During this whole period of lockdowns, I have been immensely thankful. To some extent, I feel I have been sheltered from a lot of the complications that have been brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. When folk have asked after my wellbeing, I am aware that my somewhat automated response, has been something along the lines of we are really lucky. My husband, son and I get along really well. We are homebodies, hot house flowers and really enjoy being inside playing board games and watching films.
However, in the last few months it has become really tough. We want more than anything to see our friends and loved ones, to have the freedom to go out and entertain ourselves, as we have in the past. I am sure you will agree with those sentiments. We need to socialise; it’s how we were built and I think a lot of us are going a little stir crazy.
I have just been watching our son’s kitten, careering up and down the full length of our living space, like something possessed. If I were to go with how I was actually feeling at the moment, I think I would join her, especially if it helped lessen the frustration of feeling like a caged animal.
It feels a little like Groundhog Day at the moment, it’s the same thing over and over. The things I am dealing with however, are amazingly simple in comparison to other parents I speak to.
Some are both teaching their children and trying to maintain a sense of professionalism (I would imagine that is no easy task when your toddler keeps appearing in the background of the never ending zoom meetings). Others may be dealing silently with the worry associated with uncertainty. Will I still have a job? Will I be able to find a job? What happens after furlough? For most of us all of this comes on top of trying to manage those emotions of being cut off from the outside world. Whatever situation you are in, the juggling that is going on is really something to behold and quite honestly, I am in awe of anyone who is even trying to attempt home schooling.
I would not say that consistency has ever really been one of my strong points. However, I do have to maintain some sort of routine for my son. He struggles with any sort of change both short and long term and needs some form of structure in order to function well. During this time if I had to have added the whole home schooling malarky to the mix, I am not sure how well that would have gone. Even though I am a qualified TA, I think teaching my own would have been an incredible challenge. I have been somewhat humbled by efforts that I have seen from parents home-schooling their children. The creativity they have shown to facilitate this learning has been inspiring.
I have seen how stressed some are becoming; it must be exhausting having to wear so many different hats. I have thought a lot about how I may cope in this position and I have come to this conclusion. It is so important that you look after your mental health during this time and it is the most beneficial thing you can do for your children too. It is understandable that you will be worrying about your child and their future, but when you stop for a moment and think about the state of the world, these facts should bring us some comfort.
All school aged children are in the same boat at the moment, as far as their education is concerned. There will be time for catch up, and I am pretty sure that there will be allowances made. If we look a bit further into the future I think it is likely any potential employer looking at your child’s CV will say oh these were the pandemic years, it was all a bit different then. It is also possible that they lived through it as well.
And bear this in mind among all the fractions formulae’s, worksheets and zooming, I believe you are teaching your children something far more precious. You are giving your child a special type of resilience. They may have a newfound deep appreciation for friends and family and a growing understanding of what it means to look after themselves and the others around them.
So during this difficult time be content with doing what you can do, and if all you can do is look after you and your child’s mental health, then for now, for this moment, that is more than enough.
If you would like to chat more about this or have any other questions or concerns, pop over and say hi on my Facebook page Parents in Mind. I would love to hear from you.
For guidance on home-schooling, check out the link below. There are also links for support with mental health and some great additional educational resources.