Who Am I today? Mummy/wife, Mandy at the Millfields or Mrs Toze!

 

A true, humorous yet serious take on working from home ……. 

This question comes from my 6 year old most days during the covid-19 pandemic.  A very, very good question. This pretty much unpredicted, forced situation has now become our daily lives for nearly 3 months, we weren’t given an instruction booklet of how to handle this crisis.  We just have to get on with it and comply with the Government advice.  For many the struggle has been unreal ……….

I am a working professional, wife and mum of 3 girls …19, 14 & 6 (yep I hear you say “my poor husband”)  It’s a busy household at the best of times, so when Lockdown happened we really had to get our act together!  Here is how it has been so far ……

The Lockdown begins, as a family we all discussed how this was going to work, 5  people in a household working and home schooling was going to be hard.  We all agreed the need to be honest and open with each other about feelings and express when we are having a bad day etc and take time on our own if we needed it.

My Home Office consists of a laptop, VOIP phone, and my ever faithful Millfields Inspired reusable bag containing essential work documents.  All transportable to the room I can hide and work quietly  from.  VOIP phone all set up, nowhere near my ”desk” as this requires direct router access.  Just about manageable.   

Home schooling consists of a craft box containing workbooks, school homework sheets, flash cards,  number line and tricky words (hmm … I am sure she has learnt many tricky” words!)  Transportable?  not so easy as we now have a huge collection of junk modelling craft items – cereal/egg boxes and the endless supply of empty wine bottles!

We as a family consider us to be very lucky, our 19 year old is literally getting on with it – stig of the dump hiding in her room doing coursework and self help tutorials for pupils at the school she works and has now returned to work full time. Our 14 year old attends the best school ever (in my opinion as I am a Governor!), online live assembly and lessons all day, not sure she is as excited about this as I am!  We also have a garden which has helped massively in the heatwave, definitely another office to go to! 

The six year old ….  Hmmm … the challenge. I have to say the first week was easy, we literally carried out every suggested activity and some! Baked bread, made dens, planted seeds, played games, it was all good fun and we were all motivated with this novel idea of homeschooling.  

The Easter hols and half term holidays came and went, I can’t help but feel we burnt out too soon!  All of the above went out the window and now we are literally taking each day as it comes.  We are rolling with what works for us as a family and that simply is the best advice right now.  We have another 4 weeks of home schooling to go, then the summer hols ….phew!

Some funnies so far, which I am sure most families can relate to: 

The work phone rings and we all look at each other… me hand signalling “sshhh” to everyone when on an important work call.  This phone, however has been great for roleplay office working – a real handset!

PE with Joe Wicks:  I introduced our six year old to her new PE teacher (who happens to be very pleasing to mummy eyes !) She soon got tired of this every day, it’s just me and hubby doing this now!

Quote from my 14 year old “Ah Mum, I’ve left my headphones upstairs” as she prepares for live lessons. I reply “off you go then”   “But Miss, we are not allowed to leave the classroom”! when the cap fits !!! 

I am now a master of Zoom meetings and quizzes, I used to detest them in the pass but funny how things change!  My parents live in Wales and we have made the most it it.  With a family challenge each week and linking up.  These have kept us going, although miss them so much.

So is homeworking for me ….

If push comes to shove, without the distractions of home schooling YES, I could do it. Currently, homeworking for me is early hours and late evenings when it is less noisy, not something I wish to do long term if I can avoid it.  Being a very sociable, people person, I miss and need the social interaction every day with work colleagues, tenants, networking events, the Lord High on a Friday, you name it.  I miss the conversations, bouncing ideas off each other and how we are going to conquer the world! A tenant once said, it’s lovely to hear Mandy’s contagious, loud (oops!) laugh.  I really cannot wait to  bellow this out when we can safely do so!  

I know as humans we wear many hats but man alive this has tested us to the extreme!  So many memes have been shared on social media all of which we can relate to.   As everyone says, hats off to our teachers, I know a hundred percent I chose the correct career path!   At this point, can I just shout out a massive THANK YOU to our keyworkers , we appreciate ALL of you on the front line looking after us.  Every Thursday, 8 pm – we as a family were out clapping for our keyworkers, this will be an emotional memory held forever.

For covid-19 a quick fix will not happen, here at the Millfields Trust the staff and Directors are working hard to adapt to new situations, keep our tenants and staff safe and re-evaluate our offer to  continue to support our tenants.   We as an organisation have upped and adapted our game and reached out to all of our tenants, we have not always had a welcome response but we do understand that everyone is struggling with their own battles.  The pressure is immense for most of us to cope with but please be rest assured that we are here to help support our clients in the best possible way available to us. We as a non-profit organisation are a business that also needs to survive and to ensure that the Millfields Trust has premises for tenants to return to.  I am sure that difficult decisions will need to be made and reviewed over the coming years to ensure we all survive the fallout of Covid19. 

We’ve got this and working together will help, keep in touch with us, we are here for you.

Stay safe!

Mandy