Am I ready to return to work, physically and mentally?

With regulations easing, I have found myself getting a little excited about my permanent return to work, closely followed by the reality of it all which instils a little bit of dread.  Anyone with me?

Looking forward to a sense of normality still seems a way off, but we can all day-dream, right? I’m one of those ‘working from home’ types, mother of 2 school-age children (yup, add teacher to that job title), household chef, full-time cleaner and not forgetting hairdresser (well, for everyone else, not me!).  I know this will resonate with so many people.  Am I allowed to say that I have been busier than ever?  Ok, so I am not running the kids around to their after school activities as I would have normally been doing but there is soooo much to do at home when nobody ever leaves!

I don’t think the children will be going back to school before September, I may be wrong, so realistically I think September is a good date to aim for `my normality` all being well.

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been all bad.  The perks of “WFH” have been squeezing a workout in when I would normally be on the school run (tick).  Starting work at 7 am if I want to and taking a break later to help with the school day (tick), and not forgetting working for the rest of my day in my gym gear if I need to, and I am ashamed to say at times my dressing gown (shhh, it was cold that day).

Quality time with the family has been fabulous, and with the new government guidelines to be able to take them out has been a really great treat, the smell of freedom we once took for granted. I have not been the best at keeping in touch with friends, but I know true friends are there for you no matter what.  I am sure they will keep for a few more weeks whilst I am trying to keep the juggling balls of family life in the air.

So, back to work… how am I going to get up every day, shower, do the hair of 2 young girls as well as my own, make packed lunches for 4, have the uniform ready and ironed, make sure homework has been done, get to school and work on time.  Oh wait, what’s for dinner tonight….arrrrrrgggghhh.

Ok, I can see there is a lot to think about here, baby steps required to prepare me for this.  Isn’t it strange how we quickly adapt to our current version of normal?  I can see now that I require a plan of action, something that is going to ease me back to the way things were.  Maybe with a few tweaks to try to make life less stressful.

So I am going to ease myself in.  Today, I managed to get the husband to be `teacher’ on his day off.  I hot-stepped it into the office before anyone could stop me!  It felt familiar and nice and within moments I saw a few tenants come and go and we managed a quick socially distanced catch up about their business, how it has fared over this time and how they have been.  It felt good and my encounters were positive.  Our beloved Stonehouse is still there, albeit a little quieter but business continues behind the scenes, in some cases just not from our lovely offices for the time being.  Our office Manager Debra has been busy with Jason our handyman, installing sanitation stations at entrance points to all of our buildings, 2-meter markings on the floor and a one-way system.  We’re certainly preparing and getting ready for our lovely tenants to return safely to their workspaces.

Meanwhile, I am going to follow these baby steps:

First the practical ones:

  • Use this time to teach my children to be a little more independent to make mornings easier
  • Get my hair cut (haha)
  • Prep meals the night before/use the slow cooker more
  • Purchase some funky face masks from a local business
  • Introduce a chore to each family member to lighten the load

The emotional ones:

  • Stop trying to be everything to everyone (mum, wife, cleaner, taxi, chef….)
  • Do what I can, when I can
  • If it does not feel right, don’t do it
  • If I feel anxious, it’s ok
  • If I feel overwhelmed, stop and take a moment
  • Be kind to myself and others
  • Check in with loved ones
  • Enjoy every day, as we have learned that this can be taken away so swiftly

Ok, I am no guru, clearly, but looking at this list is going to help me over the coming months.

Sadie Chambers

Business Development Manager

Millfields Trust