It might be the 12th day of lockdown for my country, but I have just notched three weeks of isolation in my belt due to my knee injury. Realising that I will soon have spent a whole month at home has my mind reeling. How will I cope with three more weeks, possibly more? How can I possibly keep my children entertained and prevent them from killing each other for that long?
I am future-oriented person, always looking ahead to plan. But I tell myself that this is the time to live in the moment. The first week at home with the kids was challenging, but the second week – not so bad. It doesn’t help me at all to think about how difficult the next few weeks might be. They may or might not be hard; I need to just take it one day at a time.
In my Zoom meetings today other parents share similar fears. Siblings are annoying the heck out of each other. An only child demands constant attention. The juggle to have both parents work from home and watch the kids is a huge strain. We take comfort knowing that we are not alone in the children starting to get bored and tetchy.
Someone asks if we’ve seen Nigel Latta talking with Jacinda Ardern about how to cope with parenting during lockdown. I haven’t seen it, so I watch it over my lunch break. Nigel is one of my parenting gurus, and he slays it in typical Nigel fashion. He is full of wisdom and common sense, and I hope that all parents can watch it and take heart. One of the last things he says is that we must be kind to OURSELVES, as well as to others.
I have noticed feelings of guilt over the past few weeks: for being ‘too emotional’ over this whole COVID thing, for following the news ‘too closely’, for not working on my novel (I have zero headspace to do anything but write this blog at the moment), for letting the kids watch ‘too much’ TV. Nigel and my other personal favourite parenting guru, Nathan Wallis, have beamed into my living room almost daily, and their reminders to be kind to myself and to let the ‘shoulds’ and ‘coulds’ go.
My children, while getting on each other’s nerves a LOT over the weekend, are reasonably calm and happy. Today is a great day. They make cards and art to send to friend. Miss E paints a trinket box. Master D colours for an age, and draws pictures of slime monsters to send to his grandparents. I guess grandparents love slime monsters?
We go on our daily walk to post our mail. I take time to sit in the sun in the afternoon, listening to Pray as You Go. I feel like I can actually concentrate on Holy Week.
There are lots of highlights: Master D gets some Pokemon cards in the mail, oh the rapture! My family and I do a ‘world travel challenge’ and a daily quiz; it’s a good giggle. Coming from a family who are avid fans of Trivial Pursuit, doing the quiz brings back fun memories to us all.
I feel good in myself. Mentally tired, but good.