OPINION

OPINION | Notes from the home office

New daily schedule, social distancing edition:

7am - Wake up with alarm then realise there's no reason to get up: no lunches to make, no one to drive to school, no office to go to. Curse self for not canceling alarm. Roll over and go back to sleep. Forget to cancel alarm for tomorrow morning.

8am - Wake up again and wonder why the house is so silent. Realise teenagers will be in bed most of the day as "practising social distancing" means they will either sleep or lie around looking at their phones. Resolve to impose strict schoolwork and exercise schedule. Roll over and go back to sleep.

8.55am - Wake up with a fright and realise supposed to be working in five minutes. Pull on work clothes/dressing gown and commute/shamble to my desk in the other room.

9am - Log on and make jokes with colleagues via Google Chat about how we could all just be working in our pyjamas. Don't admit to actually being in pyjamas.

9:15am - Kick cat off the desk.

10am - Put on a load of washing and stack the dishwasher. This working-from-home caper makes it really hard to ignore slovenly house. Resolve to convince teenagers to do housework.

11am - First sighting of teenage offspring. Realise I forgot to wake them up and tell them about strict new regime. Tell them now. Teenager says, "As if" then complains that we're out of milk. And bread. And cereal and oats. The local shop has none of the above. Tell them to cook eggs from trusty chickens for breakfast. Offspring declares visiting the chook pen is too much bother. Goes back to bed.

11:30am - Kick cat off the desk again.

12pm - Rouse teenagers from bed and tell them I'll make pancakes if they get up, get dressed and do some schoolwork. Discover bribery is just as effective now as it was when they were two. Post photo of them studying so people will think I am lucky and successful mother.

1pm - Put cat outside.

2pm - Finish work tasks that take a full day when in the office. Turns out those meetings really could just have been an email. Get stuck into administrative tasks I've been putting off for months.

2.15pm - Discover the reason why I put tasks off is because they are boring and tedious. Decide to get back to them "later".

3pm - Give self early mark for incredible productivity. Keep phone handy so that I can pretend to still be working if someone calls.

3.05pm - Someone calls. Back to work.

4pm - Berate teenagers for lying around all day and force them to do housework, which counts as exercise in new strict schedule.

5pm - House is clean, work over, start planning dinner involving can of tuna, dried chick peas and rubbery zucchini...Feel grateful we at least have toilet paper.

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