Working-From-Home and Homeschooling During a Pandemic

As we all have been forced to halt life as we knew it, and the spread of this deadly virus is ending so many lives, bringing so much chaos and suffering, quarantines and lockdowns have been put in place by governments all around the world. The world watches with awe and horror what is developing in front of our eyes. We have all been pushed to stop and reorganize our lives, family and work and somehow continue with life while this crisis continues to grow alarmingly.

While doing some training as part of my new work-from-home routine, I came across this info-graphic yesterday. It made me think of this new experience as a precarious balancing act that a lot of people are struggling with right now.

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Graphs.net.

To say the least, I have found it more than hard. But still, I feel my husband and I have been blessed and taken care of because we both have been allowed to keep working-from-home. He works full-time and I work part-time, which means that I am trying to juggle 4 hours of work while at the same time having to keep my 9 and 6-year-old daughters occupied.

Now that the March break is over and real life has kicked in full force with this terrible new reality life at home has become complicated. I am now faced with having to homeschool both girls full-time (and patience is not my strength) probably till the end of the school year. Most parents in Canada are in the same boat and though homeschooling is popular in Canada it is certainly not for everyone.  So here I am, feeling like Ms. Beade in Little House on the Prairie, trying to figure out how to teach a 3rd-grader and Kindergartener at the same time, wondering how is this even possible.

After all the frustration, disorganization, stress and tears from them and me in this first week of home-schooling, I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be able to cover every curriculum task and daily expectation or even everything planned for a specific day. The girls have their own learning paces and I have to go with the flow. It’s just too stressful for the three of us.I’ll cover only what is possible to be managed by the girls and me and take it one day at a time.

Emotions run high during difficult times for all of us and children are sensitive to it all. Our family situation gets complicated with the fact that grandma and grandpa are far away and alone. The worry about their wellbeing is never-ending and prayer is what keeps us going when fear gets the best of us.

I have also re-doubled our cleaning and sanitizing schedules at home to prevent sickness and infections of any kind. Somewhere in our already crazy schedule, we have to fit in cooking, laundering, going out for fresh air (especially now that the weather has improved so much after a long, cold winter) and playtime. Our daily Bible readings, as a family, still happen but are now being prioritized above all else in our home schedule. Our studies focusing on the signs of the times and answering questions and doubts that the girls have with the current situation have been slowly becoming the best part of our days.

When the day ends and the girls are finally in bed, I am often left with almost no energy. The days feel longer being cramped at home, doing all the above mentioned and the result is that my writing and reading routines have been deeply affected. I am currently struggling hard to keep up with my work in progress and my regular reading routine. So I decided to separate at least 1 hour of writing/day and I have lowered my word count goal from 1500 to at least 500 words.

The best time for me at the moment, with my crazy schedule, are early mornings before anyone wakes up. I write from 6 am to 7 or 7:30 am if I’m lucky but I haven’t always been able to reach my goal.

In normal circumstances, I try to schedule reading one nonfiction book about the craft of writing, every month, and one good piece of literature that I try to read like a writer. I also read for pleasure (usually contemporary romance). I waited almost 3 months to borrow Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane but since I got the book in mid-February, it has been impossible for me to do any reading whatsoever. My books rest in a pile on top of my night table and as soon as I snuggle in bed ready for some downtime, I stare at them. I usually grab one and open it up where I left off but as soon as I start reading, I doze off, exhausted.

Under these conditions, there is only so much we can do as mothers, wives, professionals and writers. Feeling overwhelmed is something that was bound to happen with what’s going on.

I think it’s time to just take a breath, make a real pause and realize that we should really be focusing on what matters the most: strengthening our faith. This is a chance to stand still and observe. We’re been shown who’s really in control of everything. As we wait for things to develop, as exposed in the Scriptures, let’s not lose hope that maybe one day this situation will improve; but if it doesn’t, let’s be ready to respond as the Lord expects us to.

Meanwhile, we have to do our part staying home and healthy, caring as much and as we possibly can for our loved ones and those who need us, near and far.

We need to remember that these menial things that go on in life and that overwhelm us all, will one day have no relevance for we will be shown what God has planned for us all.

For now, keep strong, focus on what matters, keep yourself and your family safe and for the sake of your own sanity set aside a little time for yourself and what builds you up.

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Posted in Resources For Writers, Writer, Writing Journey and tagged , , , , .

Laurie Hazel is a Women's Fiction and Inspirational Romance Writer based in Hamilton, ON where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. Her stories are characterized by wholesome, sweet romances where courage, hope and strong faith take centre stage in the face of adversity. Her work has been published by Whispering Willow Press and Colorful Pen Press.

6 Comments

  1. I miss having those long blocks of time on my days off while the kids are in school. Readjusting is a challenge. Keeping focussed is definitely a challenge!
    Great read.

    • You are so right. Not having the luxury of time we used to have makes it a struggle to stay on task. We need to learn to prioritize and find a new balance in life as it is now. Thanks for the comment and keep writing!

  2. Great article! Personally I have been struggling to concentrate and get some work done.
    Good advice on separating a specific amount of time to do a task, although I could just commit 15 minutes at a time for now!

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