A few weeks into lockdown, my LGA was added to the list of 'areas of concern'. This meant my husband couldn’t travel the four kilometres (into another LGA) to go to work.
I started to think about the reality of having one income, or a reduced income thanks to the COVID relief payment. I tweaked around with my budget finding ways to make it work.
We have a mortgage, and rent (seeing as we 'rentvest'), strata, rates, and electricity and gas, which have skyrocketed since working from home. There are always bills that need to be paid.
Like all Australians who have lost their jobs or part of their wage due to lockdowns, the financial implications have been tough. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home, but that isn’t possible for everyone.
The horoscopes homeschooling their kids. Post continues below.
For the first two months of lockdown, I was stressed and overwhelmed. Being home meant that despite being in a usually very equal partnership when it comes to sharing the domestic load, more of it fell to me.
I was using 10 minute breaks between meetings to vacuum, and I was using my lunch break to rush to the shops and cook dinner, to hang out washing, and to put clothes away.
As for the time I would normally spend commuting, I felt I had to make the most of it by squeezing in household chores. Nothing makes you feel like your household needs rearranging or scrubbing from top to toe than spending 24/7 locked inside it.
I am generally a glass half full person. Past managers have always described me as a 'duck' - calm on the surface, but paddling like mad underneath. So, I was hard on myself. I was frustrated with my sudden inability to 'cope', and impatient with my constant frazzledness and lack of energy.
The guilt would drive me to scroll Pinterest endlessly, to find hacks, meal planning ideas, productivity tips, and sensory activities for toddlers that I’d never actually do - I was looking for anything to make this feel 'easier'.
So, when my husband stopped working, after the initial stress subsided, a monumental weight started to come off my shoulders. Suddenly, I was able to resume my pre-baby work routine. I could have some time to myself in the morning before logging on, and there was no mad rush to do the washing, or go to the shops.