Self-isolating while expecting: maintaining work-life balance when there’s no certainty

By admin 2 years agoNo Comments

First time moms really want it to be perfect, and by that I mean, you’re trying to take decisions well ahead to cope with your lack of knowing. Being in startups for the past 10 years, I feel like I have been equipped for that task very well. Planning for the unknown is very much like building your marketing strategy at a brand new market. You start off blindsided and take decisions as the data presents itself over time. Figuring out where to invest is mainly done based on previous acquired knowledge and not a lot of existing data.

Until recently I was also working from home with considerably flexible working hours which is an absolute luxury. Allowing me to split my days working from home to dive into specific projects but still going into our shared space in central London to change the scenery, take my mind off of many pregnancy related concerns and staying active.

I thought I was coping quite well with all of these unknowns coming at me on all fronts. Collecting information, understanding my options and slowly building my plan. We still have some time to make decisions, I thought. So no need for panic, and we’ll figure everything out soon and pivot as needed. Well, as reality keeps changing in the speed of COVID-19 spreading around all that uncertainty takes a sharp spin and the need for pivot is everywhere….

Body and mind. Not being the most work/life balanced person I know, keeping active was my excuse to leave my computer, leave the office early and tune to myself. I love going into the Yoga studio, inspired by the individuals of all ages looking to breath right for an hour or so. But now as I see my marketing plan flushed down the toilet with my morning sickness, panic on what to do next has kicked in. Social distancing changed into self isolating feels like having contractions in the middle of Oxford street and there goes my balance.

From dealing with uncertainty to constant uncertainty. Moving to the UK 2 years ago in many ways I’m still adjusting to life here. Not just from a cultural perspective, but mostly finding meaningful connections and understanding how the system here works. But these days, it seems like the systems are not recognising themselves anymore. Is the hospital safe to attend for my scans? Do people practice social distancing? Should I continue meeting my midwife regularly at the clinic where sick people can wait for me in every corner? And how about attending my hours of work put into an industry event? How real is it to expect companies to engage with us at all? Even if some of these have answers today, they might not be at all applicable tomorrow.

Purchasing online does (!!!) help – Working at a SaaS company, we gather tons of data on how people purchase, what stops them from completing a journey and if there’s a change in their behaviour during extreme situations. We have seen a significant change with how consumers behave since COVID-19 particularly in retail. I’ve always been proud of my rational buying, and being continuous to purchase when and what I really need. But nowadays, and in the past few weeks – I AM THAT CONSUMER. Purchasing online does comfort me. Not only has it provided the illusion of control, connecting with the brands I know and preparation towards the unknown.

The lesson. And as I take each day as it comes, and try to be optimistic towards this huge change to our lives as a family, it seems like the biggest lesson in this situation is that being in control, always knowing and absolutely prepared is a thing of the past.

2 weeks into self-isolating, I miss going into the office very much. Meeting my colleagues, adoring the next door office dog, queuing at my favourite food stool for lunch and snacking on the not so unhealthy cookies I never let myself snack outside of pregnancy.

My Yoga teacher kept saying that being pregnant and giving birth is probably the easiest thing about being a mom. She meant just that – The new world order is absolutely preparing us as parents to constantly change, be agile with our plans and thoughts, and even teaching us how to breath, particularly outside the Yoga studio.

Michal Zarankin

Director of Marketing, EMEA

Quantum Metric

  Women in Data
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