Me, My Family, My Work And Dear COVID ...
Me, My Family, My Work And Dear COVID ...
It was the 1st week of March 2020, the end of the fiscal year and it was quite busy with kids' final examinations and meeting Q4 FY 20 targets at the office. I had made up my mind to give myself a partial break by taking half-day leaves in March end and working from home during that time. Had spoken to my supervisor as well and had come to this arrangement to get a break and also work on important project deliveries. Not sure why I felt that work from home would give me a respite.
News of Covid-19 was flashing on the news channels but with only a few cases in India, I was certain that it would pass away soon without impacting me or anyone dear to me.
In the 2nd week of March, the proactive measures in event of the pandemic were in full swing, both at home and at the office. Children stopped going to school and creche. I started doing half days from home. Parallelly at the office, we were working with the customer to enable work from home arrangement for the team.
It was a new normal with minimal preparedness from everyone. The team was enabled to work from home including me. My husband was also working from home and children were excited to have both parents at home without school and expected a gala time.
For the safety sake, we stopped the domestic help from coming, stopped socializing, going outside home and kids were completely stuck at home. For a few days, all went fine with kids taking up responsibilities and husband sharing the load and I started loving the first few days of lockdown. Then kids' school started and they became busy and husband also remained busy with his work trying to help wherever possible. However my full time IT job as Delivery Manager and doing all the household work started taking a toll.
After working the whole day also I could not sleep with the next day's plan revolving in my head. I started to lose my ground and the sanity of my mind. I began sulking about the load of work and the physical strain and my age was making the situation worse. I felt my entire existence is falling through cracks.
Before the COVID struck I always took a certain pride in my ability to come out of difficult situations. However, this was so different. Daily I was planning to optimize my time and streamline the daily chores and bring it in synergy with my office work.
I thought that when at home I will be able to give a lot of time to my kids and family as I could now save the commuting time to the office. However, due to the new style of working there was mounting pressure of availability at any given time. I started being available just about all the time on the phone or my laptop. Slowly we started getting into watertight compartments with decreasing interactions within the family. My husband and I were in two rooms engaged in calls and office work and the kids retired to their room for their classes.
One day while I was working on my laptop, my younger son sat beside me and said: "Mama you are not giving us time." I turned towards him and said dear son that "I am cooking, cleaning and trying to do all the essential things for the family". My elder son tried to reason with him saying "....Mama is working really hard to do everything for the family...." My younger one said, "I understand but we do not play anything together." My heart melted thinking what this pandemic had done to my son who being stuck at home is really missing playing with his friends and is expecting me to take that place.
I spoke to my husband and we decided to change the way things were going on. Slowing we as a family started spending more time with each other by playing UNO, Ludo, Carom, Business, Monopoly, Scotland Yard etc. We also started doing extempore, quiz time and other fun sessions. Children were also engrossed in improving their solving time of Rubik's cube, with elder son making some interesting videos too.
Both my children were very happy now. They slowly had made peace with the fact that I need to work from home but were reassured that they can have their fun after I finish my daily chores of office and home.
Slowly things started to fall in place at home. We started spending family time by going out for walks, running and playing indoor games. At work too things were similar to at home. For some time I was forgetting deliveries, missing the small deadlines. However with time just like at home, office work also became stable.
COVID taught me many things among which few are, always remain prepared for the worst, remaining close to family, check my priorities, taking care of health to sustain pressures of life, accept failures and enjoy every single moment in life.