Blurred Lines

The other day I had my 1-1 appraisal with my line manager via skype and she asked me about my work/life balance and how I was managing with it. We both laughed as soon as she asked the question because the concept of work/life balance in our lives is a myth right now😀.

Working and living in such close quarters has been a very interesting experiment for us, albeit one we didn’t sign up for. On one hand, I get to see how my husband works and he vice-versa and we tease each other about how we have different voices and demeanours we take on when we are speaking to our colleagues. His voice gets deeper (he will probably deny this 🙃) and I get slightly shrill, upbeat and “British-like” in my accent.

Perhaps the most interesting of all my observations in this life experiment, is the way our working from home has impacted our children. It is probably one of our biggest sources of entertainment when we are having a stressful day at “work”. I’ll give you an example.

Since we began working from home, our children (the 8 year old especially) now have ‘office outfits’ that they don every week. My son has a pair of chino trousers, blue polo shirt and a ‘fancy hat’ that he wears couple of times a week. He completes the look with a ‘briefcase’ and at a certain time of the day, he will call a ‘team meeting’ to be attended by himself and his sister; in their bedroom. Then there is the mimicry of mummy and how she rings up GP surgeries, patients and hospitals chasing up test results, x-rays, referrals and setting up virtual clinics for our patients. They pick up my headset and amuse themselves by role-playing mum and all the funny things she says when she’s on the phone. The other day, my son responded to my correction of his homeschool work with “Thanks for the feedback, mum”. It was such an unexpected and matter-of-fact comment that I only laughed after I had automatically responded back with ‘of course honey, anytime’

As amusing as this is to us and them, I sometimes wonder if (and how) this will impact their outlook on work and adult life. I know people say that it is good for your children to see you working, so I am leaning into that and hoping that they are right. It isn’t always fun and games and sometimes emotions run high and we shout and cry and give each other the silent treatment. We are all new to this dimension of family dynamics and if I’m honest we are winging it most of the time.

And when I feel like I’m fit to burst, I will just hide away in the storage room under the stairs with a cup of tea and a Jammy Dodger😀.

What have you observed in the dynamics of your family since you began working in close quarters with one another?

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