By Hermione Way, chief marketing officer at Sportside
Sportside is the app that matches people wanting to play sport, in the same location. Hermione is mother to Venice (5) and Octavius (2). She has been a judge for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards since 2017.
Originally featured on Fresh Business Thinking.
Not even during World War II were there mass school closures on the scale we are seeing with Covid-19. So when it was announced that the schools were to close last Friday for the foreseeable future, and my partner was to work from home, my emotions were mixed; as a highly productive person it started with “I got this”, I’ll make a spreadsheet and my partner and I can take turns in hour blocks with homeschooling and work.
Then my feelings would turn to anxiety; how the hell are we going to actually get any work done with two screaming kids, will we keep our jobs? will we lose our house? will the schools ever reopen? Life will never be the same again!
I imagined what my grandma must have felt when at the age of just 21 it was announced her country was at war with Germany and she must do everything she can to help the country fight this enemy.
My husband and I are joint earners and with all our monthly outgoings, mortgage, bills, etc, we are on a tight monthly budget and BOTH have to work to keep things going.
So highly productive Hermione made a spreadsheet detailing exactly how we are going to make things work, managing work and the children’s schedules in hourly blocks.
The spreadsheet was made redundant within the FIRST half an hour of Monday morning as it became obvious that sticking to hard timelines was not going to work as we didn’t know exactly when work calls would come in and the children wanted to do different things, at different times.
I had a mini breakdown and cried a lot, as what happened on the first day of my big plan, did not meet my expectations. But I realised that in order to get through this uncertain period I would have to let go of all expectations and just try to muddle through and do our best.
It’s currently day three and although I feel exhausted, I feel I have got over the initial shock and stress of accepting we do not have all the answers and we won’t know when this will all end and that’s ok. It was good to have a breakdown and a cry to let it all out and now I feel calmer and at peace with all the uncertainty.
I feel lucky to still have a job; I have seen friend’s businesses completely dry up overnight because of this crisis.
I feel lucky to have a garden; I have friends in London who are trying to homeschool without a garden which adds an extra layer of difficulty.
I believe this crisis will fundamentally change the way society operates, the way we work, politics, the education system, it has accelerated trends that were already happening like working from home, collaboration software, e-commerce.
A world first happened this morning when the UK Prime Minister used video conferencing software Zoom to hold his first ever virtual cabinet meeting.
So out of great disaster comes great innovation and new opportunities to do things in a better way.