Here we are, in week 10 of lockdown...which I can hardly believe I am saying.
In the last few blogs I've written about the work/parenting balance. Little did I know (like so many of us across the world) that I was soon about to be promoted to teacher, head chef and hairdresser all in one go.
When the Covid 19 pandemic started and the UK lockdown was announced on the 23rd of March, the first thing we decided, amongst our mild panic, was to try and turn it into a positive. We turned off the news, and sought to avoid any negative social media content which would cause us to worry and instead set about making a plan on how we could make the most of the difficult situation and enjoy the time we had together as a family.
Adjusting to the 'New Normal'
Both myself and my husband have continued to work throughout the lockdown so it was key that we had a well thought out plan to ensure we could carry on whilst both working from home with our 4 and 5 year old boy’s.
We needed to adjust to a new (albeit temporary) life of home-schooling, along with the rest of the nation. We made our rainbows for our windows, started clapping for our carers every Thursday and went from life at 100mph to a new life where an aeroplane in the sky now seems unusual and breaks the peace and quiet I've quickly grown accustomed to.
Working From Home
At First Wealth, the decision was taken quite early on to move the whole team to a work from home setup, so that we could minimise disruption and protect the health of the wider team and their families. We are fortunate that we are all set up to work from home, so the transition was actually quite a smooth one.
We've been really fortunate that no one in the team has been furloughed. It's been business as usual, and we've even been able to celebrate some promotions in the team, something I know has really helped to keep morale high and everyone motivated too. We've been having client meetings on Zoom instead of face to face, three times a week we all gather for a full team meeting, and we have built our plan to navigate the firm through this tricky period. To help maintain our mental well being, keep us sane and positive we have been doing work quiz nights, treated with sweet treats in the post and encouraged to try Zoom online fitness classes. All of which has helped solidify the bond we all had as a team even more so than before, which has really helped us all keep pushing onwards.
An Opportunity for Personal Growth
There has been an abundance of free material online for the world to use. Home gym sessions, DJ sets, opera, home learning, films, children’s stories, webinars, get fit for the elderly, PE with Joe Wicks, First Wealth's Free 30 min calls, the list goes on. I feel like we will all come out of this time at home with a wealth of knowledge – whether it be how to use Zoom/Facetime, online banking and other new methods of working with technology.
Personally, trying to figure out how to work at home with two children and home school was a huge challenge and I am extremely grateful for the flexibility of my working hours which First Wealth continues to support. This has meant I can work around my husbands working hours and have time with our children in the day so they aren’t playing without one of us with them.
I’m sure we were riding along with the Nation’s emotions; the first week felt like a sense of achievement, the second week was flat. And then we realised we had to accept we have no control over this situation. We accept it and hope things get easier. Hope is stronger than fear and therefore hope has been the best motivator. We have unwound our plans and holidays for 2020 and yes it’s sad but there will be new plans and other things to look forward to.
The Brighter Side of Lockdown
Mother nature has of course been playing her part – what amazing weather we have had for the whole time we've been at home. We have taught both boys to ride their bikes. We have old friends in our road, but the current situation has encouraged everyone to be much more neighbourly, and meant many of us have spoken to neighbours we previously hardly knew. The sense of community spirit in our village has been everything. Is it just me or does everyone smile and say hello on daily walks now? We also celebrated VE day with a social distanced street party, something that really lifted spirits for all of us.
Don’t get me wrong – it hasn’t all been this rosy. There have been tears, tantrums, anxiety and worry for people we know who have been directly affected but that has all been weighed by hope and keeping a positive mindset. My youngest Son laid on me in our garden a few weeks ago and unprompted said ‘Mummy I miss everything’. He is only 4 – it’s affecting everyone but we had a good talk about everything we are looking forward to, at the point when measures are relaxed.
So for now, as we need to make decisions if our children will be returning to school; our plans and dreams of 2020 holidays, family celebrations and weddings may have all changed, but we focus on the now. At some stage things will return to a new normal and for now we are enjoying the slower, quieter pace. I am going for a walk in a park with my best friend this week and I can’t wait.