work/life balance

The Eye – lockdown work/life balance

The Eye – lockdown work/life balance

Lucy Kane – publisher – mummy – nursery teacher – cook…. the realities of our new normal working from home

There’s been a monumental shift in our work life balance recently. No longer rushing home from the office in time to spend a few moments with the kids, before grabbing dinner, sorting out a few essential household tasks, downing a large glass of wine, or two, possibly catching up with a friend or watching an episode of Killing Eve before collapsing in bed to squeeze in a few hours sleep, and repeat.

Instead, it’s like living in constant virtual reality news story broadcast from home. Live on another Zoom meeting, oldest child starts sidling into your home office, for no apparent reason, except utter boredom, youngest child is driving toy cars around your desk, they’ve finished all the hot chocolate powder and can’t find anything else to destroy. The only difference with my Zoom calls and the funniest TV clip of the year with Professor Robert Kelly, is my partner isn’t trying to surreptitiously extract said children.

Nope, he’s on Zoom social with his work colleagues upstairs, my daughter is House-partying with her friends and the youngest in the family gets to do, well, anything he wants. In some ways his constant appearance around my desk legs should be more reassuring; that he’s not licked the hot chocolate tub dry, excavating ice cream from the freezer, or throwing wet sand at the walls.

When there is ten minutes of uninterrupted peace, my subconscious starts ringing alarm bells but it’s over-ruled by my work conscience countering that I just need to get the quote finished before the client signs off for the day. This ten minutes of blissful but eerie silence usually precedes an internal torrent of unpublishable swear words, as I discover the bathroom has been freshly decorated, the washing up done and dinner has been made, with wet sand.

Lockdown is reviving 70s parenting, like it’s extreme sport. Like the 70s, we’re enjoying lots of sit down family meals together. I say enjoy. Our youngest uses meal times to exact his sweet revenge. After spending all morning or afternoon trying to remove him from my lap whilst writing this weeks newsletter, sending him off to do a menial task or simply ignoring his constant charms, pleas and tantrums to spend 12 hours a day watching Octonaughts, he relentlessly refuses to join meal times, exacting sweet sweet revenge, trying to escape from the room.

It’s a confusing time, adjusting to the new normal work/life balance. Whilst we’re coming to terms with the devastating impact COVID-19 is having on the world, we’re spending more time with our households than ever imaginable. But just like the 70s I wonder if many of our children will look back on this time with rose tinted glasses of hot sunny days, relaxed schooling and sensationally neglectful parenting.


Lucy Kane

Twitter @lucykane