As soon as Leo made that announcement on the 12th March, my mind went into a silent panic.
Selfish as it might sound, it wasn’t a panic about catching Covid-19… it was a panic about being in lockdown at home 24/7 with my own family.
I felt numb. At that point, it was only a 2 week thing. I knew deep down 2 weeks was only the start but even that much had me out in a cold sweat. Surely at the most we would back to normal after Easter holidays…? Nope.
I was facing into an abyss and I was genuinely worried that it would break me and probably break my family as well.
In normal life, we struggle to survive Bank Holiday weekends at home together. I don’t find it too bad because I’m used to being home with them more but my other half finds it hard to be off, to not be busy… and to be constantly bombarded with the noise and demands of two small boys.
They have control of the telly for a start which doesn’t go down well. They don’t watch it all day, but if the telly is on they expect it to be “their programme”. I have long ago accepted that I cannot watch anything that I like on TV during their waking hours, forget about it! So I don’t even try, and it’s fine! But Daddy works long days all week and is home close to bedtime so this is a skill he has not needed to learn! And it definitely causes friction at the weekends. So how was it going to pan out long term… eek…
Usually when I know there is a couple of days where I will be at home alone with the boys, I plan our escape… I am up the road to my parents for the day, maybe even for the night. I call my friends with smallies that we can go visit to pass the day. Either way we are gone. Out of the house. Somewhere. I don’t even give myself the chance for us to get bored or sick of each other, we just go. Being stuck at home together for more than 24 hours straight never ends well.
So the restrictions hit and they hit hard. No school, no work, no playground, no playcentre, no grandparents, no visting friends, no beach trips, not even a picnic at the ducks 5 minutes from the house. And hubby got reduced to a 3 day week. FUCK.
My weekly shop/holiday to Aldi also got taken away because I had to cocoon for health reasons. Double fuck.
Well surprisingly the panic was unfounded.
We are actually managing fine. My husband has been working from home since the start of it, so he isn’t gone 11 hours a day. He is here with us for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and that breaks up the day really well. The boys are loving being at home and having us around all the time. The weather is unbelievably good so far & we are outdoors more than we have ever been.
We Facetime the grandparents & the aunts/uncles/cousin, which is nice but often leads to tears… “I want to go to their house!”. But it passes. Surprises in the post keep spirits up and bring some novelty to the days.
On the whole we are all doing so much better than I ever expected. We are lucky to be in the countryside, in a house with plenty of space inside and out. I know everybody isn’t as lucky and I really can’t imagine how people are coping with small children in small spaces.
Hubby is enjoying the new schedule, doing manly things in the garden & in the shed on his days off, and embracing his new role of Chief Shopper once a week! He has learned how to just BE with the boys, which is good for all of them.
At the start of all this I was mainly worried about myself. I was worried that I would be frustrated, angry and just plain miserable all the time. I was very afraid that I would just turn into a horrible bitch of a mother & a nightmare of a wife without any break from the boys and nowhere to go from one end of the week ot the next.
But I have surprised myself. I have managed to keep my cool most of the time. My shit has been lost quite a bit as expected, but it has been found & it doesn’t stay lost for long. I have learned how to be with the boys all day every day and we have found our feet together. I regularly turn to my Spirit Lifters to keep my sanity intact & they do work.
We are nowhere near out of the woods yet, but what we are doing is keeping us healthy, so we will do it for as long as we need to.
7 weeks in. I faced my lockdown fears head on and I’m proud of how we are coping with it all so far.
Now let’s just hope I’m not editing this in a few weeks time to say that it all went to shit in Week 8!