“If I wanted to be a teacher and homeschool my kids, I would have gone to teacher’s college,” said Amy (not her real number), mom to a seven-year-old in grade 1, and a four-year-old in nursery school.
“Trying to run a house and business, look after the kids and homeschool is difficult enough, and when you add a lockdown to the mix, by 11am I’m a horrible mom and a grumpy wife. It felt like everyone was getting the worst of me – from my team at work, to my family and friends.
I found it exceptionally difficult to focus on work with my kids around, in what was one of the busiest times in my business. In the first few days, I set up a crafts space in my home, and tried to do exciting activities every day.
When online schooling started however, more of my time and attention were needed for my girls, and while my poor husband was committed to face and finger painting, and using Lego pieces to teach maths, he also has a business to run, and couldn’t devote the time needed each day for them.
I could go off to work, focus on getting my tasks done, and leave my kids in the very capable hands of a professional
Our girls were battling, I was frustrated, and no one was enjoying this version of me. So I made up my mind to get an au pair to conduct all the online learning, homeschooling and extramurals via Zoom. I posted an ad on a Facebook platform for someone to help five days a week from 9am to 1pm so that I could focus on work, and so that I wouldn’t be a grinch to my family each day.
I could get all my tasks done and meet my deadlines and targets, while leaving my kids in the very capable hands of a professional. They would be able to focus well and be more entertained and stimulated, do all the crafts, and then I could come home, and spend the whole afternoon with them, focused and happy.
We found the most incredible au pair who instantly connected with the girls, and who is kind and patient. My girls love doing new crafts and activities that I wasn’t wild about doing, and they are engaged and content with their schooling and extramurals.
It was the best thing I ever did – a win-win for me and my family! I’m sure people are judging my choices, but I honestly don’t mind it. I’d rather be happy and have my kids content, and look after my marriage, than do what Karen next door is doing.