One thing I didn’t expect about working from home is that it would make me miss my kids more rather than less. On a typical working day normal times, I probably get 2-3 hours with my kids at best, less on a bad day (which still makes me luckier than some parents who work tougher jobs with longer hours). At the moment I get at least 5 solid hours with the kids every working day, before going off to hole up in the bedroom and work while my wife takes over. So, I definitely get more quality time with them right now, but when I do go off to work I miss them even more.
When I used to go to my office, the kids were not out of mind, exactly, but they were out of sight and more pertinently earshot. I tended to assume that they were having a happy enough time at school or nursery or with their mum or nana (and if they were not there was not much I could do about it at that precise moment anyway). Now, when I’m working at home I can still hear the sounds of the children from downstairs, they are loud enough and the house small enough to make it inevitable. When I can hear them having fun I want to go and join in. When I hear them grumpy or upset I want to go and help out, even though I know it is unnecessary. Just makes me miss them that bit more than I would if I was in the office. Proximity makes the heart grow fonder I guess.
Something else made me a little sad today. My son’s nursery, like most I imagine nowadays, has an online system where you can log in and get little updates and photos showing what your child has been up to. We got a couple today, dating back to before the nursery closed, talking about how happy our son is there, how he’s getting more and more confident and friendly with the other children. Whilst he’s doing ok at home so far, it made me realise what he’s missing out on during this lockdown, time with other children, and indeed adults other than us. 3-6 months (or however long this goes on for) is a long time for any of us, but it is such a big chunk out of a two year old’s life it’s impossible not to feel bad for him.