Doctor-Mom COVID-19 Working-From-Home Reality
Working moms everywhere will agree, it’s just HARD since COVID-19 and working from home became a thing. Our clinic is following hospital social distancing guidelines, so I’m now on-site physically seeing patients about half the time, and at-home virtual half the time. That home time is some patient care, but also alot of administrative, research, or writing work. Whatever I’m doing, regardless if I’m seeing patients or in a meeting online, or talking on the phone, or logged into EPIC (our electronic medical record), or anything, SOMEONE will interrupt me, it’s inevitable.
Some days are harder than others, and this week was a doozy. To everyone, especially my patients who had to deal with every living creature in my home ZOOM-bombing their virtual visits Tuesday: Thank you for your patience! Yes, Hubby is one of the lucky few media personnel allowed to attend Patriots football practices in-person these days, which means when I’m working from home, I’m solo until reinforcements arrive (Thanks, Mom!).
Prior to my saintly mother’s rescue, my tiny dormer office space was invaded by two kids, two cats, and even the dog, multiple times. I had virtual appointments scheduled from 7:30 am through 12 pm with no breaks, then an hour ZOOM meeting from 12 pm- 1 pm, everything disrupted by someone. And these were not subtle interruptions: The kids were chasing each other arguing about something, then my daughter jumped into view because she LOVES to wave to whoever is on the screen, and then the dog was chasing after the cats (he thinks they’re playing when they hiss and bolt, which they may be, in their catty-cat way), and the cats jumped onto my desk then decided to nap there, and I did a lot of apologizing, or muting.
Then tonight during an early evening work ZOOM meeting, I was again hiding in the dormer office thinking that since Hubby was home, I was safe to work without interruption. Then the fire alarm went off. Hubby, God love him, was cooking dinner. Broiling dinner. Burning dinner. I was the meeting organizer and leader but as the alarm shrieked on, I literally had to tell the group: “Talk amongst yourselves!” and mute myself.
It’s so much harder to get work done. I am acutely aware that it has been ten days since my last post. I have multiple half-started posts, most of which are collaborative, well overdue, and guilt-laden. To my colleagues who may have given up on me: Don’t give up on me! Those posts are coming.
There is so, so much I want to write about, but I’m doing all my writing in small snatches of “free” time stolen from my job(s) or my family (including our pets) or my self-care regimen. (That’s a whole other post I need to write, about the importance of self-care, even when you’re slammed…)
I don’t know if it will get easier or harder when remote school starts in mid-September. (And that’s a whole other post I need to write, because we opted for remote school, though the school committee voted for hybrid.) SO MUCH GOING ON! And THANK YOU to my 3000+ followers, my colleagues expecting to see their work highlighted here, my patients expecting their PCP’s full attention, and my family for hanging in there with me.