Ennui, Adaptation and Parenting in a Pandemic

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By Mary Clements

Well, it finally happened. Last week I ran out of steam, I hit a wall, I emptied the battery and whatever other well-worn idiom you can think of to describe becoming a listless ball of ennui. And like every other time this has happened, it surprised me.

Myself and my husband Charles are both entrepreneurs. We have been long set up with our at home office extensions and were well equipped and accustomed to them when the pandemic hit. Our house is a quiet sanctuary for getting work done. We also currently do not have any children of our own.

This ability to work endlessly and uninterrupted helped me get our team mobilized at a record speed to keep our tutoring practice serving our current + newly joined students. Over the past 5 weeks, I have now personally hosted Free French chats for over 230 students  and levelled up my directorial and technological savvy by filming and producing daily French stories.

Putting in 12 hour days, no problem, productivity feels great, especially in a pandemic! Weekends also aren’t needed when fuelled with good intentions and the evidence of the positive impact our work has been having. Of course this pandemic work schedule I set up for myself just simply wasn’t sustainable and now that the “surprise” of this realization has come and gone, I have regrouped and fairly easily adjusted back to more reasonable hours.

This adjustment isn’t as easy for most of our LPP families. Many of our parents are expected to be working their full-time jobs at home with the same level of productivity, while simultaneously educating and taking care of their children.

As this gruelling schedule’s end moves farther away, I’m wondering, what can we do to help you better?  While no decisions are final yet, we are also looking at what a summer online looks like. I invite you to reply to this email with any thoughts, ideas, suggestions you may have. As the government continues to release more help for businesses, I would like to  use this to create meaningful employment that supports our families. We’re all in this together!

Today’s French Storytime  opens up with a painting I recently did featuring one of my favourite French literary characters followed by a story about a crazy chef. Lots of people are experiementing with different recipes right now so I thought it was particularly topical!