I’ve been more than a little absent from this space recently. It has absolutely nothing (well, perhaps a little something) to do with the fact that I have been unwell with what we suspect was COVID-19, started a new frontline social care job at the beginning of March right at the outbreak of said COVID-19 in the UK and basically had to become full time worker and home educator in the blink of an eye. Perhaps more to do with the fact that under all this new and added pressure I have felt like I have very little to say.
But as we adjust and adapt to what is to be the new ‘normal’, for a short while at least, I thought it only right that I should come and wave hello. Check in. Ask how you are all doing.
For James and I life continues to look pretty much as it always did; bar us having Meg and Eli at home. My working hours have increased as demand for Foodbank increases and we are having to split our time between working from home and being at work in order to try and keep the kids out of school as much as possible but we are still going out to work, and I think that makes such a difference when thinking about the coming weeks and months. It’s funny the perspective you have on the other side (isn’t it always), that I would give anything for us to both be able to fully work from home, or be on furlough…to be able to protect my little family from within the safety of home…rather than having to head out most days into the wider world. And for me, dealing with some of society’s most vulnerable, it isn’t easy. But I know we are also lucky that we get that ‘break’ from staring at the walls of the house and that we are able to be flexible with how and when we work.
I also consider myself lucky that I am classed as a keyworker so the kids are in school one day a week. I cannot tell you the pressure this releases us from. We now make sure the kids do some school work on the one day they are in, and that leaves us not having to worry about catching up on work with them. Granted, we are both still juggling working from home with having the kids under foot but I’d much rather that than also have to add in ‘and complete 10 pieces of school work a day’ to boot.
I suppose the flipside is that the one thing we are missing out on is family time. We are constantly in a state of balancing and playing catch up and we haven’t had too much time to be just the four of us. And I miss that. At the start of lockdown I felt this great sense of loss. I had been yearning to spend quality time together, to reset and readjust, relearn our priorities and take things slow. It devastated me to realise that this would not be our reality. Whilst I feel a great sense of privilege over doing the job I do, and being able to step into the gap during this pandemic, I am also sad for the things we miss out on. Funny how that works isn’t it.
Overall though, like many out there, we are simply getting on with getting on. Five weeks in and the novelty has worn a little thin as we have begun to also note the things we miss out on; my sister had her first baby last week and I haven’t been able to do more than see him through a phone screen, we celebrated James’ 34th birthday by going absolutely nowhere and it seems likely that we will also celebrate Eli’s 9th birthday and Meg’s 11th in the same vein. And we will aim to do that with a smile and a hey ho but sometimes it’s important to also acknowledge the feeling of this sucks. And yes we can be keeping safe but also this sucks.
And yet there are lots of bright moments too. We are so thankful for the beautiful weather which has meant we can make real progress in our garden. I am just waiting on some planters and I’ll be able to get my veg patch going, and once lockdown lifts we will be able to get the playhouse built and then it will be done.
James being home a little more often has meant work is progressing slowly on the house. Hopefully in the next 4-6 weeks our lounge will be finished which will be one more thing ticked off the list.
Meg hasn’t had to do her SATS which she is thrilled about and we have often mused how strange it will be when she tells people in years to come that she missed out because of the coronavirus pandemic.
We have discovered beautiful new places to walk as we have been exploring closer to home (we would always previously just jump in the car) and I have a greater appreciation for how lucky we are to live with the countryside on our doorstep.
And most of all, so far all of our loved ones, family and friends have remained safe and healthy. I know that is simply not the case for everyone and I am sending much love and prayers to anyone facing the uncertain at the moment.
Much love to you all.