Can you imagine if we could have foreseen what was going to happen in 2020? The year the whole world went crazy and took us all along for the ride.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’d have hit the snooze button and slept this one out! Stop the world I want to get off! 

But of course, that wasn’t an option for any of us, so we have had to sit back, fasten our seatbelts and enjoy the ride. I use the word enjoy pretty loosely as let’s face it; it’s been a tad chaotic, to say the least! Or to be a little less p.c and to the point, it’s been a total shit-show, and it’s not over yet!

I think it’s fair to say, some of us have transitioned to the new way of life a little smoother than others. Seeing all of the angelic children with smiling happy faces licking the spatula while baking with mummy in the kitchen has certainly made me question myself more than once. I mean – I have the photos up too, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t help but think the carnage that was my reality, wasn’t the same for everyone else. I can’t quite see in other peoples pictures, the children fighting like wild animals to the death over the all-important who gets to add the egg this time or who gets to mix it first. Not to mention the tears of hysteria at the fact I cannot magically cook and cool the cakes at the speed of light, and actually we need to wait an hour before we can ice them. My fellow-struggling-mums reassure me that they too have a reality far from the serene images their social media accounts portray. I guess we’re all in the same boat, only some people are wearing their life jackets with a full-face of makeup smiling for the camera, and the rest of us just about clinging on with our life jackets back-to-front, a bedraggled mess for the camera just waiting for the storm to pass. 

With all the crazy going on in the world, there’s one thing you can be sure will remain a constant in your life. Bills! Bills don’t care whether there’s a national pandemic, your kids are driving you to destruction,  while your boss is in your inbox night and day and your other half is frantically trying to maintain the last fragment of his professionalism on yet another zoom call. The dog’s chorus is echoing in the background while the neighbours pump out the latest ‘tunes’ at volumes akin to an Ibiza holiday launch party. With those bills not going anywhere any time soon, it’s safe to say a lot of us have found ourselves working-from-home, or at least trying to.

With one day seamlessly rolling into the next, and the shift from day to night easily missed without the usual routines offering us time checkpoints we are so used to, working from home has been a little interesting, to say the least. Team meetings have certainly picked up the pace. Personally I think we need to incorporate a ‘bring your pet to work day’ moving forward. Watching the antics of Sarah’s cat or Becky’s dog each week on the team zoom meetings have been much more entertaining than the usual senior management reporting meetings; probably equally as informative too if I’m honest. But where’s the work-life balance?  I used to imagine working from home would make everything somehow magically perfect. I would save the commuting time, my housework standards would be nothing short of Mrs Hinch perfection, dinner would be served early, and family time would be so much easier. The reality for me, like for so many others, has swiftly delivered a short, sharp slap in the face. With my inbox overflowing, the kids hanging off me like feral animals, the house slowly but oh so surely, starting to fall apart, and homeschooling efforts now a distant memory, I’m left scratching my head, trying to reevaluate my priorities. 

So my priorities now are to simply survive this crazy time. To come out the other end with the same number of children I started with, no less, and oh my god – certainly no more! And to just be a little kinder to myself. Don’t we all owe ourselves that? Accept that grazing throughout the day is the new norm and my trousers will not likely fit me for much longer. It’s ok to work through the weekend without parent-guilt, and it’s ok to repeatedly delete the ‘your inbox is low on space’ message without actually actioning any of the emails. Why? Because we can only do our best. How many times have we heard the phrase ‘unprecedented times’ this year? Unprecedented times aren’t going to yield regular outcomes. We can only try our best, and as long that’s what we are doing, then we’re doing a great job.