Published in


A Week in my WFH life: Carolyn Stebbings

We live in Strawberry Hill, Twickenham and are in week ten of lockdown. Our household consists of my twin boys Adam and Nathaniel, aged ten, and our 3-year-old Cockapoo Ember. Here’s a little insight into our world…

Monday 1st June:

5am: Up to administer antihistamine to the twins — they had both kept us all awake most of the night with dreadful hay fever.

6am: Walk the dog as its cooler first thing and still with her cone of shame on it protects her dignity. It’s beautiful down by the river with the sunlight sparkling off the water and we have the park to ourselves. A little bit of solitude time for me.

7am: Family breakfast — homemade Bircher muesli and discussing what schooling the boys are gonna do today…although they keep telling me it’s an inset day so they don't want to do school work!

8.30am -18.00 Emails, calls and meetings on a range of subjects including the all-Code weekly kick-off meeting so everyone knows where we are on key projects, resourcing and finances and then a return-to-office meeting with the Code guys that sit in the Mercedes Benz office as MBUK R2O this week — where we talked about blue teams and green teams, spatial distancing and walking on the left in corridors. My days are always varied and I rarely have one that stays the way the diary suggested first-thing. Calls from clients or colleagues can railroad my day in a moment.

18.00 Eat dinner as a family talk about our days - what we learned, what are we grateful for today and what’s the plan for tomorrow.

19.00 — 20.00 pm: I joined the NY Organic team on one of their Executive Coaching sessions. This one was on presenting and gave a number of dos and don’ts whilst in lockdown. Here is a link from another one Mark has done on managing stress in uncertain times.

20.00 — 22.00: Indulge in some Modern Family on Netflix with the boys — we started watching it from series one last week and have just reached series two. We discuss who are our favourite characters.

Tuesday 2nd June:

6.30am A better night's sleep for all. Although I was up, the boys got extra shut-eye until 8am — which is a first as they’ve always been early risers.

7am Catch up on Empathy Breakfasts with the amazing Mimi Nicklin. Just 19 minutes to kick start the day. See here for links to all the sessions to date. Be sure to watch Episode 5 about Satya Nadella CEO of Microsoft and how he sees Innovation is empathy turned into action

7.30am: I went for a run with the dog in tow.

8.30am: Family breakfast — this time just cereal and toast and talked about the maths, English and science they needed to get through today. Along with their latest exploits on the PS4 — both very proud of their gaming setups.

9am: the calls started and didn’t stop until 19.00 today which takes its toll. Today the variety include the global workstream for R2O, mentoring a colleague, collaboration with our proximity colleagues as we look to dominate the UK marketing landscape, 3 senior team lead catch ups to check on team wellbeing and resourcing, plus a couple of client check-in around the same topic.

19.30 Late dinner for the boys and I. We had paella. We like to scratch cook whether it ham, eggs and chips or something more creative. It gives us a chance to chat and make a controlled mess. Mine was accompanied by a glass of Rod Easthope’s Pinot Noir. Don’t judge me for drinking alone — I’ve never thought it was a bad thing until in lockdown so many people have told me its new for them as they’ve always avoided it…

Wednesday 3 June

6.30 We all get up and take the dog for a walk. The weather is damp and cloudy. Ember will have her cone of shame removed today which will mean tomorrow's walk will be off the lead.

7.15 Back home and answer a few emails before a fruit and pastries breakfast.

9.00 The calls start with an R2O discussion around our Gatwick office, it's all about hand sanitizers, wipes, signage for stairwells and floor direction, the AC and airflow, number of people that can be allowed in the kitchen at any one time and what areas to make off bounds. It’s really complex as we look to make the office as safe as possible for a phase 1 return. I also had a call on behalf of OmniwomenUK with Thierworld one of Omnicom chosen charity partners and OWUK partners for the next 3 years as we sponsor 3 MBAs in a Lebanon Refugee Camp. I also learned about another initiative they have to support their #StillLearning initiative.

Nick Sharratt (an ambassador for Theirworld) and children’s illustrator is inviting families to share their children’s drawings on social media that show how they are #StillLearning at home. The idea is that you post the picture on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram with the following 2 tags (#StillLearning, #Theirworld) & Theirworld will share their favourites each week with their thousands of supporters around the world. Here’s the link for further details: http://theirworld.org/news/nick-sharratt-children-drawing-still-learning-school-closures-coronavirus.

19.00 Dinner followed by us all playing Lego Dimensions on the PS4

Thursday 4th June

6.30 Up and out for a run with the dog first tie in two weeks off the lead. She is in her element.

8.00 Wrote up a Sunday school script on the Trinity. Since going into lockdown this will be our third recording for broadcast this Sunday. We make them a family affair with Adam showcasing a craft and Nathanial writing a prayer that he ends the sessions with.

8.30 Calls start and its another back to back day. A couple of calls with Ralph Lauren, a framework call with Mercedes Benz and finalising the 5+7 Forecast submission. I also had emergency plumbers around for our downstairs toilet — which was a weird experience in its own right. Letting people into the house that I didn’t know. Shutting the boys and dog in the front room, practicing social distancing and washing down all the areas they touched with antiseptic after they left. Positively our problem is now solved. Also caught up on Bernard Marr’s Top 10 Technology Trends of the 4th Industrial Revolution see https://www.bernardmarr.com

19.00 Homemade macaroni cheese with chorizo. FaceTime with my mum so the boys could say thanks for a badminton set she had sent over for them. My parents have seen the boys every week for the last 10years

Friday 5th June

6.30 Up and out for a dog walk.

7.00 Posted my diary to Jess with one last thought:

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with lockdown. I’ve missed my extended family, we are close and I’ve never had a week where we haven’t met up at some point. And whilst I’ve worked longer hours moving around the house to get the best WiFi I’m humbled by the community spirit created by my colleagues. Finally, as a single mum who has to work, I’ve loved the sound of my boys doing schoolwork, gaming or simply having fun so I feel more a part of their lives.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store