Lockdown Limbo

OK, let me be straight with you. My original plan had been to write an, ‘Isolation Diary’ and do various updates throughout lockdown. But that was for the first lockdown, remember that one? And now we find ourselves in yet another and here I am with this post that I started writing in May. What happened was I wrote and came back to this as and when, and then just left it because LIFE WAS WEIRD! And let’s face it, life is still weird. However now words have begun tumbling around my head and I think they need to get out before there is a possible brain combustion (which might happen anyway what with having the kid and husband at home full time)

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We bumbled through the first few weeks of lockdown #1 with a cheeriness Mary Poppins would be jealous of. Starting our days on time, getting school work done, ticking off items with relative ease. Bar the odd weep from myself at random moments like crying during a Frozen song, or in the middle of reading the kid a bedtime story, also in the tinned goods aisle in Waitrose, those moments aside, I felt like we would get through it. That incredible weather helped. However fast forward to now and it’s safe to say that everyone feels completely different. I genuinely thought what with the vaccine and the start of a New Year that we were nearing the end of this mess. Entering another lockdown was perhaps the last thing on my mind, I feel like that move stunned us all (well, some of us anyway). Add to this the crap weather and I think most would agree they are struggling in one way or another.

I think the biggest thing for me to talk about is home schooling. With our situation, the kid did really well for the first few weeks or so last year, then the reality of not playing with any other children for such a length of time was too much. Her moods went through the roof and she regressed with her eating and sleeping. It’s safe to say it was a total minefield. She was suddenly angry at everything. We went from coping to falling apart relatively quickly. My husband came from his office many times (thank god we built one in the garden a few years ago) to find me weeping at the kitchen table – trying to do spellings, English, maths, my work or even god forbid, attempt some life admin was just too much. This time round I have backed off hugely with the school work. I definitely put too much pressure on both her and me to get everything done before. Now, it’s literally whatever gets us through the day be it lots of IPAD time, a walk, a film, ANYTHING to see us through. If I can get her to read or write a tiny bit every day then this is a win. Ultimately if the kid is happy, then we are. All I can say now is that she desperately needs to be back in school. She needs to be around her friends. She needs the stability, security and lets face it, fun that school gives her.

On a personal note, one of the biggest things I did during the first lockdown was delete my Twitter account and un-follow and mute a whole host of people on Instagram. I started to feel quite negative, insecure and I’ll be honest, jealous because of what a lot of people were posting on social media. I found myself reading comments on Twitter and just feeling utterly awful about the world. And over on Instagram there were (and still are) a lot of people posting every single home schooling task they were getting up too, perfect accounts that were making me feel really inadequate. I left the school class WhatsApp group as that escalated last year with comments on whether or not to send your children back to school. After finding me ranting at the kitchen table about it my husband told me, ‘just leave’, so I did. And it felt really good to have that negative link removed. Deleting, removing, muting has been the overriding factor. The same goes for watching the news. I caught something on children going back to school the other day and it put me in a blue mood for hours. Protecting my mental health when I can has been hugely important so not watching the news (or trying not to) and stopping myself looking at certain things on Social Media has helped.

Weekend walks have been our saviour, however I think it would be fair to say the initial excitement has worn off now that we are on walk number 6,780. That insane weather last year meant lots of fun bike rides and walks exploring our local area which was actually great and we happened upon some places we knew nothing about. However this time round the weather has hampered going outside and lets just say we are BORED of walking now! Even my legs seem to ache from it all. This said, a walk always clears the fog that seems to sit in my head and this is where having a dog has been brilliant.

Probably the biggest change last year was our progress (or lack of) with our fertility treatment. This topic needs a post on it’s own and I will fully update in that but it’s worth noting a few things here too. Obviously any treatment we were doing came to an abrupt halt last March. I was seeing a Consultant who specialised in immune therapy, which meant me taking steroid medication. If I continued taking the medication I would’ve been in the ‘at risk’ category in relation to COVID. The drugs also made me feel awful and gave me insomnia (yay) and I’d been taking them for a year with zero results, so the decision to stop was a no-brainer.  We found an amazing nutritionist off the back of the break and I have turned my focus towards healing my body instead of taking fertility drugs. This has been a much more positive path for me.

There are also the many other things that I tried or tested during the last and current lockdown. I tried to do yoga which didn’t go beyond week 4 last year, however a friend is now running online sessions and I’m finding that dipping in and out of those is much easier. I meant to start running but that didn’t happen. Nope. Let’s move on quickly. There was a little bit of hockey fitness the first time round which was a novelty. And this time I’ve tried my online gym fitness but actually, balancing school work, the kid and just LIFE around this hasn’t worked I’ve realised, so I’ve had to opt out and not beat myself up about this. Having done a weekly family Zoom for lockdown #1 which inevitably stopped, they’ve re-started which despite having absolutely nothing to say other than, ‘we did another walk today’, has been a welcome interruption to my somewhat dull week. And it’s always a giggle to see which part of my mums face we can see on the camera.

Emotions wise, well lets just say that the random tears still appear out of nowhere. Today it was in the playpark and the other day it was while I was cooking tea. Sometimes the hopelessness of it all gets too much and the tears just come out, which I don’t think is a bad thing. The uncertainty of lockdown makes this all so difficult. Also dealing with our day to day struggles on top of lockdown, whatever they may be, also makes things harder. For me, there are the fertility issues coupled with the recent death of my father. These things definitely make the weight of lockdown much heavier. I’m sure we are all desperate for freedom, to see our loved ones and friends again and for everyone to be be safe. At the moment I’m trying to take each day as it comes. When I try to look ahead too much this is when I fall apart a little bit. I’m learning not to expect anything, just get through day by day because that hopefully means we are edging closer to a sense of what we knew.

 

3 thoughts on “Lockdown Limbo

  1. Ems, thank you for the update. I’m sorry things are so hard. Feel you’re dealing with a triple threat situation: grief, fertility treatment AND homeschooling/lockdown. That’s a lot. Well done for choosing to take a step back from media/social media…those two things show the absolute best and absolute worst of the world right now. Leaves us all in a head pickle. Give yourself a massive pat on the back for doing this for A YEAR. Lockdown parents are a different breed of super xx

  2. You completely did the right thing with social media. Cut out all the negativity. The home schooling thing is a massive stress for everyone, whether you are dealing with Matt at home all the time or just having to deal with home schooling. Knowing a few teachers, I can tell you that they are also under more pressure than normal and they also don’t expect parents to complete everything set as they are often in a similar situation as the parents, having to teach or record videos whilst also juggling kids/husbands.
    I’ve found that having a hobby that I can escape to and get away from screen time (let alone family) has really helped keep my sanity. Perhaps take up DJing? (Though that might be a mistake ).
    I’m guessing the Yoga is through Amy. Have you done one of her ‘shake’ classes? I’ve not done anything with her but I do watch and do a few on youtube with someone called Adriene. She was recommended to me by our trainer and her sleep vids really helped when I got insomnia.
    And yes you know me. I thought I’d share this exceptionally geeky side of me (that I’ve not before shared with anyone but the long suffering wife) for your piss-taking pleasure. Think of it as a free pass for the tough year you’ve had.

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