I have decided to write a weekly diary of our time through the Coronavirus pandemic. To keep for the future. It’s such an unprecedented time and full of so many mixed feelings and events we have never encountered before it is hard to process it all.
It’s been a month since my last update, and it’s been a long, hard and grey month as lockdown continues to tick on by. Groundhog day is a good way to summarise. Endless days of homeschooling, mainly worksheets, juggling children and work and lots and lots of rain.
We did have a snow day, however, and it was absolutely wonderful. Exactly what everyone needed to break from the monotony. To run, play, build a snowman, go sledging and have a snowball fight. I felt like it had such a positive impact on all of our mental health and I was sad when it all melted.
My oldest son, who is autistic, in general, copes pretty well in lockdown. He is happy working away on his laptop and working on his projects. Peppered with walks and cycle rides.
It is my daughter I worry about. She is a social butterfly and misses her friends dreadfully. At 6, a video call quite frankly doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t help that of the 3 friends she plays with at school all of them are at school as their parents are keyworkers. Meaning she is the only one at home alone. I can see that her mood is getting flatter and she is struggling to sleep most nights now. I have had to have a chat with her about the importance of looking after herself too and getting up, dressed and brushing her teeth each day and how it will make her feel better. Each day we’re also trying to focus on one thing she is looking forward to that she can do for fun. Which seems to be helping.
As nurseries and pre-schools are still open, my toddler is coping well. Enjoying 3 mornings per week at school and he loves his brother and sister being at home when they would usually be at school.
It’s hard to always remain upbeat for them, when you don’t feel it yourself. The weekends are little pockets of relief, saying goodbye to homeschooling and working on creative projects, games, films and walks if the weather permits. It’s been so wet the garden is like a swamp right now and pretty unusable – roll on spring!
Just like during the last lockdown, the backward and forwards messaging about when schools are going to open is stressful and exhausting. As is the diatribe of conversations of it on social media. Like before, I find it easy to back away from social media a little and limit my interactions really helps with my mood. I keep trying to not focus on the date as it’s so changeable. The hospitalisation and new cases are still so high at the moment, but the predicted reopening of schools at present is 4 weeks, so there is time for it to go down. I would be happy with part-time – so at least the children are getting some interaction. One of the things I am finding hard is that with so many children in school this time (40%), it makes me worry for my children that they will fall behind their peers who are at school and also their long term mental health.
I’m really glad it’s half term next week. Weekends are better because I can just be Mum, not Mum and teacher which is a hard line to straddle. The house is a happier place when I am just Mum without all of the pressures of home learning. We can’t really go anywhere or do much in half term, and normally I would be planning meet-ups with friends or trips to the cinema. But we can do some activities and Aria is going to join in with a Zoom choir class.
This week, my youngest son had an accident. It was one of those things that happened so fast. I was loading the dishwasher, my daughter opened the cupboard to get the dustpan out as there was a spillage on the floor. While my back was turned Bo grabbed a laundry liquid tab, squeezed it and it burst into his eyes. I quickly rinsed his eyes, but it meant he had to go to A&E.
A&E is a slick operation now of head thermometers, masks and distanced and taped chairs. The big difference was how quiet it was to whenever I have been before. I don’t know if this is because people are doing less or going less when before they would have when they didn’t truly need to?
Bo had to have his eyes irrigated which was an awful process that involved 3 of us holding him down, swaddled while the nurse did it. Something I hope we never have to do again. It really was awful. He also had to see an eye specialist who thankfully discharged him on Friday as the eye had healed. I moved all of the cupboards around at the weekend so all of the cleaning supplies were up high. All in all, it’s been a hard parenting week, it would have been hard without the pandemic and I am so glad he’s ok.
A positive thing that has come out of all of this is that I have started my coaching course and it has helped me massively. It has given my things to focus on in order to be positive and uplift my food, as well as dealing with overwhelm which is so massive for parents I think at the moment. It has also meant I have started drawing and writing again, which I have realised is also a form of self-care for me. Being creative energises me.
The wait now is the the vaccine to be rolled out. The light at the end of the tunnel. My Grandma and in-laws have had their first dose, but not my parents yet. Who knows when my husband and I will. I think the latest prediction when I looked was May. We have holidays booked for June (Center Parcs which was moved from last year) and Wales in August. I’m not sure we will make Center Parcs, I think we will have to wait and see, but I really hope we can go in August. To give us all something to look forward to.