Running a business and homeschooling in lockdown – my reality

Posted on 10 June 2020

Running a business and homeschooling in lockdown – my reality

Like many of you reading this, the last 3 months have been one of the strangest I have ever experienced. This awful disease has destroyed so many lives and affected everyone in both negative and positive ways. Nobody’s experience has been the same, no two stories are the same, yet we all have our own to tell. For me, the start of the coronavirus lockdown was a little uncertain as we were in France on holiday at the time and so spent the entire week working out how to get home and whether or not we would be able to fly. Luckily after a change in flights and a very strict border crossing into Switzerland we were on our way home. Landing back in the UK to the start of lockdown and children not going to school was actually quite nice. School work was yet to be formally set, the weather was good and we spent the first few weeks outside, doing PE with Joe Wicks, running with the kids on their bikes, doing long walks in the local woods and playing in the paddling pool. It felt like an extension of our holiday, just with work thrown in when I had the time. Fast forward a few weeks and home schooling became a reality, at first it was fun, we had a schedule for learning, snack time and play time and even a sticker chart, plus I was managing to keep on top of my own work just about – I felt like I was truly bossing it. Then the reality hit in that this wasn’t just going to be for a few weeks, the kids got bored, I got bored, lessons started later and later each day, pyjamas became the clothes of choice for all until at least 10am (sometimes much later!) and my patience was tested on a daily basis. Finding time to do my own work was challenging, I have managed to stay on top of the day to day orders but this year should have been the year for real growth, particularly from a wholesale point of view with multiple trade shows planned, but this has all been put on hold, along with cancelled orders (quite rightly) due to the high street effectively shutting down. I try not to beat myself up about it, but there are only so many hours in the day and in all honesty (those homeschooling will no doubt agree here) – once the kids are finally asleep, which is not as early as it should be, the thought of sitting down again with my own computer for a few hours is nothing short of horrific! I think I have finally managed to strike a balance and now understand which lessons my kids can do alone giving me time to work and which they need my help with. We are still prioritising exercise; it definitely keeps me sane and the kids are a bit like dogs I find, they need to be taken out and given a good run around if there is any hope of sleep – so come rain or shine we are outside every day. On the subject of sleep – like many of you I’m sure, this has also been something that’s been disrupted. I have suffered with insomnia for years, exercise helps to keep it at bay but this pandemic really played havoc with me and I didn’t sleep properly for at least the first 8 weeks, I am making sure I take better care of myself now…wine at weekends and not every day at 5pm(!), exercise of some sort each day, long soaks in the bath and I’ve even treated myself to some new pyjamas – we really must look into doing ones for adults here at L&B. The kids’ sleep has also been disrupted, I have gone back to giving them baths most nights as it definitely helps, along with lovely, fresh pyjamas (Lister & Bruce for Charlie of course!), long bedtime stories and they’ve been helping strip their beds and wash their sheets each week, both now get excited about their clean sheets purely because they played a part in the process. In fact, they have been helping me clean the house since lockdown and actually enjoy it, well mainly using the hoover or spraying everything in sight with Anti-Bac spray but it’s better than me doing it all. All in all I know I will look back on this time with sadness for those that have lost loved ones but also with fondness at the extra time I got with my kids and the slower pace of life we have been forced into (one which I hope to continue when this is all over). I hope lockdown has bought you all moments of joy and less moments of misery and that you and your loved ones stay safe during this time. H x

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