Ally's blog: Juggling

When I was invited to join the team of blog writers for Cityparents, I thought I’d be able to write some light hearted observations about the day to day juggling (always juggling) of work and family life. Wow - we thought the life of a working parent as it was a month ago was challenging? Now we are in the midst of a global pandemic, facing a major threat to our health and well-being and that of our families and friends, together with a serious financial impact on many. Our lives as we knew them are drastically curtailed as we all stay home unless essential workers. And of course, we are all now instantly thrown into the world of home-schooling.

I’m writing this a week before publication so who knows where we will be when you read this. I fear that the numbers of illnesses and deaths will increase drastically and many more of us will be impacted directly by the pandemic. All of which does make us hug our families that little bit tighter.

On the one hand this pandemic shows us how we are all global citizens, as people across the world are facing the same crisis as us and the same lockdown measures wherever they may be. On the other hand, our worlds become smaller as we isolate, necessarily spending virtually all our time in our homes with our close family members. All those times when, like many working parents, I wished I could spend more time with my children - genie, you had your fun, I’ll be careful what I wish for in future.

So as we adjusted to the lockdown there was an initial period of grieving for freedoms lost. Some tears as plans were cancelled and outings to see friends were vetoed - it’s not me saying it, it’s the Prime Minister. We settled into a simpler life. Everyone was under one roof. Mealtimes all together. No commute, no after school clubs to get to, no scrabbling to book in babysitters, cat sitters, house sitters.

And then it started. Tutoring via FaceTime. Music lessons on Googlemeet. Class chats through house party. Dance classes on Zoom. And the competitive home-schooling. Oh yes. You know what, I’ve got back-to-back dial in meetings all day so, no, I will not be setting up an exciting home science experiment in the garden. Besides which I’ve got 5 different yoga classes live streaming on Instagram in half an hour. There’s going to have to be a lot of independent home learning in my house.

So we are again back in the world of busy schedules, back to the juggle of being a working parent. But with less chance of getting an Ocado delivery. And with our children much closer by than we could have ever imagined. As much as I gripe about it, I’m not sure I’d go back to having it any other way.

Ally is a lawyer working 3 days a week in the City, with 2 amazing and entertaining daughters aged 9 and 11.

Category: A Citymother's Diary

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