As well as the usual babbling on about why business blogs are so great, I wanted to add a touch of the personal to my blog. So, I’m also going to be writing about all sorts of other things including family life, living with allergies, yoga, work/life balance, dogs, mental health and anything else that lights a fire in my belly!
For my first ‘behind the scenes’, as we find ourselves in lockdown 2.0, I want to give a massive shout out to all the parents who have had to home school this year. Most of us were able to hand the children back to school in September, but with an increasing number of COVID cases cropping up, and tests required for all the usual winter symptoms, there still seems to be plenty of home schooling going on.
Our lockdown consisted of a 7-year old doing the final stretch of year 2 and a preschooler with oodles of energy and no structured home learning as such. When news first hit that schools were closing it was a blow, but my personal coping mechanism was to focus on the short term. Initially they were only closing for two weeks before the Easter holidays, although I think we all knew at that point that lockdown was likely to go on a lot longer. It’s funny how different people coped differently at the time though – some were ready to jump in and expect the worst to give them time to prepare, while others, like me, were quite happy not to think about what was to come, needing instead to take it one day at a time.
At first it was a great experience to be at home with the family full time. We quickly adopted ways to distinguish weekdays from weekends with more structure in the week and a pot of ‘fun’ family activities that were just for the weekends. We were doing arts and crafts and lots more that to be honest we had never done as a four before. We’ve never used so much glue and paint! It felt wholesome and good. And then this goodwill started to dwindle. I’m not sure who lost it first or if we all reached breaking point at the same time, but we got increasingly fed up and less able to hide it. However good the home life, we needed variety. A change of scenery, a change in the family dynamic, to stop the disagreements and bickering. How can things change so quickly?!
I’m lucky that I had a manageable amount of work to do while trying to split myself between two children 24/7, but for those parents that had to hold down a full time job at the same time – kudos to you, I don’t know how you survived! It’s never easy working when you have kids and whatever your work life balance, most of us are left feeling like we haven’t done enough in one area or the other, or probably more accurately, in both!
As we enter this latest lockdown, things are a little different. At least the schools are open, albeit increasingly intermittent for some with the system of class self-isolation when a positive case is reported. My coping mechanism this time around has been to get productive. I’ve switched poster paint for emulsion and so far two rooms have been redecorated. I think my husband has been left wondering what transformation he’ll come home to next! We’ve been wanting to decorate for some time, but we’ve taken the plunge this year because we’re spending an unprecedented amount of time at home looking at the same four walls. At least now our four walls no longer look the same! Here’s a sneak peek!
I’d love to hear about your experience of lockdown past or present – who you were locked down with, what your coping mechanisms were and what you’re doing differently this time. After all, we’re all in this together and I’m sure everyone would agree, the support of others has never been more valuable.