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Motherhood During a Pandemic: The Challenges of a Working Mum.

This Sunday is that time of year when we celebrate all of the wonderful mother figures in our lives. Considering the craziness of the past year, we think it's especially important to recognise all the strong mamas who have had to put in double the work, as the challenges of homeschooling have collided with the readjustments of working from home.

Someone who has experienced this first hand is Nicola Coverdale, a wonderful mum who has kindly opened up about the difficulties of homeschooling whilst working full time and running a business from home. From the stress of taking on the new role of teacher, to having few opportunities to catch a break from the trials of parenthood, Nicola bares all about her challenges of the last year. 

Take it away, you hard-working mama...

I struggle to explain the mix of emotions that I’ve felt during the last year- working full time, helping to run the family business as well as homeschooling two children, Esther, 9 and Fearne, 6. Like many, the realisation of having to continue working whilst the children would be with me 24/7 filled me with panic. My two worlds would collide and I would have to somehow ensure we all got through it. On reflection, it has certainly encouraged me to accept I can’t always strive for perfection and some things have had to wait. This certainly didn’t come easy and I struggled with the concept that my working day consisted of continually feeding 2 hungry children, teaching year 4 maths and helping to create crowns, castles and dragons, in between, frantically trying to catch up on unanswered emails, missed calls and online meetings! 

The first lockdown was tough. Like many families, not having the support of grandparents was really difficult and the girls missed them terribly. School work was a challenge and almost felt like a daily battle. I would wake up extra early to squeeze in some uninterrupted work time, prepare breakfast and if I was super organised, wash my hair!  My working day grew longer and my husband and I would often work late into the night. The large chalk board in the kitchen helped the operation; clearly detailing lesson times, log in details and a countdown to freedom which we excitedly ticked off at the end of each day.

Like many, we embraced those warm summer evenings and developed an interest in appreciating nature and the great outdoors. We’re very fortunate to be surrounded by fields and woodland, literally on our doorstep. We invested in some cameras and started to film the fabulous wildlife. I’ll never forget the girls’ faces as we started to watch the footage back one day and a badger appeared on the screen. The next day a deer and the next a hare!

Having always worked since the girls were babies, I’ve often felt I missed out on a lot of their earliest years. Although a challenge, spending this extra time together made us feel appreciative and grateful that we were in good health and had each other. As the children return to school I look forward to 3 things; enjoying a cuppa which is still at an enjoyable drinking temperature, catching up on work that feels like it’s been on my ‘to do’ list for months and finally listening to the girls share their news and what’s happened during the school day.