Home-schooling alongside work (Coronacoaster Blog – 2 of 5)

Home-schooling alongside work (Coronacoaster Blog – 2 of 5)

We all hear about the devastating impact of the pandemic and as a local mental health charity, Stockport Mind have seen this first-hand. Most people you speak to have very much had the ‘Coronacoaster’ experience – some days good, some days hard to get through – but can we remember the positives that have come from this pandemic and the impacts they have had within this turbulent experience?

This blog series is aimed primarily at office workers, and though we continue to reflect that everyone’s journey through this pandemic is unique, we wanted to acknowledge that other non-office-based industries have often had less choice and flexibility over where and how they work.

In these blogs, Stockport Mind employees reflect on their journey during the past 18 months, about the additional challenges this pandemic has brought to their support of vulnerable service users. But they also discuss and reflect on their work continuing – whilst able to work from home – and that they have felt fortunate in that new transition; especially being able to continue to support those who have needed it most.

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Coronacoaster Blog 2 of 5 – Home-schooling alongside work

Our Business Development Manager reflects on her experience of the pandemic:

I love the analogy that everyone has been on different boats through our ‘Coronacoaster’ of a storm. This resonates well with me. Some friends have had yachts…or even super yachts, I have seen others paddling by on canoes and I feel that my family have been sailing in the middle on a medium sized boat. Most of the time, sailing by but many ups and downs along the way!

Going back to the first lockdown, like most people I know, this was a new revelation. As a working mum of two young children, it was good to finally STOP – and some days, especially the weekends felt like a calm retreat – well, apart from the noise of the kids! Our usual life is so hectic, full of joys but charging from one place to another, like being on a fast-paced treadmill. Most evenings are usually dropping off at various clubs and racing from one children’s party to another. So hence the joy and feeling of STOPPING when lockdown started.

However, the retreat feeling soon diminished and we were in full blown ‘Home schooling’ chaos – even now, this period still fills me with dread. Two young children at home, and trying to work almost a full-time job, most would agree that this is an almost impossible task! Trying to remain professional, you have the youngsters charging around in between zoom calls, half killing each other, and attempting to teach my nine-year-old daughter – usually a Maths equation which sent my brain into spirals!

My four-year-old was off the other week as there were no teachers left, due to them self-isolating. He went back, ready for the last phase, but then whilst getting ready for a family day out, my email pinged and sod’s law, there had been a positive case in my daughter’s class! “So here we are again!” It seemed absurd, life felt relatively back to normal and surely, we are over Covid now?! Many families (including myself) have been going through this dread.

I could go on and tell you of the endless list of stories and pain of surviving Home-Schooling, but instead we need to address the fact that the children and young people are the ones that have missed out, are now being affected and did not even have an opportunity to complete their school year. As a parent, the most important thing is to look after your children and keep them happy and healthy….especially mentally healthy after this pandemic!

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As a parent working for a leading mental health charity, I want to share some tips that I have used to support my children and myself. Particularly myself, the pandemic at times has brought many dark clouds, so please take time to look after yourself and look at what is available from organisations – services that have built expertise from research and professional practice, as well as those who also have lived experience of mental health problems. You might be surprised by how many are the one and the same people!

Here are some top tips to look after your children and yourself through this difficult transition out of lockdown:

Parenting and mental health | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems

YoungMinds – children and young people’s mental health charity

Coronavirus – looking after your mental wellbeing | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems

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If you work for a Stockport or Cheshire East business that may need some support around Workplace Wellbeing in these ever-changing times, please feel free to encourage your HR department to get in touch at workplacewellbeing@stockportmind.org.uk

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To read previous blogs in this series:

Coronacoaster Blog 1 of 5, The year that work changed