a time that is anything but normal.
We are so used to our patterns and routines that the prospect of overlapping our different life roles simultaneously can seem overwhelming. I only finished maternity leave in December, and both myself and my daughter had settled into a new routine of home, work and nursery. In the space of a few days, just like everyone else, things had been upturned. I miss the closeness of my family, getting to hug my siblings, or sitting at my parent’s kitchen table on a Sunday afternoon with the comfort of my mum’s cooking. I miss woodland walks with my husband, as we watch our daughter discovering new flowers and wildlife for the first time, and I miss our daughter experiencing the richness of interacting and watching others. I look forward to when these aspects of life can return.
However, being only a few months since maternity ended, there is also a familiarity to being back in this bubble at home. Time becomes less defined and with fewer distractions, it makes you take in each moment a little more. When I returned to work it was with mixed emotions – the positives of knowing that life for my daughter and me was developing into the next chapter, but a real sense of heartbreak at being away from her. Within a few months, I still missed my daughter but also saw the fun she had at nursery, and how life was positively moving on. I had been worried about not managing my job after a year away, and knowing the shift in my priorities, but was pleasantly surprised to find, in time, a different confidence I now had (not to mention what I could multitask). Being back at home now, it is different, as I’m factoring part-time work around nap times and late in the evenings. Just like many others, creating new routines for combining our worlds of home and work. When the time comes, it will be with mixed emotions that I physically return to the workplace and my daughter to her childcare. Who knows when that will be, and what different setup it is likely to be. I am prone to thinking ahead, and trying to make plans, when the current climate doesn’t allow for that. Instead, thinking ahead should focus on those walks in the woodland, the hugs with siblings, the time with my parents – and how I’ll be sharing all of that joy with my daughter, just as I’m enjoying the time with her now.
About the author
Rose Leek is a paid blogger for CLL.
I work in a University Employability & Careers Centre, as part of a Placements team, and am studying the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education (CEIGHE). I live with my daughter, husband, and two moggies. When not juggling work, home or study, I enjoy walks, cycling, and time outdoors, and starting (and someday finishing) various craft projects.