Husband’s new day off. After a long, busy week I use my allotted time in the morning to hide in the office and write. (Probably why last week’s update was so long-winded!) Afternoon: watch Phantom of the Opera with the eldest, while the youngest sleeps on me. After firefighting with the Boy throughout, I take him upstairs to read. (Issue: in normal life, 1 to 1 time is a thing we do and treasure. In lockdown life it seems to be the immediate cause of intense jealousy and behaviour issues- no matter how quickly you even the score!)
Evening: Husband has committed us to a community family quiz night: it goes on for HOURS. One is not amused!
The Darkness descends. I peak out of it long enough to film an All Age service, which feels a bit sloppy and unprepared, as Husband switched his day off to Saturday and we argued right before airing! (He declared that he was “too busy to take a full day off during lockdown”… uh-huh… I’ll let you imagine how well that was received!) I lose all energy and colour by mid morning, however, and need a lie down in a dark room. (Another interesting observation in the hormone-verses-lifestyle study!)
NOT a good day.
Game face: on. The dark clouds continue to close in, but the Easter holidays are over and the indefinite number of weeks to homeschool stretch out like a deserted road ahead. Desperate for motivation, I decide to play to strengths and theme the week.
The travelling concept worked so well last week that we decide to travel to space! Make a big rocket out of cardboard boxes, watch a tour of the space station on YouTube, then copy it in the garden… the kids love it. End the day feeling redeemed, but absolutely knackered!
Fresh from yesterday’s success, I decide to tackle some of the teacher-set homework today. Uh oh. This seems to have revved up a notch this week. We have a little go at a few tasks and then… blast off! Skipper and Kristoff receive a sticky make-over and zoom to the moon. Kids are enthralled. Later, they’re playing rocket launch in the garden and have turned their chairs upside down “because there’s no gravity”: ahem. Nailed it!
I am in bed by 8pm.
What an up and down kind of day!
The kids make newspaper articles about the Barbie Moon Mission- success! But then… the school-set Maths is painful. It is not my strong point, never has been, and so suddenly I feel out of my depth. What looks easy on the surface masks several concepts that I’m not entirely sure how to communicate… the questions seem to take a leap and surely I didn’t know how to do this at 6?! Frustrated, I turn to the laptop as a necessity- and for the first time in 5 weeks, stick the younger kids infront of the TV so we can concentrate. This isn’t fun and my confidence is shattered.
Butt-Mum is no longer a teacher. Butt-Mum is just a glorified entertainer!
The following afternoon sums up the rollercoaster of lockdown life in a nutshell, really:
At 2pm: THIS!
But by 4.57pm… also THIS!
How can each hour feel so different, let alone each day?!
I feel stressed. The sun is shining, the kids are happy: Still, I feel stressed. Why? Seriously, are some of us just predisposed to pressure? I read a dozen Facebook quotes about how this time is all about well-being; teachers say don’t homeschool, stay happy and no one is expecting anything of us. And yet. YET. The SHOULDS lie heavily upon me today.
This morning I do a freakin’ puppet show for my kids; they retell the story of St George; they make and paint their knight shields, read some phonics and count a few things… it is enough. It is MORE than enough. Still, I don’t feel enough today. It’s lunch time and I’ve not sat down yet. I’m thirsty but I’ve not managed a drink. I’m shouting and I don’t even know why. My head is spinning a bit. I Exhale. Hard.
We sack off the science today. I sit in the rocking chair in the lounge, rock the little one to sleep and pray for peace. Ask the kids what they want to do with her nap time? One starts to cook a curry on his own in the kitchen (?!!) The other wants to play anything as long as it’s with me. So I put the little one in bed and we all sit in the garden. I should, should, SHOULD use this non-toddler time to face the maths… but we don’t. We sit and play I-Spy and cuddle and colour and suddenly the world feels right again. (And the curry is genuinely lush!)
Despite the above, I spend my Thursday evening planning a totally school-worthy, Mummy-lead space day- incorporating the dreaded Maths skills in to boot. Because, you know, this is lockdown and the way you feel one hour has absolutely no bearing on the way you’ll feel the next!
However… today just isn’t the day. The kids manage the initial maths bits, just about, but then they’re done. Totally done. They’re off playing -hard- and, despite my fractured pride and sense of loss about last night, I DO remember that waaaaay back before the “Easter break” – you know, 3 whole lockdown weeks ago? I used to allow for this. I used to anticipate a heavy play day at some point in the week and actively encourage it. (Because, you know, they’re kids?! ) The post Easter thing just threw me. Obviously.
So… here we are. They’re out playing hard, the little one is sleeping on me, and the super school can wait. I’m writing a blog now so that this afternoon, all that’s left to do is fill the paddling pool and read my book…
Haaaaa. Just kidding!
The afternoon involves a whole 15 minutes playing in the paddling pool; half an hour getting everyone redressed; plus a couple of hours of moaning and whinging and fighting and starting several different activities and abandoning them. It’s one of those hot, beautiful days that should be lovely but actually just cracks under the heat.
At the end of week 5?
I am… still thankful, of course… but it’s more forced this week. I am actually tired, irritable, emotionally claustrophobic and desperately in need of my own space – same as this time every other month! Except in lockdown, it feels unacceptable.
This week has been a week of battling the “should”s. I’m a former teacher, I SHOULD be able to educate my child without having a meltdown. I SHOULD be able to keep her top of the class without neglecting anyone’s mental health. Or, at the very least, I SHOULD be easy-going enough to decidedly do the opposite and relax! Next up, we’re in the middle of a pandemic… there’s a deadly virus on the spread and I could very well die next week, as could anyone else. I SHOULD therefore revel in the constant company of my Husband and children! I SHOULD treasure every moment, just in case. I SHOULD leave them the glittering memory of Miss Honey, every day, just in case it’s the last!
Truth is though, to be fair, we could all die any day, pandemic or none. And truth is, to put it bluntly, at this time of any given month, this Ms Trunchbull would rather eat worms in her own chokey if means being left alone!
Seems this time is no different!
Still, at least something is normal, right?!
Much love and peace to you all! Thanks for reading xxx