This year has been a strange one, all things considered. One of things that I've struggled with is balancing the working from home, when home isn't necessarily the quietest it can be, and I've had to share a lot more of family life with work. For me, this is encapsulated in one particular anecdote: When our new Marketing Manager started, I booked a video call in with him to introduce myself, we were a few weeks into lockdown at that point. My son, then 4, burst into our spare room, where I am working, and bellowed "HULK SMASH!!!!" before bursting out again. Not quite the first impression I'd been aiming for.
Some 9 months into virtual working and I am much more in the swing of things. Any meeting that takes place after 3pm, I warn the other participants that come 3:30, both my children will be home from school, and that there may be some noise when they burst in. I've had to join group calls on mute as I'm dashing to maths club, and on more than one occasion, mute myself while I lose my **** at them to just be quiet. Thankfully, my clients, my colleagues and my boss have been extremely supportive, and funnily enough I think that this year has been the year where I've been the most impactful.
I've also been able to be present more, I've had breakfast with my family every day since March, we've been on walks together after school, and I'm able to do reading with them at a sensible time, rather than the chaotic last 30 minutes before bedtime. I've worked many evenings beyond the "normal hours" but without complaint or chagrin; I am, perhaps for the first time, able to truly be the best working mum that I can be. Plus, I have the "HULK SMASH" anecdote, on which I'll be able to dine out for years.
My thoughts are, don't be too hard on yourself, and share the challenges with those around you. And absolutely, if you have a funny anecdote feel free to share!
Nobody is handling things perfectly during this time, so don't beat yourself up if not everything goes smoothly.