I am the Primary Caregiver for my daughter this week.
My parents and my daughter was Ag+ on Sunday and Monday, respectively. If this is your first time hearing this, it means that you have tested positive for COVID-19 by Antigen Rapid Test (ART). Fortunately, all of them are fully vaccinated and have mild symptoms. My parents are self-isolating themselves back home while my family return to our place.
Both my wife and I have tested Ag- and thus, we can continue our daily activities. However, one of us need to be around to take care of our daughter, and I am the chosen one. Fortunately, I do not have many activities on my schedule this week, and no issue taking up this task. This is the first time I have been the primary caregiver for a week. Being the “no-nonsense” parent, she tends to exhibit more control when I am the only one around.
Switching on the TV for her to watch her YouTube is the first thing I do after waking up and making the beds. In the meantime, I will prepare her breakfast and something to eat myself. Guess I can forgo my 16/8 intermittent fasting this week and continue after the March school holidays. After her TV, I need her to get back to some studies based on the task list set by my wife.
I will need to make frequent “patrol” off from my work to see what she is doing and when she’s asking for help. Next will be lunch, where I need to think about what to cook for us and wash up after the meal. Fortunately, I am the one who’s cooking all the meals during the Circuit Breaker period (aka Lockdown) back in 2020. I am interested in cooking and baking, but not much chance for me to improve on them.
When my wife is back and the weather permits, I will go for a short jog before coming back to prepare dinner. My wife took over when she was back but kept a safe distance and wore a mask at home to mitigate getting infected. However, she is obligated to do something for her job and keep everyone at her workplace safe.
She will prepare our daughter for bed before 9pm while I continue to do my stuff, watch some Netflix/Disney+, catch the news, read my book and jump to sleep.
I can anchor myself at home to take care of her due to the nature of my work, and coincidentally the workload for this week is low. However, to be fully engaged in doing my job is somehow impossible. She will jump in as and when she has a need, and I need to attend to her as she can be very persistent in asking for them. Still, I am in a much more fortunate position than those who halt their revenue income to care for their loved ones at home.
Thus, I need to break up what I need to do into chunks and quickly work on them before either jumping into the next or attending to her before coming back. The constant switch is taking a toll on my thought process and productivity. Imagine someone who claims that they can quickly switch between tasks and perform them effectively, and it could be challenging.
A misconception could be that time passes much slower at home. On the contrary, time passes much faster as we juggle different roles, and we might feel that we do not have enough time to work on the tasks.
We are still in the pandemic, and this is a phase that we need to go through. It is not “If we get it” but a matter of “When we are getting it”.
We need to make the best use of the situation and maybe take this as an opportunity to build bonds and have a short break away from those familiar routines. We might discover something else that could be beneficial to our work or self.
If you are in a leadership position, do spare a thought for those who need to be away to render care for their family members. But, unfortunately, we are part of this global history and what we do determines who we are as a team when we look back.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring