Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Mama Life || Is This Really The End Of Lock Down?

If the past year has taught me anything, it's that we really just have no clue what the future holds. A year ago this week was our last week of 'normal' our last chance to be totally free, to breathe without masks, to venture out as a family without being judged, to travel, to see family, to hug friends, to leave the house with out fear. 

There's been ups and downs throughout this whole fiasco and I've found that although I've had some really low points, I've had nothing feel as bad as some of those 'normal days'. Even though much of the past year has been pretty, well, shit, it has given me the opportunity to see what makes me happy, what and who I need to move away from and where I need to shift my focus to be a better and most importantly, happier person. 

Lock down one felt like a lot, but it was also exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I'd just started to feel better after a really bad depressive episode, I'd just been told the job I was desperate for was a no go and more than anything just craved some good family time, which I received in abundance! 

I spent that first lockdown doing a little educating, which that time round meant me sourcing work sheets, creating work, planning our days, getting arty with the kids and having walks in the sunshine as our P.E lessons. I spent a lot of time looking after myself, practising self care, working on my art, writing, drawing, painting and decluttering the house. I felt amazing that I was able to sort our house and head at the same time, whilst also having my family home, well, safe and happy. The sun was out almost every day and to be honest it was incredible, I loved it all! I felt guilty that so many families were struggling at that very same time when I was living my best life, but do you know what? I deserved to be happy and focus on me for a change too. 

I soon returned to work and our 'new normal' (god I hate that phrase) and the kids were back in school too. I realised how this impacted me, how little time I got to create, the fact that my job was pretty pointless and although I felt I was working towards something, I really wasn't. I may go back to that at some point as I really want to work with children, but the route I was on was a non starter for me. I made the decision to leave my job; risky in a time when so many were out of work, but I'd realised how much I depised the routine, working lunch times in the same school I did the dreaded school run every day, so it had to go. If I could work there all day then great, but splitting my time up into little unproductive pockets was just no good and did nothing for my wellbeing. 

I worked hard from home, building my blog back up, getting stuck into my creative endeavours and getting into a better and much healthier routine. Then of course, Christmas and the next proper lockdown struck.

This time round was hard. Really, really, hard. 

This time I wasn't getting paid monthly for sitting at home enjoying myself, so I had to keep working at home where possible, trying to earn money in a time where there is less about and working into the early hours of the morning to get that bit of time for myself and my work that I'd quickly got used to. We no longer had the warm sunshine from the first lock down, it was now months since we had seen family and we just so desperately wanted a day out together, like a proper day out. A holiday seems like a distant dream, as does a trip to the beach or soft play. You know it's bad when you'd happily go to soft play.

The hardest thing by far though has been the school work. This time round the school did brilliantly, they had everything set up, they loaned out iPads, laptops and checked in regularly. There was a lot of work, a proper school day worth I imagine which would be fine in a school, but trying to do it at home in our safe happy place was a struggle. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that. I also felt really pressured, the teachers were lovely checking in and I was honest when we had bad days or skipped work because I just ran out of battle, but I still felt like I was letting them and the kids down if we didn't at least try to get the majority done. Half term was spent at home, we tried to have fun, we failed quite a bit. The park got boring, the walks from home got boring, I think I got boring too!

March 8th seemed like a lifetime away when we went into lockdown, and although it was pretty rough, it did go quickly in the end and I'm now so thankful for all those extra cuddles, lazy morning and no school runs. We are only on the second day and I really miss them. This morning they both climbed into my bed and we stayed there as long as we could without being late, it was really lovely but also made me realise how lucky I've been to have them home and getting to spend all that extra time with them while they are small. The work battles, mess and snack demands are a distant memory, I just miss the cuddles.

But is this even the end of lockdown? I've had my jab and I know many others have, but I still feel we are a long long way off venturing into any kind of normality. Extending lock down would have felt like a kick in the proverbial, but it would also have meant less risk when we get back out there. I worry about the mental impact on us all if it all happens again. A really long lock down would have been grim, but I can't help but feel that it would be preferable to going round in circles and possibly doing it all again. I want to get back to a kind of normal, not a new normal but definitely an improved normal. I want to see the sea, visit family, not wear a mask, smile at people, be able to breathe out the house. 

Just today someone said 'they recon we'll be back in lockdown within a month' and things like this just instantly bring you down don't they? So I'm really hoping this is the start of getting out of this thing, but as above, we have no clue what the future holds and knowing what the past year has thrown at us, nothing would surprise me! The Prime minister has his plans, but the problem I think is that a lot of this relies on common sense and there just really doesn't seem to be much about. I hope, I cross my fingers, but in reality I feel this could be far from over, I just hope we didn't start the undoing too quickly. I guess we will see.

Do you think the time line set out is realistic or do you feel it's still too early?