My full-time job as a mortgage loan processor has always been stressful, but bringing it home has been a whole other situation!

COVID-19 came through and shook up everything. I went from my normal routine of waking up to get my son on the bus by 7:00 am, then getting myself together to drive 30 minutes to work. To waking up to log in to my work computer from my dining room table and helping my kids with virtual learning. The pandemic has been difficult to navigate, and things recently came to an overwhelming head. Keep reading to find out how I was able to take a paid leave of absence while working from home.

How Did I Know I Needed a Break?

I was required to transfer my work equipment from the office to my home on March 15, 2020. At first, I was excited for the opportunity because I’ve always wanted to work from home, but it didn’t take long for my mental health to become in jeopardy. The videos below will describe my feelings in detail.

This was a crazy time for all and my workload seemed to increase. I was hoping management would stop accepting new mortgage applications, but the opposite was happening. The housing industry is essential and has been booming during the pandemic.

How Can I Take Paid Leave During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The answer to this question for me was contacting human resources at my job. The stress from all of a sudden merging all my daily duties was too much for me to handle. As many of you can relate, my job of being a full-time mother and wife, turned into cooking 3 meals every day, working my job more than 8 hours a day, helping the kids keep up with virtual learning, plus everything else!

My family is always a priority, so I had to figure out what I could eliminate to ease the tension. Since my job was the main stressor, I was willing to take time off without pay just for some relief. I first contacted my manager and let her know I was going to take off one week to clear my head, I also reached out to a lady in our human resources department to report how bad the workload was impacting my mental health. She understood my situation and informed me of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

This was the best news ever! Taking work out of the equation was a lifesaver, I immediately felt relief. I was able to stop working in April and didn’t have to return until summer vacation started for the kids in June. I am still thankful that this was an option for me, I qualified under the following criteria according to the U.S. Department of Labor:

Up to 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

If you are in a similar situation, you may not have to grin and bear it. Call your HR department and find out which options your company has available, it could save your life. If you have questions for me please leave them in the comments and I will be sure to respond.