Life in Lockdown
So I’m now in my fifth week of isolation, and after having a bit of a wobble this week, I thought it was time I’d best start documenting this bizarre journey to look back on in the future. I’ve got a feeling this is going to form part of a series, with both Luke and I contributing to the posts. So here goes…my journey so far during the lockdown of 2020.
Since the beginning of half term (back in February) things were starting to happen. New policies had been put in place in school, and plans were being prepared in case we ever had to close the school. I was quite naive at this point and didn’t quite believe that they’d have to shut schools on a national level! Staff were already having to self isolate due to government advice and we were starting to become thin on the ground. On 18th March, the government announced that from the end of that week, all schools would be closing. Unfortunately, we had already closed a couple of days before due to requiring a deep clean, so our children never got that ‘last day’. Here started a brand new way of living and working.
Being a key worker, I am called into work to care for the children of other key workers to help the country do what it needs to do to get us through this pandemic. Luke’s school had asked him to work from home for the foreseeable future which meant that I didn’t have to worry about Rory’s care. My school is amazing, and set up a rota for the staff, ensuring we could all do our part. I went in every morning for the first week of this new ‘school system’. I had such a wonderful week with the children, doing activities we wouldn’t normally be able to do in school, whilst keeping a safe distance. There were so many small things we had to consider, such as giving each child their own stationery pack and seat. When you’ve always brought children up telling them to share, to suddenly change that mentality is hard! I’d come home in the afternoons and get to play with Rory, allowing Luke to get a bit of work done too (I’ll talk about working from home with a toddler in a minute). Because I was coming home a lot less mentally drained than I would have doing a full day at work, I was really productive and got some jobs done around the house - the ones that are on the list and you never get round to!
Looking back, even being in work that week didn’t make me realise how scary this time was. The first day school was closed was the day the three week lockdown was announced. I went to a shop for some essentials and deliberately avoided a supermarket. As I walked in, I was greeted by a security guard and staff member in full PPE, and handed a note saying that I must be in here for an essential item and to not go down certain aisles in the stores. This was the first time I felt anxious about the whole situation. I’ve since visited other stores and feel they have better systems in place to make sure I can get what I need without feeling judged for being out of my house.
The following week, it was back to me working from home too. We quickly got ourselves into a good routine. Rory all of a sudden loved a lie in and most mornings we were all sleeping in past 8am - an absolute dream! Now came the tricky part. Two parents, both working from home, with a toddler. If I’m honest, we fell into a good system pretty quickly. I’m expected to reply to emails from parents, mark any online submissions from the children, and continue developing my subject areas. We use nap times to both sit and work ‘distraction free’ and this is where I will get most of my work done. I’ll reply to emails as and when I can, usually when Rory is engrossed in an activity!
The one, best thing that has come out of this horrendous situation, is the time Luke and I are getting to spend with Rory. We’ve been in each other’s company 24/7 for over a month now, and it’s gone surprisingly well! We’ve seen Rory’s speech development come on so much, but at the same time, feel like we’ve seen a regression in his independence. He is far more wanting of attention, whether that be wanting to play, or him just sitting on your lap when you’re supposed to be working or cooking the dinner. This has impacted people of all ages, and even a toddler knows something isn’t right in the world. We’ve spent time together in the garden, gone on long walks, baked together, done some arty activities and just enjoyed each other’s company. I’ve continued with online dance classes so it’s been nice to still do some exercise and socialise with friends, and I’ve had more FaceTime conversations than ever before!
The past two weeks have been my Easter holidays. School has been open, and staff on the rota have been in caring for the children. But because we set no learning for the children over the Easter break, I’ve found the last two weeks harder because I haven’t had something else to stimulate my brain. I’ve been reading more, and started a huge jigsaw, but the reality is, I’m looking forward to being back in school next week and regain my sense of purpose. The past two weeks have been really up and down for me. One day, I’ll get dressed, be really productive around the house and do loads with Rory. The next day, I’ll stay in my pyjamas and it’ll be a miracle if I put a load of washing on!
Last night it was announced that we need to continue with lockdown for a minimum of another three weeks. This news didn’t come as a shock, but I still feel a range of emotions. Firstly, I’m just frustrated that I can’t see my family, and more importantly they don’t get to see Rory. I’m worried for everyone’s sanity. I know this is supposed to be the ‘new normal’ but simple things have been stripped from people’s lives, and those simple things can make a difference to their mental health. I’m also worried about all my children from school who are having to stay home, not see their friends and have the structure of school. I miss them all and really hope we make it back to school before July so I can be with them again. I’m upset that Rory’s going to have to have his birthday in lockdown next week, and the day feel no different to what the last month has been like (I’m going to write a separate post about his lockdown birthday).
Basically, my current emotional state seems to be scrambled. This whole thing is a rollercoaster, and despite the awful situation in the world right now, we must remember it’s still ok to be upset about the little things in our lives. Those hugs from family members and coffee dates for friends are ultimately what we live for. We’ll get back to that point, but for now we’ve just got to ride it out as best we can. So, do whatever you can to keep yourselves sane and happy through all this. If it means staying in your pyjamas all day and eating all your child’s Easter chocolate…do it! My inbox is always open for anyone who needs to vent. But for now, in the words of Vera Lynn … ‘We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.’
Mommy Davies x