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I Survived 2022 With Work From Home & 2 Young Kids Coping With Post Pandemic Change

In addition to the trouble of settling kids was the challenge of settling with the better half again after a separation of two-and-a-half years during the pandemic.

2022 was the year when the world opened up almost completely for the first time after the pandemic began. The WHO chief announced that the end of the pandemic is in sight, and workplaces and schools increasingly required employees and students to be back at office/study locations.

And so, for me, my two-and-a-half-year hiatus in my hometown Kerala, which had begun with the delivery of my daughter in late 2019 ended, as my son required to be at his school in Gurgaon (Gurugram). While fortunately, my job was to continue to be a work-from-home (WFH) one for some more time, the three of us made our trip back to Gurgaon where my husband works, and where we had lived pre-pandemic.

It was a difficult personal journey in many ways

But the task of resettling was going to be uphill, especially after having had all the support and help of my parents in managing the two kids and my office work. While my son had grown to be an active and curious five-year-old, my two-year-old daughter clung to her mother for her every need and want.

My heart melted as the young one cried her lungs out each morning she was dropped at the daycare once we (re)-started our lives in Gurgaon. My son longed for his Nani-ka-hath ka khana, which was obviously more palpable to his taste that my own average culinary skills. He waited desperately for his summer vacation to begin to get back to his grandparents’ place. To be honest, I secretly wished the day arrived soon too!

In addition to the trouble of settling kids was the challenge of settling with the better half again after a separation of two-and-a-half years, which had been broken only by a few weeks together during vacations. New habits had been developed, expectations had changed, not to mention the task of parenting two hyperactive and nervous kids.

While it continues to be a work-in-progress, things, thankfully, never reached a breaking point and could be carried along forward cordially, often amicably too.

Things had changed at work too

On the work front, a promotion early in the year brought in new responsibilities. A change in my reporting manager and losing one of my closest colleagues didn’t help matters much, not to mention the atmosphere of layoffs that hangs in the air now.

Having to handle a team of my own meant I had to look at the goals and aspirations of fresh-out-of-college graduates who aspired for rapid growth and quick progressions. But they also taught me to respect their goals, take pride and happiness in others’ achievements, and to delegate work. And I was thankful for the way they accepted me – meetings marred by howling kids, absence from the office location (Bhubaneswar), and work timings that overlapped with theirs for only 75% of the working day.

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The most important thing was to show up and do what needs to be done

While all this seems ordinary and mundane, keeping doing it without giving up makes all the difference. While I thought I survived the year, looking at it from a positive lens makes me shout #IdidIt.

I managed to keep my job and perform well on the projects, managed to get my daughter to recognize and write her ABCDs, got her settled and happy with her pre-school and daycare, helped my son find friends, shifted to a new home, taught my son addition and subtraction (even of bigger numbers!) and multiplication, and kept his chess classes that we started early in the year going. And more importantly, they have got adjusted to the new city and learnt to speak Hindi.

There were days when I felt that I was inadequate; forgot to send toys for purple colour celebration day at my son’s school, missed items from my daughter’s tiffin, ordered food out for consecutive days, got angry and wild with the kids, and more. There are days when I felt I’d failed on every front, both at home and at work, especially when the kids fell ill with stomach infections.

2022 has been the year #IDidIt

Yet, the wheel moves on and is almost on the verge of crossing onto new beginnings, with loftier expectations and ambitions.

I remain thankful for the other cherries that 2022 offered – a few trips with family and friends, a brand-new Xmas tree in the house, diyas and lights during Diwali, birthday parties with friends, breakfast and lunch catchups with ex-colleagues, a re-start to my writing adventures with the NaNoWriMo, and more.

Life’s simple achievements are worth celebrating as much (and sometimes even more!) as the big milestones.

And as the year almost ends and I still manage to put up the routine drill more or less efficiently for most days, I can safely pat myself – I’ve passed. And this is for all those mothers and ladies out there who juggle kids, work (be it at an office or home) and mundane yet hard routines, manage families and do the balancing act, #WedidIt.

Image source: filadendron from Getty Images Signature Free for Canva Pro

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