When Mama Ain’t Happy, Nobody Is Happy: Work from Home during COVID19
As the saying goes, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” and this mama wasn’t very happy about this COVID-19 crisis. It took me a while to come to terms with it. My six-year-old daughter not going to school, being stuck in the house. My husband being around all the time. What can be worse than that? No girls’ night outs. I just couldn’t take it for the first two nightmarish weeks. And, then it happened…a stroke of positivity hit me, and everything changed.
I realized that for as long as I could remember, we had no time for each other among the myriad kids’ birthdays, get-togethers and activities we did with the numerous (and amazing) friends we have nurtured over the years; the time I didn’t have to do gardening; the time I didn’t have to just sit and cuddle my daughter; and the tiring commutes to and from work that would just not allow me to cook delicious meals. This COVID-19 was a boon in disguise. Now we had all the time in the world to do all this, and more. Now, I am no longer worried or depressed about this crisis. I’m excited to use this time to my advantage. And, as far as the COVID-19 pandemic goes, I tell myself, “This too shall pass.”
My six-year-old daughter not going to school, being stuck in the house. My husband being around all the time. What can be worse than that? No girls’ night outs.
Trust me, it’s not as simple as it sounds, but to make it work, you’ve to put a process in place. For the first two weeks, I woke up late; I let my daughter sleep in late; I let her do whatever she wanted, which included playing games most of the day; and I worked late and ate horribly. This had to stop if I was going to make this a success. So here are some steps I took to make California’s COVID-19 “Shelter in place” orders work for me:
Step 1: Setup a schedule for the week: Plan in advance the time to wake up, daily schedule, lunch/dinner menus, family Zumba three days a week, walk around the neighborhood twice a week, fun activities, studies, etc.
Step 2: FOLLOW Step 1.
Weekday mornings I wake up at seven in the morning, get ready for work before anyone else wakes up. That gives me a small window to relax and pamper myself with a nice warm shower and get myself in the right frame of mind. Then comes the task of waking up my daughter at eight and get her morning ablutions done. In the pre-COVID days I’d be screaming and yelling for her to wake up and get ready. Now, it iss this nice, calm, loving mommy that snuggles up to her and slowly gets her to wake up.
Not to say there are no breakdowns in this schedule. There are, but as long as I keep my calm and remind myself that these two characters at home are someone I love a lot and who love me a lot in return, it all turns out good in the end.
Weekdays just fly by so quickly now that we don’t have the time to worry about the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in America. Though it’s office work for me and my hubby most of the day, we have ensured that it goes smoothly too. I work downstairs, while he works upstairs. He takes care of our daughter’s schoolwork in the first part of the day, while I do it in the latter. All three of us only meet three times each workday- morning coffee/breakfast, lunch and then another bout of caffeine late afternoon.
After work, it’s Zumba or walks on designated days followed by cooking, dinner and TV time or game time before bed. I make it a habit to read to my daughter before I put her to bed, and I read before going to bed myself. My hubby has his own set of activities before bed that involve some creative pursuits that would need a separate article in itself.
Weekends are a free-for-all; that’s when we sleep late, wake up late, laze around, do some work (gardening/housework) and just take it easy. And then it starts all over again on Monday. Not to say there are no breakdowns in this schedule. There are, but as long as I keep my calm and remind myself that these two characters at home are someone I love a lot and who love me a lot in return, it all turns out good in the end. As Washington Irving once said, “A mother’s love endures through all.”
The views expressed are the author’s own.