‘The days are long, the years are short’ goes the saying but I’m not sure this year counts as the effects of the virus, be it trauma faced by the courageous frontline keyworkers to losing loved ones or being isolated for months on end, will last and linger.
We’re just facing each day as it comes here. I’m limiting my Twitter use as even a short stint there can entangle me in worry. My primary job is being as present and calm as possible as both a parent and now, teacher, for my kids so self-care and preservation has never felt more timely.
I know how priviledged I am to be able to take on the role for my kids, that we’re safe and well and living a fairly ‘normal life’, albeit one that’s spent mostly indoors on lockdown.
It’s undoudtely the strangest of times but we’re finally, as of Friday, immersed in our new routine despite veering between ‘lets cuddle and self-congratulate ourselves on how awesome it’s all going’ one day to the boys bickering non stop and me becoming Shouty Mum, the next!
General anxiety on top of homeschooling kids of different ages, educational needs and interests means life can spiral easily but I’ve gotten better at taking some time out for deep breaths, or simply switching up our routine when life feels intense…and it has felt intense a lot lately.
Xander, 7, appeared to regress into a tantrumming two year old on our daily exercise session the other day, wailing over the fact we’d simply opted to walk a little prior to playing football which differed from our usual ritual of football first. Well Master Xander did not approve of this minor schedule change and made sure the whole of Windsor knew about it. I’m surprised the Queen didn’t pop her head out of one of the many windows at Windsor Castle to see what all the fuss was about!
I get it. They kids are stressed. They’re not at school. They’re missing their friends. It’s a surreal and draining time but we’ll get there. We’re almost ‘there’ to be honest, which is why I’ve decided to reduce but not abandon homeschool over the Easter holidays.
Reassuringly, Friday was a high-five kind of day so I’m determined to keep the momentum going even if it’s a short spurt of study each day with baking and Easter crafts and a whole lot of movie-watching on the projector, in between.
Our daily exercise sessions will continue as long as we’re well and the government allows them. Getting outside offers us all respite (when Xander isn’t in meltdown mode) and they’ve become something I build the day around. Those strolls in the spring sun remind us that the outside world goes on. That the blossom trees are blooming, ‘Oh, the blossom trees, how we’d forgotten you’ and life as we knew it, will resume once more, not know but soon.
My boys’ friendship is blooming too. Despite the fights over films and chores, they’ve become inseperable, suprising me with their hand-holding and pre-sleep cuddles (below Oliver jumped in Xander’s bed) because now they only have each other.
I’m trying to savour this time together as if it’s Christmas (the only time the media slows), focusing on the kids and prioritising projects around them: a new business that was a year in the making The Working Mother’s Academy (check out my first course, Confidence To Go For It), and deadlines now easy met at night now I’m not juggling school runs and after school clubs.
It’s what I’ve always wanted. More time, as there’s never enough, it’s always trickling away as soon as I catch up on it as we rush here and there, to school and back, to after school clubs and work and the cycle goes on. Life is so busy. Life WAS so busy.
I feel like I’m the one in homeschool as much as they are as I learn to stay home more. They’re teaching me as much as I am them. I know the Queen Bee can sting repeatedly without dying, that long division is tough, that my kids are the greatest storytellers and I need to improve on my jokes (they’re even worse than Dad Jokes apparently) but I’m ‘wicked at football’ and make the tastiest biscuits (even if I usually burn them becuase I’m too busy googling spoilers for Jane the Virgin).
As long as I have that Netflix show in my life (and the fam of course) I feel OK.
What is life looking like for you and your family?