Building a New Routine

I’m used to working from home, at least in the concept of only me being at home.  The schedule works out, I’m on calls most of the day, and work gets done.  The office life is good too, as there’s a lot of social and serendipitous discussion.  I get a more horizontal view of everything that way, and the social links are great.  Each has an advantage.

Working from home with 2 kids and my wife is a different challenge.  If I was working “normal” hours, then it would be challenging but doable.  Now though, it’s 7 days a week of work.  It’s not balanced at all, and the kids need something to keep them from going crazy.  Wife too!

The 4 of us sat down on a Sunday and mapped out the weekday activities for the kids.  They are both in school, so they are used to 1hr blocks of activity.  They get math, language, art, science, social studies, and reading throughout the week.  There are free periods, lunch and breaks too.  So from 9am til about 3:30pm they are in school.  That works most of the time, but they still need some direction/help as well as the social aspects.  My wife works next to them, and she’s in a better situation to answer than I, but it’s still hard for her to get work done with interruptions.  Trying to sort that out.

Thankfully we had invested in learning material a ways back, and there are plenty of online tools we can use too.  They are both pretty good with computers, what with Google Classroom being used already.  I’m quite proud of them playing their part in this new normal.  We try to fit in some video chats with their friends/family every day so that they get some social bits still working.

Wife’s schedule is still being sorted out.  She’s a teacher, and personally calling each family to make sure they are OK and have what need to connect for learning tools.  At 15m per call…that takes days to get through.  After that, then it gets into building new plans for the classrooms.  There’s no real chance school comes back before the summer break… so as much prep work they can do now, the better off in the fall.  (Side note – hopefully this shakes up the teaching profession to the reality of 2020 kids.)

My routine is almost hermit like.  My first call only starts at 8:30, so I have time to take a coffee and catch up on the emails I’ve missed since the night before.  I’m on 6-10 calls a day, up til 4 or 5.  Then it’s catching up on the admin side of work, and emails / IM.  My last check in is around 10pm.  Then the groundhog day starts over.  I have a home gym, and can work out over lunch.  I make/help out with supper.  Then a few hours at night with the kids, before they head to bed.  I’m managing, but it’s not sustainable.

And on April 6th, I expect that in Canada most of my work is going to take the largest beating in history.  We’re already beating records left right and centre.  I’m betting on a 5000% increase on normal volume, since we were just short of 3500% on Monday.

Long story short, kids are doing better than expected, wife is adapting, and I’m surviving.  I have another 2 weeks of insane chaos to get through, and then things should “stabilize” in the sense of not having a new crisis develop.  Fingers crossed.

Stay sane folks!

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