Working from home, managing a Large Family and home schooling

Working from home, managing a Large Family and home schooling

AS has five children aged from 11 months to 11 years – here she lets us know what having to self-isolate has meant to her.

I had to self-isolate, and and my family was quarantined for two weeks before lockdown even started. I was the first one in the GRoW team, who had to self-isolate along with my family for 14 days. It was a very strange feeling which I never experienced in my life before, neither my family, that we can’t go outside.  But soon the whole country joined us in this journey.

It was very challenging in the first week, cleaning, cooking, working from home, home schooling and looking after family with children from 11 years to 11-months old. My baby who just started walking around and wants to explore the whole world from shoe rack to bin and from vacuum cleaner to dustpan. On the other hand, I had to let my other children on their own, which was not very nice feeling for me.

I struggled to set up a routine of working from home while looking after family. Working from home was not something new for me but working with all my children at home and concentrating on my work was a real challenge. When I was trying to concentrate on one side the other was falling behind. I was trying my best that my children are looked after and still learning what they got from school and making sure I still that my work is also done on time.

But then I decided to setup a timetable for my children, which helped me a lot. I arranged activities, which they all can do together then planning the day along doing my work while they are still learning through any source.

After being in this situation I started comparing my normal life with this new one (due to COVID-19), I just realised that as the nature has pressed the reset button for us. As we were running so fast, without taking any rest. Everyone was so busy accomplishing their daily tasks like, they can’t stop for a single day, or even an hour. Then everything stopped. We are still living although in fear, but the life is going on. I think the world and humanity needed a pause for a while, to reset our directions from where we were going to, and to realise that there are people around us who needs our care. We can still be happy with what we still have around us.

For many people this will be a time when they will be with all their family members around them and caring for each other. Even I, for the first time realised that how have lovely neighbours I have, who were not only clean my garden for me because I don’t have time with young children, but also when I needed help while self-isolating. they always asked if me and my children needs anything, every time they were going outside.

For the first time, I heard birds twittering on trees during daytime, which normally I can’t because of motorway on the back. I also got a chance to know about my neighbours on both sides, who are pensioners and can’t meet their children because they are self-isolating. Whenever I am taking time out from my screen, I go to my garden and start having a short chat with them through our fence, to find out that they are okay and giving them the hope that everything will be ok.

This time will be very hard and challenging time for those like me, if you are having your loved ones fighting to save lives of others and themselves. By putting their lives and of their families at risk.

I really appreciate the work we as Grow Team are doing, by supporting and caring for people who needs our help in this time which bought fear and uncertainty in every one’s lives. But we should still take it positive by committing to be more kind to those who could heal by few kind words and sincere advice in this uncertain time. The skills we learnt and still learning during this time will enhance us as women even more, now we are not only expert in doing what we were doing but also became experts of digital world, and performing multi tasks at the same time, which many of us were very challenging under normal circumstances.

This is the time which we might never have again and will remember for the rest of our lives. We all should take it as a chance to slow down and look for those people around you. Even though every day is filled with a list of endless work to do, from breakfast to starting work and preparing lunch, learning and teaching to cleaning, dinner, play and many more. I know that for sure and hoping that soon “there will be a sunrise after this dark night, which will be even brighter” and with a chance for everyone to Grow once again and will never be forgotten, and we will be even more thankful for what we were having.

Liz Sewell

These postings are for everyone interested in helping lone parents get back to work.

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