During this lockdown, I’m at home with my husband and my two daughters, who are five and nearly two. It’s hard. At least, I’m finding it hard. It’s not what I signed up for! I teach, so I am usually out a large portion of the day. I had not signed up to be a stay at home mom. So yeah, it’s trying.
In our usual life, up until 2:30 my daughters are with their nanny, so I see them when I come home. So we have the afternoons and weekends, and we have a very rich and happy time. But even then usually I go out, I go visit my Mum, we go swimming, we are often out and about. That kind of thing. So I’m finding it very challenging being at home all the time, and working at the same time. As a teacher, although we are teaching remotely, the nature of my subject means that I’m not constantly tied to my computer. We are actually at school still. We only break up on Wednesday. So I’ve become like the sole parent. My husband is home as well. He is working all day. Even though he is trying to be involved, he is often on the computer.
The past few days have been easier. The days have flowed and we are getting into our groove. The mornings are going quite quickly, and we’ll play in the garden. We are doing this exercise thing every day.
There have been some surprises for me. I think my two-year-old’s talking has come a long way. Her vocabulary has grown ridiculously. I think she is going to suffer the most when this ends, because she is in absolute heaven with all of us here. My 5 year old is getting a bit more independent and is able to get on with things, play with her LEGO. She can play for about 20 minutes at a time.
I am coping. This has been my complete and utter terror to stay at home. I feel terrible saying it. I just personally like to spend the afternoon doing things — so this full day all at home has always been something that terrified me. The fact that we are surviving is a good sign.
It’s nice to watch them engaging in things that I wouldn’t think they would be interested in. Like walking around the garden and doing treasure hunts. They are going around searching for three coloured flowers. Just before the lockdown was my older daughter’s birthday, and got some presents, including some LEGO — some that have instructions, and some random ones. The random set, with lots of different pieces, she has loved putting that together. I like building the sets – because I just think it’s cool that you can build, say, a pencil out of LEGO. But she has loved making her own fabulous things — towers with wheels, and not using the wheels for cars.
A nice thing that we are doing is that we are having breakfast together, lunch together and supper together — no one is rushing around. And lying in bed in the morning and not rushing. We don’t usually watch TV during the week. On the weekends, when the little one has a sleep in the middle of the day, the older one is watching TV. Now that is happening every day. I’m not panicking, because I know we will go back to what it was before. But sometimes I have those moments of guilt, and I’ll say: “Now, this is not going to happen when we go back! This is going to end! We are going to eat properly!”
I look at Instagram and it seems everyone is being so wholesome. Baking bread, baking things. And you go and you don’t have the right ingredients, and it is a bit of a fail. And this is my life, trying to manage endless interruptions.