What's it like to work from home and home school? - Afea
April 14th 2020

Meet Ammee who is juggling both

There has been a lot of news coverage of the situation many concerned parents find themselves in, or about to be in. However, juggling full-time work and home schooling  children isn’t all bad says Afea Care Coordinator Ammee, who is enjoying the extra time with her family.

“I’ve been working from home for nearly a month, and we work on a roster of one week in the office, one week at home. I feel I am more productive when I work from home, I am more relaxed because I have stopped chanting my daily mantra “Hurry up! Get moving! I need to catch the metro in time!”

I can move freely in the apartment and choose to either work from the dining table, kitchen benchtop or my daughter’s favourite study table. I also get a shoulder massage, which is very rewarding. The best thing about working from home is that I am physically and mentally present for my children during a time when they need to feel a sense of security.

There are some challenges of working from home though, I miss my work family, the laughter and the chit chats! Having to juggle work and being part of the home-schooling journey with my kids is also a challenge. I was never an ‘A’ student during my school days so having to teach my two children at home has been difficult.

I am lucky my children are 10 and 14 so are at an age where they understand the restrictions and are compliant with it. The present situation makes them nervous as well, so they are happy to follow the rules.

Although they are happy to be at home most of the time, they do miss their friends and being outdoors. The only reason they miss school itself is because there is less class work compared to home schooling, and of course, they don’t get allocated chores by me when they’re at school.

The first week very tricky as we were all getting used to the concept. However, my children connect with their friends and keep in contact with their teachers via email to stay on track, this helps me focus on my work.

We now have a routine that we’re starting to settle into, I am up before the kids and I use this peaceful time to meditate. Once the children get up and we all prepare and have breakfast.  After we are ready, I log into my work and the children get on with their online schooling. We break for lunch and enjoy a meal together and catch up on school chats and facetime with my sister (who was in isolation for 14 days). Back to work again till 5pm.

After work, I facetime with my sister in the evening. Some days, the children and I will play basketball on the mini hoop that we have in the apartment or play board games, some evenings we go for a walk, ride a bike/scooter/skateboard, other evenings we exercise our facial muscles by arguing with each other! After dinner is cooked, we eat our meal together, relax in front of the TV and practice the last pose of yoga, Savasana (lying down) for a fair few hours.

Looking after myself is important for my whole family, so I have a few strategies. First and foremost, I stay away from people. I catch up on sleep and allow myself to slow down, which has been a big reward. I have started practicing yoga after a very long time which I am thoroughly loving!

My tips to other parents in my position: embrace each day as it comes, keep affirming, I CAN DO IT and ALL IS WELL! Don’t overly concern yourself with what is going on in the news and the rest of the world, try to focus on your present situation to maintain your sanity!”

We’re all affected in one way or another by the COVID-19 pandemic. Without forgetting the tragic loss of life that has resulted, it is a good opportunity for us all to find comfort in the things closest to us. Our families, our friends, the roof over our heads; the time we now have to think about what is truly important in life, and how we can change our world for the better, from the inside out.

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Simone Kealy
Simone Kealy
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