Freelance parents working from home know how it feels to be stretched from every conceivable direction. 


Coronavirus lockdown measures required freelance parents to take on a whole new level of multi-tasking. It meant juggling all the usual parenting tasks (a full time occupation in its own right), whilst simultaneously presuming the role of homeschooling teachers... All whilst trying to work from home and manage their own freelance career. Add the widespread mental health repercussions of lockdown into the mix, and achieving a “healthy” work-life balance became ludicrously unattainable. 


Now that children and teenagers are going back to school after lockdown and a prolonged summer holiday, many work from home parents will be rejoicing (or, more accurately, letting out an exhausted sigh of relief). 


One would hope that schools reopening is generally a welcome change of scene for students and WFH parents alike. Young people can regain a sense of community, comradery and intellectual stimulation. And their parents can finally catch their breath. 


Lockdown shed light on the inequalities of our society, and the disparities of resources available to families from different backgrounds. There were single parents running the whole show from a studio flat. Then there were others with the luxury of a designated home office, and the ability to take “shifts” in tending to the children.  

A young boy being homeschooled by his mother, both looking at a computer.

Regardless of particular circumstances, however, all households faced severe disruptions to daily routines. Thankfully, children going back to school means that everyone can salvage some much needed structure, giving freelance parents the time and space to work from home more effectively. 


This is not to say that schools reopening will be a breeze. Of course, school students’ heightened exposure to the virus inevitably raises health concerns. Then there’s the staggered start and finish times, which may muddle the schedules of parents with multiple children in different year groups. What’s more, the prospect of unpredictable quarantining measures may obstruct freelance career planning. 


While there remains an air of uncertainty surrounding the future, all in all young people going back to school can only be a good thing. Though the concept of “normality” is long out the window, both students and freelance parents can embrace the renewed sense of day-to-day structure and organisation.