My husband came in from work (He is still commuting to London every day due of the nature of his job). He asked me how my day was. I told him I felt like I had a really ‘unproductive’ day. And, I will be honest…I felt a little bit broken. For some reason that made me feel really guilty.

Having a ten year old, an eight year old and a seven week old baby whilst trying to run a business from home – I felt broken. I spent most of the day rocking my son in his pushchair. Willing him to have a two hour nap so I could focus on sending some emails. He simply stared at me with his eyes wide open.

I was conscious that I was putting pressure on myself. Everyone seemed to be baking bread, joining a webinar, getting crafty or getting their home-schooling nailed. I just felt like I had moments where I wanted to burst into tears. Am I alone?

As we stay at home in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we are being inundated not only with a storm of anxiety-inducing news but with a barrel of suggestions for “making the most” of our (alleged) extra time. There’s a huge push to be productive. Perhaps the kids might learn a new language during this time at home…unlikely I say. Many of us feel pulled in multiple directions and are having trouble focusing. It’s completely understandable. Perhaps it could be difficult to be productive during a crisis?

Many of us are just adjusting to the ‘new normal’. Some of us are used to working from home. Some of us..not so much. And, while you might find yourself having an overwhelming urge to bake banana bread, there is no pressure to do so. I believe we need to take breath and in these unusual times; let’s just take one day at a time. It is okay to have says where you feel less focused and more overwhelmed. It is okay if you don’t feel you can operate all four cylinders all at the same time.

In an odd way, this is precious time I am having with all three of my children I may never have again. I am re-connecting my relationship with myself. I am listening to the birds singing. I go for walks without my smartphone. I wasn’t in a hurry because for once…because the world has slowed down. Yes, we miss our friends and family desperately. My mother is sad she has to watch her seven week old grandson grow through a screen. However, many of us are talking to family members on a daily basis through FaceTime or Zoom. And despite social distancing, we feel very connected.

My friend shared this and I want to share it with you too:-

Many people are concerned about children falling behind because of school closure. Yes, they may fall behind when it comes to classroom education…

But what if…What if instead of falling “behind”, this group of kids are ADVANCED because of this? Hear me out.

What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connection, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing.

What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet.

What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower?

What if this generation are the ones to learn to cook, organise their space, do their laundry, and keep a well run home?

What if they learn to live with less?

What if they learn to plan shopping trips and meals at home.

What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday?

What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place?

What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life?

Yes, these are scary, unprecedented times. Yes, emotions are high.

But…in the downtime, I believe…we can find joy.