I am a working mom. Normally, since both my husband and I work, I try to come home by six or seven so that I can eat dinner with my children. Sometimes I can’t make it, so I call and let them know that I will be home soon. I know that it can be hard on my children. I am not always present in their lives, but I try my best.
There was a case at the office, so now I work from home. Working from home has been a real challenge. I find it hard to separate my professional and home duties. My children barge into my room while I am trying to do work, so there are times when I need to lock my door. It felt overwhelming at first, juggling two lives, but now I see my time at home as a blessing.
Usually, I have my helper make lunch for my children. However, I have made it my goal to fix their lunches myself. Although it is very simple, pasta or a sandwich, it has now become a very important part of my daily routine. Instead of my coworkers, I sit and talk with my children during their lunch break. It is refreshing to have time to really connect with them.
Most of the time, my husband is traveling or comes home really late. But with the Coronavirus, he is also working from home. It is nice to spend more time as a family, to be just one room away from them. The weekends were once protected time just for family, but now, we can be with them throughout the entire day. We both feel guilty. We don’t drive them to activities, we don’t volunteer at their school, but we try to stay involved in their lives as much as possible.
I worry about my family in Hong Kong, but also my parents who live in the U.S. It’s getting bad over there. The number of cases continues to rise. Especially in New York, where my parents live, the death toll is too high. My parents tell me not to worry, but it’s hard when you’re not there to take care of them. I can’t physically do anything. All I can do is hope they are safe. I read the news, trying to keep updated on the situation in New York. It's the only way for me to help my parents.
I am not sure when this will be over, but I am trying to stay positive. Even though my kids' spring break was spent at home, I tried to keep my children entertained. We did an easter egg hunt at home and rented out a few movies, we did some painting as well. There is so much fear, panic, and uncertainty right now, but I am definitely thankful for the extended time at home.
Written by: Naomi Katayama