I am now working from home. My work is navigating us doing our jobs remotely for the first time ever, as I don’t think they ever thought it would get to this stage. It’s a bit of a mess, but I’m home.
D is also working from home. It’s an easier feat for him, thankfully.
We are additionally keeping O home with us until the shit storm that is covid19 blows over.
But, if you don’t do screen time with your kid, how the eff do you work from home with said kid and survive? Make a schedule, have activities set up that you don’t have to man — those parts I get. But he’s a preschooler who doesn’t always appeal to logic, and wants us to play with him and be present and we cant ’cause WORK EMAILS ^ 3894792374.
Additionally, if you have no office space whatsoever to accommodate working from home, and one of you is stuck on the couch (me /weep), how do the ergonomics of your body possibly survive?
It could always be worse (I could still be on the floor in ECE right now), but I did not fully think of these things. My back hurts. I’m worried about my kid.
Working from home lunches are superbly more tasty, however.
I didn’t learn about residential schools until 2011. Having went to high school in the states, it was never covered in the curriculum (nor are there enough mentions of the atrocities committed against the Indigenous people there, but that’s a story for a different day). It was unsettling to have my picture perfect image of peaceful and kind Canada disrupted in such a way at the age of 27. Even more so by first finding out about them in a class of fellow college students, all younger than me, who were talking about the crimes of the residential schools like common knowledge. Wait, what?! But in learning about it, I learned how to be different. I learned how to better understand the systematic racism that prevents people of the First Nations of being able to do and simply be. I learned how to check my own ways of thinking, and how the world (and sometimes myself) can be so quick to Other something based off of unfounded fears and assumptions. I also learned how to ask better of the people around me, and to not be afraid to call them on bullshit that does nothing but further divide us. Not just for myself, but for children in this world that deserve so, so much more.
My coworker and I wore these shirts today. On the way out of work we were stopped by a teenager. Our office is rented through the Burnaby Neighbourhood House, and it runs lots of community programs for people of various cultures and circumstances, etc. The teenager asked my coworker what our shirts meant. Having seen them earlier in school that day worn by his fellow peers, he didn’t know what they represented, and wanted to know more.
I too still have a lot to learn. Too many of us do. #orangeshirtday day is just a step of many that need to come next in terms of truth and reconciliation. One that I will soon took with my son. It’s a step I’ll be proud to take. #everychildmatters
A year ago today I went back to work after my mat leave.
Biggest things I’ve learned so far?
Being a mom and working full-time is no freakin’ joke.
I’m tired. Not newborn tired, but it rivals what came after that. Weekends have never, ever been sweeter, though they are now much harder than they ever were before.
I feel like I have no brain cells. I’ve come to realize my brain pre and post mat leave are two dramatically different things. Post mat leave brain is still struggling to understand what that means, on top of fitting everything else into it that I’m now asked of.
I have very little time for mostly anything. Between work demands, parenting demands, and personal demands, the time I have in my life is stretched so thin that a flick of the wrist could break it’s mere illusion.
And I miss my kid. A whole freakin’ lot. Picking him up from childcare everyday fills me with such a sweet, blissful, contentment. It makes me whole. My heart feels radiant and complete. And saying goodbye to him the next morning is a bittersweet event that always, always comes too soon.
But there is something undeniably needed in this crazy, exhausted, sometimes dead brain of mine: a purpose beyond myself and my world. One that gives. That cares. That spreads joy. That empowers. That helps.
Tomorrow is my first day of being back to work post mat-leave.
There are so very very very very many thoughts coursing throughout my brain on this eve of stepping again into the working life I once had while saying goodbye (for now, at least) to the everyday, day-long rituals of my son and I as we lived as one, breathed as one, cried as one, laughed as one and found a sweet, peaceful solace as one. I will miss those days always, and ache for them I know that I will.
But it is time for me to use my brain again. It is time for it to hurt again as I wrestle in ways theoretical, philosophical and pedagogical. It is time for me to bring that which I have struggled with, questioned with and embraced with of motherhood and to see what of it gives rise to my being as an educator, collaborator and enricher.
When I was pregnant and mat leave was on the horizon, I was so excited about how much time I’d have off from work. It was like I’d be having a year long paid vacation and it sounded amazing! Come sooner, mat leave, I’d say. Mommas ready for some time off!
Ah, hindsight. Work WAS the vacation. THIS stuff of parenting feels like *THE* work.
This is work that has no sick days, no room for late shows, lunch breaks, early clock outs, hell — start and end times in general, no time to slack when a supervisor isn’t watching, coworkers to joke with in the middle of the day, retirement dates, vacation days, understanding if you’re not at your best ’cause of life circumstances… It has none of that, and some days it lets you know like a punch in the face.
I adore, cherish and love my son with my whole heart. But today, especially today, and everyday before it has been a reminder that the real work of my life has just begun.
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