Navigating The Lockdown With Teens

16 June 2020

Those of us that are parents, know just how difficult it is to juggle a career and family life. Sometimes you need to take a step back and learn how to create a ‘work–life balance’.

Being a mum to two teenage girls aged 13 and 15, working full-time, adjusting to home schooling (I don’t have the patience at the best of times) and be an all-round everything person has been challenging at times – just thinking about it all is exhausting. With my 15 year old, we had to manage the emotions that came with the cancellation of her GCSE exams, missing out on Prom, end of exam fun and not seeing some of her friends for possibly the last time! My youngest can’t believe her sister dodged her GCSE exams!

For me being organised is everything! I have to be organised with my time both at work and at home. I’ve found creating a whole new routine for us as a family has worked well so far, mainly by trying to stick to set strict office hours and finishing work at my usual end time. This way, I’m able to balance my work and home life. Luckily, these days I don’t have to bribe my two to stay quiet during my teams call with colleagues!

During the week, our day starts with looking at the school’s online portal and checking what homework the girls have for the different subjects, their submission deadlines and plan accordingly. Oh, I tried to include P.E. but we quickly learnt after day three of Joe Wicks that you can’t make teenagers do something they don’t want to do, which was okay by me! I‘ve accepted there will be times when things won’t go to plan. I’ve also learned to relax screen time rules as they’re relying on digital tech now more than ever before.

The Lockdown has its advantages – we’re spending a lot more time together as a family, whether it’s cooking, baking and lots of eating of course; enjoying lie-ins rather than racing to get up as we normally would and accepting the slower pace and not feeling guilty! Working from home has worked well for me, as I feel like I’m a lot more productive and have been able to do my job as well as I can. I do however, occasionally miss the office banter and the interaction with colleagues.

Although there’s currently not a clear end in sight to these unprecedented times and many will be experiencing far greater challenges than I am. I’m hopeful we’ll get through this stronger, more aware, more agile (as individuals and as a firm), kinder to ourselves and others. I also hope that the appreciation shown for key workers will extend far beyond this crisis. We need to take this strange new life in our stride and do the best we can!