I can hardly believe I’m writing this 10 months on from the first time we experienced a lockdown, all the way back in March 2020. I’d have laughed if someone had told us we’d be here again at the turn of the next year.
But here we are.
This time, in many ways, it feels easier to bear. There is an end in sight, at some point. We have two approved vaccines which are already being pricked into the arms of those people at the top of the list.
The schools have been shut, until at least February half term here in England. Exams are cancelled again for older students in the summer.
Homeschooling begins again. My role of parent teacher, with our kitchen table as the classroom desk, starts all over again.
And aside from feeling torn and tearful that early years settings have been allowed to stay open, if school is ‘unsafe’ for Sofia, how is nursery safe for Arlo?
My instant thought was to keep him off too. But, with working four days a week – and already losing our Monday family childcare, the juggle between working from home and attempting to home school, has forced my hand to send him in.
Sending him in to nursery does restrict us seeing family members who we would otherwise rely on for childcare, and for occasional outdoor visits and woodland walks. Even more so this time round as we have a family member going through treatment, and a 100 year old granny in our ranks too.
But, whether it’s because we’re stronger than we think. Or if last year’s taught us to slow down – I’m remaining positive.
I’m going to homeschool my daughter the best I can; I’m going to spend time with her and make sure she feels safe and loved, after all we are going to be the only people she will interact with over the next few months. And as a sociable Year 2, she’s going to need it.
Expectations will be lowered all round. There’ll be no forced daily crafting, no baking banana bread (mainly because I fucking hate bananas) and no nature treasure hunts around the cold muddy garden. Heck, she can even stay in her pyjamas all day if she fancies – we’ve got nowhere to go and no places to be.
I’m not going to be chained to my desk, I’m not putting work ahead of my daughters emotional wellbeing, and I’m using this as a second chance to right the mum guilt I felt for doing so in Lockdown 1.0
Yes there’ll be early mornings, late nights, many an interrupted zoom call and far too much screen time.
But we’ll muddle through. Because we do. And we can.
Lockdown 3.0 – bring it on.