May 4, 2020

I didn’t think I would ever write a blog post sharing my experiences with being in lockdown. It really is a strange time and one we have all had to adjust to pretty quickly. We are now heading into week seven, and although I find it quite astonishing we are at that stage already, the last six weeks have been tough.

At the start of lockdown, I was still heading out weekly to do the shopping. Every Saturday for the first 3 weeks I would spend the best part of the morning queuing. It was tedious and although a job I really resented, I actually enjoyed getting out, smelling the air and having a 2 metre conversation with the stranger in front.

Fast forward 3 weeks and since that last shopping trip I have not actually left the house (except for the 40 minute evening walk with the pooch). I managed to secure myself a delivery slot and ever since I have managed to bag myself a one every week. There is going to come a point when that doesn’t happen and I will be back queuing on  a Saturday morning.

I am stickler for routine. I enjoy the structure and I work better as a person and a parent, if I have a routine. Not everyone does, but for sanity and mental health it works. This is where I have struggled immensely. No routine  has left me feeling a little out of my comfort zone and the more we relax the routine, the harder we will find it to get back into one.

Our days have consisted of a repeat pattern (some may say that’s a routine – but to me it’s a bit like groundhog day) We do school work in the morning and after lunch is free play. Some may disagree with that but I also have a full time job to keep. Juggling that job and home schooling has been quite something. I have been so lucky that James has in fact been off and although he could home school all day, its a lot of pressure on someone (and me) when we don’t actually know what we are doing.

We originally started 9-3 Monday to Friday for the first two weeks of lockdown. By the end of those two weeks, we were all screaming at each other. Unsure of the answers, unsure if we were teaching them correctly. We decided we would concentrate on the core subjects and mix it up with Art and PE.

This works for us. I found myself comparing to what others were doing, feeling incredibly guilty about how much work they were producing. It’s all about the circumstances though and  those parents may not necessarily work, they have time to spend and teach. After a conversation with Henry’s teacher, I felt a lot better about how we were dealing with it. Work is being produced, its what the school are asking. As long as my children are happy, safe and well that’s all that matters

The one thing my family and I have struggled with is the social interaction. Being with friends one day and then not seeing them for 6 weeks is tough. Seeing family and then having that taken away from you in an instance is hard. Yes there are telephones, and FaceTime but its really not the same as seeing someone face to face. Sitting next to them, feeling their presence. I certainly took for granted being able to see family before all this. Things will change after, I will make sure of it.

As we head into week seven, my anxiety has not lifted and my mental health is being tested. This is hard, I am really not ashamed to say I am struggling. It has not got any easier and I am struggling to see an end.

There is the odd glimmer of hope though and those are the moments I cling onto. This has been a huge adjustment to our lives, it’s taught us something very very important and that’s not to take the smallest of things for granted. I hope that when we do eventually come out of this we will all look at the world in a completely new way.

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