Many of us Mothers are now in a situation of working from home trying to balance work, childcare and household duties. Niamh Muldoon shares her personal life changing experience and lessons learnt from working from home.
January 2019 my Mother became seriously ill with Cancer suddenly. It rocked my entire world and changed my life entirely. In summary, my mother could no longer be “the wind beneath my wings” supporting me to excel in my career providing support to me and my son Crean.. She needed me in some ways to be “the wind beneath her wings.”
In the initial weeks of my mother’s illness I was like Superwoman, I was working around the clock, in the hospital daily, balancing childcare and sporting activities for my son Crean. As my mother’s illness prevailed I understood that this was going to be a long term situation so with support from my former company I made the decision to work from home permanently.
I lost sight of daily life. My Superwoman activities became the norm. I continued to operate like this for about 10 months without understanding the impacts it was having on my well being, my life and my family life.
By November I became totally exhausted and worn out. I knew I needed to do something about it. I remember one day in November in particular I had gotten up at 5am to do a weekly call with Australia, then had continued with my Superwoman duties during the day and was on my last call of the day at 11pm with my Manager in the US. As we finished the call he said to me “You wouldn’t mind just getting back to that Customer before you end your day” this was the final straw for me to change.I spent the next couple of weeks putting my plan in place to change my life and executing my plan.
As Mothers and Daughters with Mother’s Day in the UK on Sunday, I am sharing with you my 5 Top Tips to help you through COVID-19 while working at home:
Define a Routine: It is so important to define a daily routine, same wake-up time, same break-times and end of working day time. I would even extend this to same working from home location such as converting bedroom or living space into a desk/office location. This helps to separate your work mindset for personal life mindset.
Create and Maintain Boundaries: Once your daily routine is defined make sure to build in at least 30 minutes for yourself daily. Get Selfish and push back on tasks, requests that impinge on your boundaries. Once off urgent/priority are important to respond to but watch that they don’t infringe on boundary borders.
Quality Family Time: Family mealtimes are so important. Sit down as a family and be present spending that quality time together. When working from home this is so important to do and it can be fun preparing, cooking meals and doing the washing-up together!!
Daily Well-Being: Take 30 minutes to yourself away from it all. Take a walk, get some fresh air and breathe.
Quality Communications: It’s easy to hide behind email and WhatsApp messaging but it’s critically important to stay connected with your workmates, family and friends. Make your communications uniquely special pick up the phone and call. Turn on conference calls are best with video on.
Keep Safe and have a Happy Mother’s Day!