It's not often I merge my home life with my work life, as you might imagine I like to keep both separate as most of you probably do. It's important to have an appropriate work life balance, what's the point in working if you're not enjoying your life and family?!
As I don't like to merge the two, I don't like talking about my family in work and my work with my family, however during these crazy times it's difficult not to merge the two.
As some of you may know, my daughter Florence (18 months old) started displaying a few symptoms of Coronavirus over the weekend (vomiting, dry cough, temperature, runny nose, poo explosions) and while I'm 99% sure this was probably just kids being kids and being ill, we took the appropriate measures to ensure no one else might contact the virus (in the very slim chance it was Coronavirus). This has led to myself and my wife Abi self isolating in our home with a 18 month old who is too clever for her own good and 2 dogs ...
Self isolating with a 18 month old is hard enough, but when you're trying to run a business and your wife is a Senior Lead tutor for North Lincolnshire Council it becomes infinitely more complicated. Now, we're fortunate enough to both have parents that can help out, but due to age and a number of health factors we made the decision to ensure we distanced ourselves from both sets of parents for a minimum of 2 weeks. So we're on our own ...
How are we getting anything done?
There's 24 hours in a day right? It's all about prioritising time to get shit done! Abi and I typically wake up around 7am and Florence between 7.30-8.00am. This gives us half an hour to get ourselves sorted by peeling ourselves out of bed and preparing for the bizarre day ahead. Once Florence is up, one of us will be working the other will be giving Florence breakfast (which will probably be flung across the kitchen and cleaned up by the dogs). After breakfast we play for an hour or two and Florence will be ready for her first nap (thank bloody Christ), once down for a nap this gives us both time to spend a good 2 hours on work and projects.
Time working - 2-3 hours hopefully (depending on who is looking after Florence)
2 hours is a decent amount of time to get your day organised in the morning. Often when we are working from home, Abi and I will work in the kitchen together (sometimes the company is nice). We'll work as long as we can until Florence wakes up, once she's awake it's time for lunch. We will both take an hour for lunch to ensure we're all having an hour together as a family. Whether this is playing, going out in the garden or going for a walk with the dogs.
From around 1.00-3/4.00pm one of us will play, read and prevent Florence from throwing toothbrushes in the toilet bowl, arming herself with weaponry or patting the dogs to within an inch of their lives (if you've ever met Florence you will understand). This is probably the toughest part of the day, when both of us are having to take it in turns to take calls, answer emails and get work done.
Time working - 2 hours (depending on who is looking after Florence)
From around 3/4.00pm Florence will need her second nap, sleeping for around 1-2hours dependent on whether she's knackered herself out. Again this gives both of us an hour or two to get back to work and get the house back to a bit of normality (at this point there's play dough, Iggle Piggle, and books thrown all over the house).
Time working - 1-2 hours
Florence will wake at around 5/6.00pm. Time for tea. We normally sit down as a family to have tea, and watch Florence again fling food at the dogs. After tea we will spend a bit of family time together before Florence's bath. Again, playing, preventing Florence from throwing things in the dog bowl (or toilet bowl, she's not fussy) and terrorising the poor dogs. At around 7.00pm, it's Florence's bedtime. A rather splashy bath, milk and bed. It's at this point you'll probably see me moonwalking out of Florence's bedroom. Anyone with kids knows, the hours after bedtime are the most productive.
Time working - 1-2 hours
The hard work doesn't stop here, this is my brain's most active part of the day for some reason. Maybe it's due to university life or just due to having kids, but late evening is when I'm most productive. From around 7.00pm-12am I will be working, finishing off emails and organising the next day ready for 7:00am.
Time working - 4-5 hours
Working from home is hard, especially when you have a 18 month old child, trying to run a business and a household. I'm not trying to be a martyr, but I think it's important to be transparent with the situation and have a bit of a laugh during these truly crazy times. I have no doubt, everyone is struggling right now, regardless of their situation. I'm four days in to self-isolation and I'm climbing the bloody walls, but I know it's important to help break the back of all this.
It's hard, but make sure you're all taking care of yourselves and your family. No one knows what the outcome of all this will be, but we've all just got to keep moving forward and adapting to keep afloat. If anyone needs any help or advice, please get in touch and I will help where I can!