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This probably sounds like a bit of an odd title for a post! But hear me out! So far I am actually quite enjoying social distancing and lockdown. And here’s why…
To start with, I realise that I’m speaking from a position of some privilege when I say I’m enjoying social distancing and being on lockdown so far. I know that for a lot of people, lockdown may well not be a positive experience. I’m sure there are people who are struggling, feeling lonely or isolated or depressed, in abusive family situations, stressed at having to work and put themselves and their families at risk, worried about vulnerable family members, trying to juggle working from home with looking after children, worrying about finances etc.
My heart goes out to anyone who is finding this all a bit sh*t for whatever reason and I really hope this post doesn’t offend or upset anyone. I’m not trying to make light of something that is inevitably a really hard time for lots of people. I’m just looking to see the positives where I’m lucky enough to be able to.
So these are the reasons why I’ve been enjoying social distancing and lockdown so far:
1. Enjoying Home Learning
So first off, home learning so far is going really well. We started a little earlier than some people, as the twiglets’ school was forced to partially close a week before most others. They didn’t have enough staff available so closed the school for Reception and Year 1 pupils. ( I assume the least affected academically and more likely to have non-working parents etc).
We began our home learning the next day. At that point we only had a few rough activity ideas from the school, so I pretty much did my own thing. Although Twinkl has been a fricking godsend! (I’m sure you’re all aware but they’re offering a month of free access to all their awesome resources).
It’s been nearly two weeks of home learning now and I have to admit I’m genuinely enjoying it. We have a timetable with lots of short activity slots – no more than about half an hour. I don’t stick to it rigidly and the timings are always flexible. But it seems to be working well for us at the moment. The twiglets seem to be accepting for now that this is the new norm, and have embraced ‘Mummy School’ wholeheartedly. It’s really quite cute – they actually act like they’re at school. As in, they act completely different from the rest of the time, like quite decent sweet little children! 😉
And their behaviour is sooo much easier having a bit of a routine in place and doing some pretend school! At the weekends and on one day when I ditched the timetable in favour of enjoying the sunshine, they’ve been sooo much harder to deal with. I think for H in particular, he feels much more settled when he knows what’s happening when. If the day is free with no timings or plans, he literally just whinges and nags for snacks and screen time ALL. DAY. It’s a nightmare!
So for us, having some structure really seems to work. It won’t work for everyone, and that’s fine. We’re all different, and so are our kiddies.
2. Quality Family Time
I’m really enjoying having lots more family time. I feel like since the twiglets started school last September, we barely have any time together anymore. The weekends would fly by and never felt long enough. It’s so nice having the other half around so much too. He’s up in the study (aka junk room hastily turned into a makeshift office!) working from home every weekday. Probably why we’ve managed to not kill each other so far! But actually it’s nice to have him finished with work much earlier in the evenings and not having the travel time home.
Also I feel like the time we’re spending together is better quality. Before, the afternoons would be a bit of a write-off as the twigs would be sooo tired and grumpy after school. To be fair they still are a write-off as once it hits 3pm I’m completely knackered and tend to just throw iPads at them (not literally!) But the activities we’re doing during the day mean I’m giving them lots of undivided attention and time.
3. In Our Own Little Bubble
There’s something lovely about just being in our own little bubble – just the four of us. Obviously I really miss our wider family, like my mum and sister. In fact, that’s probably the hardest thing about all this. But it’s kind of nice to step away from the real world in a way. I feel like lots of the stresses and the things we worry about on a day to day basis have been lifted. It’s going to be quite difficult to adjust back to real life after all this is over I think!
4. No Social Pressures
As someone who’s naturally quite an introvert, it’s quite nice to not have to worry about being in social situations. I do miss going out (not that I did much of it anyway!) but I don’t miss the stress of trying to not act like a total socially awkward t*t! It’s just kind of a relief to have that pressure lifted for a bit. God only knows how socially inept I’m going to be when we do all finally get released back out into society though!!
5. Slower Pace Of Life
It is so lovely to have a bit more breathing space than usual. Well actually a lot. Not having to race out the door in the mornings, screaming at the twigs to get their shoes on amid the panic of being late for school. Just not having any real time restrictions and being able to be flexible. With the home learning for example, if they’re absolutely loving a particular activity, there’s no major rush to pack it away and move on to the next. Life just feels a lot more relaxed.
6. Feeling Grateful
I really feel like being on lockdown is making lots of us view the world differently. It’s certainly making me feel very appreciative of what I have. I’m very grateful for our house – it has various things going wrong with it at the moment but actually we are so lucky that they are nothing too major. I’m especially thankful for our garden. Being able to chuck the twigs out in the garden when they need a run-around and some fresh air is a complete godsend in these circumstances.
7. Thinking About Wider Issues
Being on lockdown has also made us a lot more conscious of bigger issues like food waste. In the current climate, it feels like an absolute travesty to waste any food. So it’s made us get a bit more creative with trying to use up every scrap of food in the cupboards. It’s made us think twice about using the car too, or ordering things we might want online. Our society has become so impatient in terms of wanting our needs fulfilled immediately. Everything’s instant gratification. Now lots of people are stopping for a second and thinking is that really necessary? Is it actually worth a delivery driver putting themselves and their families at risk just to bring me that item?
It’s made us as a nation come together and celebrate the true heroes of society too. Not the bankers and the billionaires, but the NHS workers, supermarket cashiers, teachers, couriers etc. I feel like we should all be learning some very valuable lessons from this experience. Of course, whether we will or not remains to be seen!
I feel quite sure that there are lots of things I will not take for granted once this is all over. Having the freedom to go out and do what I want, to visit family, to go to a cafe or to a park… Just to go out and not feel completely paranoid about touching anything.
I’m not saying I’m enjoying every single second of this social distancing/lockdown malarkey. I know there will be hard days. In fact, the weekends and days when we’ve not really had a structure have been tough already. And not being able to just go out somewhere nice for the day has definitely compounded it. I can already feel my mood changing slightly this week with the weather getting colder. Not having the beautiful sunshine we’d had so far will make a big difference I know. And I’m sure the home learning will become trickier as the novelty starts to wear off!
But I just hope that there will be positive things to come from this experience. I hope our children remember this time fondly when they’re older and that we all learn some lessons about the way we’re living and what’s really valuable in our society.
So what are your thoughts? Are you enjoying social distancing in any way? I’d love to hear!
Thanks so much for reading! Til next time,