Stories / Blog

Day in the life of … Martha

Martha Douwma

Day in the Life of … Martha

In this time of a worldwide pandemic Female Wave of Change shares the stories of women from all over the globe. How are they experiencing and dealing with the Corona challenge?

This is the story of Martha from The Netherlands.

“I am a working mom of two sons. In fact a single full time parent of two sons and the responsibility is mine. Currently and for a few months looking for a job. My boys are students. Having diploma’s on a certain level already. It means that going to school or making effort and achievements is their individual and full personal responsibility. There is no legal force to get them out of bed. It is up to their interest in their future career and their loyalty to the teachers.

Looking for a job

Last year till summer I had a great temporary job. In a new branch and a challenge in the content of the job. I loved it to be financially independent and having fulfilment in a job and being surrounded with colleagues. The company has a sustainable purpose too and I was asked to make the first concept of the non-financial report and the website page. Like I was totally in love. After this temporary job I was the first of two candidates for my next job. Only a pause or holiday of two weeks. After being unemployed for two years, I felt like I was back on track.

Training to grow as a person and professional

Unfortunately they took the vacancy back. I kept applying, but without success. Months and months passed by. I did not get allowance of any social security payment. I saw my savings going low and lower. It gave me a lot of stress. I was happy to follow some training to grow as a person and a professional.

I choose to apply on different jobs with but same ambitions. Then I choose to apply on job with lower ambitions. News about corona in China was already going on. I took mentally the next step, I choose to work at employment agencies. Exactly at that time the Government announced the first guidelines. Within two weeks the whole perspective on finding a job changed into a dark scenario. Vacancies on hold, withdrawn and companies not prepared for on boarding programs online.

Students at home

At first I looked forward at my boys having them at home. I saw us learning online together. The three of us are in the field of Marketing and Communications. Reflecting my knowledge with the current methods and insights.

Learn to deal with a new rhythm

The first week passed by and nothing special happened. They go to bed late and woke up even later at noon. I guessed that the online lessons were not yet prepared and I took this time to learn to deal with a new rhythm. I asked one son. He told me that he has online homework but will postpone his activities. He is an excellent student with good results and dyslexia as well. He learns the best at the classroom by looking and listening. I accepted his explanation. Also because measurements were announced till April 6th.

The other one started recently new at school. After having a huge delay on the earlier education. Every year he is facing organizational problems, doing assignments in time. Not a lack of intelligence but difficulties in executive functions. His explanation was simply, I have difficulties studying at home. And not willing to put a lot of effort in it.

Introvert vs Extrovert

One is adjusting easily at the situation, he is an introvert. The other one is looking at opportunities, he is an extravert and want to be around with people. With him I have frequent challenging talks, about what he want to do, where he want to go. I allow him to go to a Drive Through or get a take away meal. This small trip on going by car is keeping the peace at our home.”


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