Every time the kids show particularly helpful behaviour they get a point!

Lawyer and Mum of two, Lucy Lyttleton, is like many parents right now, juggling her parenting responsibilities with working from home. With two daughters aged five and seven not to mention an energetic and very large Sheepadoodle dog called Frankie, Lucy shares her COVID-19 tips and tricks.

What is your usual work arrangement and how has this changed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic?
I work full time which is continuing from home.

Who is currently home with you? Is your partner also working from home?
My husband is still working from his office which has its pros and cons! The pros being we are not on top of each other, however, this means I have the kids for the whole day. That said, my husband works locally so if I need to join a conference call he can duck back and take over the supervision of the kids.

What does your day currently look like?
We head to the park for a bike ride and do my team conference call from the park (while the kids run around the oval). Come home do three hours of work, lunch, set kids up for an activity, two hours work, another bike ride/dog walk, husband home at 5pm, at which time I escape for a live stream yoga class or a jog! Dinner and then if needed, I’ll log back on to work, once kids are asleep.

How are you keeping the kids schooled/entertained?
For me, the key has been drawing up a routine and sticking it on the fridge for the kids to follow and the “good girl” points system (every time the kids show particularly helpful behaviour they get a point, once they get to 20 they can choose something from amazon, plus they can lose a point for bad behaviour!). 

The kids have been great at doing an activity in the morning like drawing, painting or making a birds nest from sticks they collected at the park while I do some work. When that wears off (usually around the 55 minute mark!) they do an hour of Reading Eggs or Mathletics (this has been a lifesaver as it’s both fun and educational)! We have also been doing a daily Zoom call with the grandparents who either read to them for an hour or do a science lesson.

What are the challenges (both personal and professional) of working remotely with children at home? What are your tips for overcoming these?
With young kids it’s very hard to explain to them the importance of not interrupting you during a conference call! The saviour has been Reading Eggs on the iPad which seems to occupy them for hours. We also have a puzzle on the go which they can do whenever they feel like it. 

How are you engaging with your workplace and staying connected with colleagues whilst working remotely?
We have been doing a daily morning team catch up call. I also stay connected with my peers on Whatsapp group and instant messenger.

What are your tips for staying healthy and sane during this period of isolation?
Keep Moving! Do lots of exercise when you can! There are so many great live stream and recorded yoga and fitness classes out there. Get out and clear your head at least twice a day by bike riding, walking or jogging or using an app like “PT in my pocket”. One of the positive things that has come out of this is being at home every night to cook family meals and getting the kids involved in cooking a meal by peeling and chopping up vegetables.. and finally don’t forget “date night” – great way to support local restaurants and order a lovely meal and crack a nice bottle of wine and reminisce about the good old days!

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