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Lockdown: How was it for you?

 

 

Lockdown:  How was it for you?

 

Looking back, now lockdown has eased it appears that we all faced challenges, the unknown and unfamiliarity of the changes to our routine.  In the beginning it was novel, almost exciting,  I had the gift of time (oh how wrong was I), plans with the children, farm and the even bigger unknown……homeschooling.

 

The main thing I had confirmed is that I may have a degree and life experience but I am not a teacher.  Teachers are truly undervalued and under paid and I take my hat off to them.  Trying to get my 4 school age children to do anything other than the bare minimum was a daily struggle.  Social media had images of parents and often just the one child proudly displaying reams of work all with smiles on their faces.  It became easy to become trapped in a bubble of inadequacy, worrying that our children would be left behind their peers.  I battled with this for a long time, feeling worse and worse until I spoke to a friend one day.  They too felt the same and pointed out that social media provides a brief snapshot of a day.  It dawned on me that often behind the one “perfect” picture posted there are a hundred of ones showing tantrums (both child and adult), mess, chaos and general disorder.  I took a step back and looked at the whole picture.  Was it worth the battling?  The work was mostly getting done, the children had an unqualified supply teacher who was trying to support 4 different ages of work. Their emotional and mental health is important too, there is no point going back to school a genius on the verge of a breakdown.

My children did learn other skills too, cooking, filleting fish, nature, gardening, and most of all to get along (most of the time) with each other.  The oldest learnt to roll fields with the tractor, and the next eldest to drive the quad bike safely.  Our seven year old soon picked up the names of wildflowers, invertebrates and a love of nature.

The one thing I did not have though was time.  My house remains a mess, toys strewn, piles and piles of washing going unnoticed.  When everyone is home there is no break or decompression time, trips to the bathroom were accompanied by the toddler, walks with the dog would have at least 3 children with me.  Much as I love them, sometimes time to reflect, step back and clear your head is hugely important.

I naively thought this was just a problem for families, but talking to couples, single people, young and old etc I discovered that they too found lockdown hugely challenging.  Mental health being the most affected.

What I have come to realise is that there was no right or wrong way to deal with the challenges that came with lockdown.  It was new, unknown and a drastic change, coupled with anxiety of the looming pandemic and loss of income was bound to have thrust us far from our comfort zone.  Don’t be fooled by the snapshots of perfection often seen on social media, all is not necessarily as  it may seem and we often share the same worries and concerns.

Please check in on your friends, family, and neighbours, even a little chat can lift someone’s day.  And most of all please “Be Kind”

For anyone that is struggling, there is always help available, below are just 2 links of help available.

The DPJ Foundation

The Samaritans

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