Being a working mom has never been easy, but thanks to the Coronavirus epidemic, it now has a whole new meaning. While the internet is filled with thousands of advice and ideas on how to kill boredom while in isolation, there are so little stories about so many parents that are “barely staying alive” with the enormous physical and emotional challenges the Coronavirus has brought on them.
Working from home, going to work, kids at home 24/7, homeschooling, homework, frustrated spouses, needy in-laws, cooking, laundry, dishes, house cleaning, making everybody happy….the list of duties is endless, especially for moms. But, being women, strong and reliable, most moms look on the bright side of home isolation. Or, at least, they try to.
There has never been a better time to acknowledge and appreciate moms. So, in order to celebrate this epic Mother’s Day, INTIMINA, an expert in women’s health products, shares the best, funniest and most sarcastic stories from isolated moms all over the world:
Working from home
“My kids and I have a deal that when I say I am on a video call, they don’t enter the room unless there is something urgent. If the urgency is mid-level, they are allowed to slip a message (or a drawing) under the door. As you can imagine, there are quite a lot of mid-level emergencies when I’m on video calls :)”says Lorena.
“It is abnormally hard when you try to answer all of the emails while playing with the kid. I was writing one extremely important email to be sent to my colleague. My kid came and started pulling my arm, saying Mummy come quickly, my kangaroo feels sick, you need to administer the anesthetic! Is there anything more important than urgent surgery? Surely replying to emails is not that thing”, says Julia.
“I am on the “survival” mode since day 1. I burst into tears when I read articles with ideas on how to kill boredom in isolation. How? Switch your home to office slash school madness. I simply don’t have time to yawn. I would love to bake cookies together with my kids or read out loud those unfinished books, but when? There is work to do, homework to check, lunch to cook, a pile of laundry to sort out, Lego blocks to pull out from the hoover…”, explains Paulina.
“My working day is crazy”, says Ivana “My husband is working at our home office desk so the kitchen table is my workstation. My laptop is somewhere between breakfast leftovers and a cup of coffee I need to consume frequently these days in order to function normally.
He is on the phone, then I run to the bedroom to have a Skype call or team briefing (with the camera off of course), running back, checking emails, cooking lunch, playing soccer with my daughter in our living room, making a market plan, coordinating teams internationally, trying to amuse my daughter so she is not in front of TV the whole day, making a call with earphones and the phone in my pocket while making dinner, then writing a few more emails.
To end the working day I usually open a bottle of wine and have a chat with my husband to keep my sanity. And just to be noted, I am so jealous of people that are bored in self-isolation”.
“How does one handle homeschooling? I don’t know. We handle it badly. With both of us working full time and kids being first and second graders, it simply doesn’t work. Plus my kids can’t accept the fact that we know things. Their teacher is the only true god in the Universe and they will stay loyal to him, no matter what we say or do. And I need to agree with them, there is something holy about a man that endures working with them every day”, says Maria.
When it comes to dealing with picky eaters in isolation, Sara has some good advice: “I usually prepare one meal a day, because my family members eat out during their school/workweek. Now, I had to go back to the kitchen full time. I love to eat and I quite enjoy cooking. But with all other things on my plate, this is simply too much. I needed to come up with a hack to help me deal with dining logistics.
There is a rule that French mothers implement very early to their kids’ upbringing, which makes the French children perfect table companions: there is no kids menu! If you haven’t applied this rule yet, this is a perfect time to do it! I cook one meal for everyone and there is no plan B for those who don’t like it.
The kids eat what is served or they wait till the next meal. This saves me so much time and energy. And meal planning during the limited shopping period becomes so much easier! Say good-bye to picky eaters! (OK, there is always a fruit basket in the kitchen to avoid “starvation” of the stubborn types).”
“No matter how small your space is, there is always enough room for privacy” says Anna. “Even though I enjoy keeping an eye on my kids, I see how important it is to let them live their lives without my presence. Especially now, when they can’t leave the house. My kids were usually sharing a phone call to their grandparents with me. Now I let them call from the other room and have their own private conversations with their friends or family. They enjoy it and at the same time respect my privacy a bit more.”
When it comes to parents’ privacy, Mimi shares her story: “When you are stuck at home with your 4-year old, there is no privacy left. Not even when going to the toilet or taking a shower. One day, after a long working day, I finally managed to jump into a tub, to wash my hair and shave my legs. But of course, my kid entered the bathroom and requested: Mummy, please give me that razor, I need to shave my teddy bear. And who am I to object if teddy wants to be sleek?
“Living closed up for weeks in a small apartment with a kid is exhausting. And of course, why should I rest at night – she wants to sleep with me. One evening, while I was begging her to go to sleep at 10 PM, she hugged me and told me: I love you mummy and I love to sleep with you in your bed. I will sleep with you until I am 38 years old. So only 34 more years, but who is counting?” laughs Josephine.
Even during these difficult days, there is always time to have some time for yourself. We asked moms about their little joys. “Do something for yourself, even if it is just for a few minutes – lie down, take a bubble bath, do some reading – or just go and take the trash out”, says Frederica.
“I have these “little mouse” moments when I try to sneak in unnoticed. My kids have their online sessions with their teachers. Of course – I don’t sit there with my popcorn ready to watch the show, but I get that pleasure of sneaking a peek. After years of kindergarten when the teacher provides you with all the details of your kid’s day, now when my kids started primary school I am so hungry for this kind of comforting input… And the fact that the teacher is quite good looking is just another bonus! ;)” says Marcella.
“We all have our little joys. Mine is when my husband brings me a mug of coffee and a piece of chocolate in the afternoons and I can sneak outside onto the terrace to enjoy a short moment of calm. This is the only time my daughter is allowed to snoop in my makeup drawer. My son can stay up half an hour longer and read his comic books in bed. For my man, it is surely the music, he puts his favorite records on and chills.” says Mia.
Being isolated with their families is quite a task for mothers all around the world. So, today we celebrate their day! And what better way to do it than with a few cool mom advice on how to get even more joyful moments during this period:
- Communicate! This is a moment when we need to be very clear about what we need, how we feel and what is going on. Teach your kids to talk about what they are feeling. Talk to understand, talk to reveal, talk to decompress.
- Do a planting project with your kids – plant a fruit or a vegetable seed and watch it progress – and take photos and notes to document everything
- Reach out to authentic people to hear their true stories rather than looking at false Instagram perfect life scenarios. Find comfort and support in other parents who are also struggling in this situation.
- Don’t forget to play and laugh! This will all be over soon!
Happy Mother’s Day!