So I have counted 49 days since I was last in an office working! As I approach the 50th day, I am feeling it, the boys are feeling it, the whole of the team I manage are feeling. The only thing free to roam wildly, is my cat Inna. She is oblivious to what the household is experiencing as she comes and goes as she pleases, sleeps and eats her food. Ru however, is really beginning to struggle with the home schooling which I mentioned in my last blog post which can be found here. We now have quite a loose schedule. The other night whilst reflecting, it dawned on me that he had not done any writing practice for the past four weeks. Therefore, I pulled away from that home learning pack and personally planned activities that he could do for the next day. Let us get this straight; all of these activities require me to supervise and encourage him, which then means I cannot do my own work. My work has to be done at some point and this can be quite challenging. Being a working mother means carrying guilt about not spending as much time with the children. I have worked hard to overcome this, but the lockdown seems to have brought back these feelings and exaggerated them. I feel guilty if I have not worked as much as I feel I should have, guilty that I am ignoring my boys for the laptop or take a phone call, guilty that I am not engaging with them enough or teaching them enough, guilty as I just want a moment alone to scroll Instagram or guilty that I am not juggling all my hats properly. At the moment I feel that winning in one aspect of our new found life, means I am failing in a number of others……. I know I am not alone in this.
The NHS has envisioned that the mental health impact of this lock-down, will be effecting people for years to come. With media reports that up to 150,000 individuals will die from non Covid-19 cases over this year, such as depression, domestic violence and suicide as a result of the lock-down, it really makes me wonder just how much life will change after the lock-down has eased. I would love life to return as it was before but realistically – people are going to be apprehensive about the future. The purpose of the lock-down was not really about protecting us, but ensuring that the NHS was not overwhelmed and able to cope with the numbers getting the virus. The threat of COVID-19 will not have disappeared because the number of deaths related to it have been reduced. So what happens now? I look forward to the day I can be back in a crowded restaurant have drinks with my girls over an amazing brunch or that I am able to go on a cinema date and not be worried about catching a mysterious deadly virus. This was my life just a few months ago and I have hope that this will be my life in the not too distance future. It will be a future when I say yes to all the invitations I get or that I neglect housework in favour of taking the boys to an amusement park or swimming. Also where I will not have to wait six months to see my parents or weeks to see my besties and I can hug them all. Then I can look forward to hearing kids laughing on the swings of the playground and celebrate my birthday in style!
On the subject of birthdays, in less than two weeks I will be entering the fourth floor (as a close friend calls it). When I was 21, it seemed like so far away – I had visions of all these goals I would have achieved at this point. During my life’s journey, I have come to realise that these dreams and goals were not mine but society’s expectations. Now I can reflect on the past 19 years and think – Damn! you did your own thing. I may not have always made good choices, but I have always learnt lessons to carry into the future. As I enter my birthday under lock-down, I feel a sense of sadness; I was so looking forward to celebrating my big 4-0. Those of you who grew up with, me are aware that an amazing friend of mine died in her late 20’s. This particular person loved life and was ride or die. She celebrated life daily and is the main reason why every birthday I choose to mark the occasion. I always feel truly blessed that I made it this far when there are so many fallen soldiers, which is why my 40th will feel bittersweet. I am grateful to be alive (especially at this time), but am sad I cannot go big to mark the occasion, or can I?
If you have any ideas of how I can celebrate my 40th under quarantine, please share below.
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