January 2021 and that dreaded news hits our ears: “schools are closing to all students“. I can deal with all other restrictions but closing the schools to the children just breaks my heart. They were so sad, Isla cried herself to sleep and just knowing how much they will miss their friends and routine. I thought I would write down my feelings during lockdown 3 and some helpful tips on what we are doing to overcome some of these feelings.
So, first on the list and probably the same for every single parent out there – the guilt! Am I doing enough? ARe the kids socialising enough? Are they playing on their devices too much? Are they getting enough exercise? Have I ignored them for too long today? How long can we sustain this? Why isn’t this ending? Just some of the questions I ask myself on a daily basis, sometimes hourly to be honest. It is so hard dealing with the guilt, Mum guilt for me! I have to work, I have to be a parent and I have to be teacher. It is a hard day as there are so many emotions, so many opinions and just trying to keep everyone happy is simply impossible.
What I tend to do is consciously make a few mins with the children in-between my meetings, making sure that they are OK, top up their drinks or answer their spelling question they’ve been burning to ask. We go for a dog walk at lunchtime, or they go on the trampoline for 30 mins to burn off some energy. They have been bouncing through the rain and snow lately too! Their legs are red raw when they come in! We always have lunch and dinner together, which is time to chat and catch up after our busy days.
Play fun games
Amongst the serious activities, playing fun family games is a winner and it is definitely getting us through the day. We absolutely love Monopoly Deal, we will play it after every dinner time. I have never won! The kids are so blinking good at it. They are also learning really ruthless tactics as they get more used to the game too. I can’t believe how sneaky they are – which actually I am really proud of. They are an intelligent pair and giving them things to think about, using their brains for challenges / logic problems is a good way of them exercising their brains!
I don’t think I have ever felt so tired. Not even when I was 39 weeks pregnant (the second time around). The kids are not going to bed until later than normal, I can only presume as they are not using up as much energy in the day as when they are at school. This means I am not getting an opportunity to sort and have a bath until later in to the evening. I usually go to bed to sleep around midnight, which is far too late when we are getting up to start the day at school time in the mornings. Trying to keep into a routine is hard, but essential for us, otherwise I would be late logging into work. I am trying to get to bed early when I need it, but that means I miss out on spending time with Hubby! Once lockdown 3 is over we are going to struggle to get the kids in bed at a reasonable time again!
To combat the tiredness, as above, we are now trying to encourage the kids to do more exercise. Walking, playing on the trampoline *which doesn’t need any encouragement at all* and Zumba classes are proving to be really popular. Not only are they getting their heart rates up, which is definitely needed at the moment. It is wearing them out, which means they are more often than not going straight to sleep. Otherwise, we will see them at least 97 times before they actually go to sleep. Our favourite has been: “I can’t sleep, I have tried to go to sleep but every time I close my eyes I open them”, to which we replied “have you tried not opening them”…. NO! They are cute. However, when you know that your child will turn into a Gremlin when they wake up the next day, it really is out of desperation we try to get them to go to sleep earlier.
Are you doing anything different during lockdown 3 to combat worries? I hope some of these tips are helpful for you, or just to know you are not the only one feeling exhausted and guilty! If you have any tips for me, I would love to know in the comments below.
Useful link – if you need to read more on our recent rules in England, check out the gov.uk/coronavirus web pages.