April 23, 2020

Mama Life || After One Month Of Lock Down

After a month of something I and probably nobody else never expected to happen, I thought I'd share my thoughts. We've been on lock down now due to the Covid19 pandemic, safely at home trying to create a new sense of normality for the kids and living a simpler life at home while many battle on the front line to beat the virus and care for the vulnerable. A big thank you first to those people!

The last month has been a roller coaster of emotions. As someone that hasn't really had to face covid head on, I've been blissfully tucked away but it hasn't been without its struggles. In a way, I have everything I always wish for: the kids at home, Adam working from home, no chance of people popping round or banging on the door and no monotonous school runs every week day. The weekends aren't full of wondering and stressing about using the time wisely or deciding where to go, food is down to what we've got left instead of arguing about what to make and I have my babies right here where I can see them all day, every day.

The last week or so though I have struggled and admittedly I thought I would crack a lot sooner, so I've been pretty impressed with how we've got on. I normally hate being in the house at the weekend, it's too small, too cluttered and I will use any excuse to 'escape' when I get chance, so needless to say the thought of being 'stuck' here for the foreseeable was a little daunting. It has actually been OK, but I am missing some things, some people and missing our holiday was a bit rubbish as I really need the sea. One thing I have noticed though is that my anxiety has been so much better, which I know is very bizarre. This whole thing has made me realise the effect of usual rushing about, being apart from everyone, worrying about Adam commuting to work every day and how much of a fear I have of people turning up or knocking at my house. I knew these things affected me, but when you take them out the picture completely, it's a real eye opener.

In a way, I'm a bit scared of going back to normality now as I think all that anxiety will come rushing back, but hopefully not. You'd think the thought of a deadly virus would throw my anxiety into overdrive but for some reason that side of things doesn't, though I am obviously scared about that, it isn't as scary as the normal daily worries for some reason. Who knows how my brain works!

After the initial few days of not knowing what do do with ourselves, we got stuck into a rough routine with the kids doing some school work, reading and getting some outdoor time when we could. I've had days where I've honestly felt better than I can ever remember, enjoying the sunshine, dancing to our favourite music, the kids being lovely too each other and having time to paint, sort the house and just cuddle in PJs watching films. There is nothing better than that and I have really felt quite euphoric at times living my best hippy life, wearing colourful clothes, no makeup and feeling stress free. Other times though I get this horrid fog of depression that makes me feel too tired and unmotivated to even move from my bed or the sofa. The next day or even a few hours later it can all change, it's been a really strange time.

I think Facebook is something that has a real negative effect on me and I'm not sure why really. I think everyone is so desperate to get normality back and I just don't think I am, but instead of me thinking that's OK, my mind immediately tells me there's something wrong with me for that. I keep having to stop, have a real think, remind myself of the good stuff, use my meditation app when the stress creeps up and keep busy when it feels all a bit much. I'm also sticking to Twitter and Instagram where I actually feel happy and that there's more of a community, as opposed to the moany irritating posts on Facebook. Considering all we have to do is to stay home, you'd think it would be a breeze so I'm determined to make it just that. Mental health was my main worry, not just for me but for the kids and Adam as well, but so far I think we're doing pretty well. The kids have video calls and gaming with friends and we at least get the chance for a walk each day which really helps even when we don't feel like going for one.

Aside from one shop today by Adam, it's been me visiting the supermarkets and local shops for our food supplies and that has been a weird and wonderful experience too. I've had to queue twice to get into Tesco, and both times I've had a lady in front that has been really chatty and so lovely. Two different women but both really positive, happy and kind, full of stories and making me laugh. That has been so nice and made the time fly. Inside the shop they now have a one way system and a one in one out policy, so it's odd, but not bad. The shelves are still lacking a lot of essentials like soap and flour, and there's still the odd person that think this is all stupid and do what they want, ignoring the guidelines and shopping in groups. Shopping hasn't been the best, but it's a welcome break and a change of scene for a while.

I think one big thing to come out of all this is the appreciation for the little people, the people that actually do the essential jobs that keep us all going and I don't think any of us could ever express how grateful we are. Another thing is realising how different people are, seeing who jumps in to help and who thinks of number one. Seeing the selfishness and greed of people has been quite shocking, but it's well over shone by the kindness and generosity of people helping others, risking their own health to keep things going and helping the vulnerable. Seeing people with very little themselves share it with others is so heartwarming. Luckily, I think these people outnumber the bad, which is amazing to see and quite a shock if I'm honest as it's so easy to just thing everyone is selfish. I'm scared one of us could get sick or someone we love, but we're being super careful and it seems everyone else is too.

My main takeaway from all this is that I've realised I'm quite a lot less happy in normal life than I thought and that I really miss my children when they are at school. I do love my school job and miss the kids and staff there, so I know that's somewhere I want to stay, but I know that I also want to do some more learning of some kind and get creative more often. I want a change and I don't want things how they were. I also want to see my best friends and family more often. My kids are amazing and have made me so proud this month, mucking in and getting on with each other. Learning together at home has been strange, fun and hard at times, but they've done some work and I've really enjoyed helping them. I'm pleased that I've managed to keep a little of my sanity and it's really made me appreciate our home, garden and everything we have locally to explore. There's so much nature and beautiful architecture close by and this has really made me focus on that and look forward to short walks exploring the places we walk through in a hurry every day usually. I feel lucky, happy and eager to make changes when all this is over. I'm also very grateful to those having to go out to work right now and really hope anyone reading this is safe, well and happy.

How has it been for you?

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