A short week and how very much was I looking forward to the four-day weekend! A work-wise intense week again, combined with the child-minding business, of course.
With the work computer in sight every moment of the day – a constant reminder of all the tasks ahead -, I came to a realisation how important it was to set proper work-family life boundaries. During several weeks of telecommute I would react to every email and Skype notification as soon as it came in and rarely turn my work computer off, checking emails even before going to bed.
Needless to say, this is far away from any best practice behaviour. It probably has a lot to do with the feelings of guilt for not being as efficient as usual during the “work hours”, which are nowadays extremely fluid.
Until I finally introduced some rules in that department, including “allowing” myself small breaks during, what would in normal circumstances be, the usual working time. Anyone even a tiny bit realistic would know that it is impossible to expect from parents what we are being asked to do in this covid-9 situation. To work as if things were business as usual, taking care of our children, cooking and remaining in good spirits. On top of it, let’s queue in shops to get some food, too. Seriously?
If I can, I now schedule all work-related video calls during my toddler’s nap. In this way I avoid awkward situations where I discuss business while trying to soothe my toddler who had accidentally bumped her head just a moment ago. It feels a bit like a parody on that BBC video that went viral some years ago 😊
When I thought I had it (almost) all figured out – the little one napping from noon(ish) to, if I’m lucky around 2pm, when I could focus on those chunks of work that necessitated a bit more than a golden fish attention spam and cook some food -, it happened… My toddler outright refused to fall asleep – screaming from the top of her lungs… And this, of course, exactly when I had a video conference with a colleague whom I spoke to for the very first time. What an introduction!
Trying to have her fall asleep with me in my bed didn’t work either. Basically, whatever I tried was a failure. By the end of the week I felt as if I was drowning…
And then my girl mentioned that a book might help. Yes, of course! On top of I have this book that I bought a long time ago and that is supposed to help children to fall asleep. Last time I saw it sitting on the bookshelf I even thought what a waste of money it was.
So, I take this book and read it as per the instructions… and after a lot of tossing in turning… and some 10 minutes down the line… she is asleep! No tears, nothing. And no, it was not just beginner’s luck. I have been using it over the Easter weekend and it works every time. A real miracle! Especially since the book is in English, which is not one of her mother tongues 😊
So I guess this was a big win of week IV! We also painted the hard-boiled eggs, as per the Easter tradition, and I tried not to think too much about what was supposed to be the time spent with our family in my home country. Luckily, we could connect over Skype and the weather was warm and sunny – great for enjoying some long walks in the forest.
And how are you keeping up?