As the lockdown restrictions ease this weekend and things are starting to look slightly more ‘normal’ (albeit a new normal), Emma has shared some of her lockdown experiences and challenges.
Six truths of a working mother in lockdown
Lockdown has been hard for all of us. We have all been told we must look after our mental health, our physical health and wellbeing. Added to this list of course are educating our children, trying to keep our businesses going, as well as being a housekeeper, cook, cleaner and everything else we do on a general day.
It would be great to say that during this time staying in has been a breeze. I have heard people say that it was the best thing that could have happened, and are reconnecting with partners, children and family. People are spending more time together and for some it has been great. Communities have pulled together to help the vulnerable, wildlife has made a reappearance and the ozone layer is beginning to repair itself.
These are all really great positives to be taken from a terrible situation, but there are many who can’t wait for life to get back to normal. I am one of these people. I have loved having the time to spend with my children, but as a mother of two boys, this balancing act of work/schooling/exercise and keeping my children entertained has been harder than I thought it would be.
The vision I had of lockdown and spending more time with the boys was one that turned out to be a bit too pastoral. For example:
- I remember the first times both of my boys said ‘Mom’. A wonderful moment that made me feel so complete has been besmirched by hearing it 1,940 times in just one day from both of them. When that ‘Mom’ was followed up with things like ‘the laptop isn’t working’ and it turned about to be another spilled drink, to go with the now not working phone that had been submerged in Vimto earlier, I began to need more patience.
- Based on the daily timetable I created, I had visions of two academic angels, however they are pirate hooligans with no ability to concentrate and have the attention span of a Goldfish. The work they do is nothing similar to what I was being taught at their age, and I do wonder when it became compulsory to have a degree in the Space Time Continuum to teach 8-11 year old kids.
- This seemed a good time to spend some quality time home cooking and baking. Turns out they aren’t that bothered about this, and now they don’t like anything. Moans about being hungry are now ignored, as whatever I do, they don’t like it.
- We were told exercise is important, and for two kids that are constantly running around and playing football a walk down the road with mum is now so passé it can’t be done. We managed five minutes before their feet hurt, and it was so booooooring. Huh! I didn’t realise that Harry Enfield’s character ‘Kevin’ would actually be my life.
- Juggling the complexities of running a business, tax returns, furlough, sales, accounts, marketing as well as trying to home school the aforesaid pirate hooligans has been challenging to say the least, all whilst work calls being interrupted by the noise of a boy in the fridge, and yet another wail of ‘Moooom!’
- I have given up on the house being clean and tidy. The washing gets done but that is about it. At this point my general demeanour is if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I’ll do it in September.
Having said all that, I am truly grateful for what I have and my heart goes out to all those that have felt heartache and pain during this pandemic.
As I mentioned earlier, there are some really good positives to be taken out of the Covid-19 pandemic, and I would like to think that as a species we take care to retain some of these positives. In the meantime I think there are around 61 more days left before the wrinkle causers’ school starts, not that I am counting.
Stay sensible! Stay safe!