What a week it’s been, for all of us. Everywhere you look someone is saying that we’re living in unprecedented times and they’re right. It’s incredibly weird to think that we’re currently living through something which will one day become a topic in History lessons. For the past fortnight I’ve wanted to write down my thoughts, but the words just haven’t come. My head has been all over the place and I’ve had no focus. There’s just too much to take in isn’t there? So I apologise in advance for the stream of consciousness style of this blog post, but here’s an insight into the first week of lockdown in the Maus house.
Lots of Worries
I hope that you and all of your loved ones are safe and well. In the Maus house the four of us, so far, are well and showing no Covid-19 symptoms. That is a source of great relief, but I know that we could already have it and things could change quickly.
As far as extended family goes, my brother had symptoms but is feeling well again now but my real worry is my Dad. As I’ve mentioned before he has MS and his condition is such that he can’t get out of bed anymore. He has carer visits four times a day and, although I’m grateful for what they do for him, I can’t help but worry that they’ll bring the virus to him. I’m trying not to dwell on it, but I can’t help it. Not being able to visit my parents, or my Grandad who is also in poor health, has been on my mind a lot.
Like so many of you, I’m not sleeping well at all right now. Partly due to my own anxieties and partly because Eleanor was struggling at the beginning of the week too. For a couple of nights, we were woken by her coming into our bedroom in floods of tears. She’s been having nightmares about us dying. Naively, I wasn’t expecting that. We’ve reassured her as best we can (and stopped watching the news in front of her) and I encouraged her to write her thoughts into a journal. I told her that getting things out of her head and onto paper will help, and thankfully it seems to have for now. I know that one of the things she’s upset about is that her first ever birthday party can’t go ahead, but she’s worried it means her birthday is cancelled too. Thankfully Phoebe seems ok with everything right now.
No Home Education In This House… Ironic, Huh?
Ironically, just as every parent in the UK is declaring themselves a home educator, our home education has ground to a halt. Although UK schools have only been closed for one week, our activities and groups have been closed for two. The girls are really missing out on the social contact they usually have (although, aren’t we all?). They’re bored too but we haven’t got it in us to get stuck into any learning right now. What they have been doing for a lot of the week is playing together in the garden, drawing lots of pictures and playing on their Kindles. Disney+ also arrived in our lives at the right time this week and they’ve really loved watching the first two episodes of The Mandalorian (if you haven’t seen it, it’s fantastic).
I’m aware that we need some kind of routine for the weeks ahead, and my plan tonight is to sort that out. I don’t want a timetable, but I think we’d all benefit from having a rough idea of where the week is going. That said, an idea of what day it even is would be good! I’d really like to take this time at home to focus on craft projects we’ve been putting off, or maybe to do some kind of project work. I’m not sure yet, but we definitely need to keep ourselves and our brains busy.
I set up a Facebook group when it was announced that the schools were closing. My intention is to try to support parents as they navigate the obstacles that might arise from now having their children at home full time. We work from home and home educate and it’s so weird to us that now everyone is having to do the same. That said, I do think there’s a huge distinction between choosing to home educate and what is being enforced by the government right now. All week I’ve wanted to create content and share links, but my heart hasn’t been in it. I really do want to help people though and so next week I’m going to set aside some time for it properly.
Not A Great Time To Be Self-Employed
I think that the main reason that I haven’t really been able to give myself to anything this past week has been fear. Having our own business, our only source of income, has made this week incredibly stressful. We’re still open for business and we’re still supporting our clients (and actually we tend to work remotely anyway) but we’re more than aware that some of our clients are being adversely affected and therefore may not need us for much longer. It’s horrible for everyone. At the moment though Andy is absolutely snowed under with supporting clients who are now working from home and he’s had many nights in the past couple of weeks of very little sleep getting everything set up for them.
Can’t Stop Watching The News
Every day we’ve been glued to BBC News to watch Boris Johnson’s daily briefings. I must say, as a Labour Party member, it’s a worrying time indeed when you start to agree with Boris. I’ll give credit where it’s due though, I do think he’s doing his best in impossible circumstances. Thursday’s briefing was finally what we’d been waiting for and we’re cautiously optimistic that we’ll scrape through with some government assistance. We’re confident that we will still have a business after Covid-19 finally buggers off, even if we’re rebuilding it.
Was it Wednesday when the call went out for NHS volunteers? The days really are blurring into one now. I signed up and today had confirmation that I’m ready to volunteer. I really want to do what I can to help out in my local community. Another reason I’ve signed up is my friend Rachel. Rachel is a children’s nurse and she has been working so damn hard (as always) throughout this crisis. She’s sacrificing time with her children, and her own health, to be at work and I’m so proud of her. The NHS does so much for all of us, so if I can give back then I’m happy to.
How Are You Spending Your Time?
How are you spending your time at home right now? Please leave me a comment and tell me what’s getting you through this.
For me it’s trying to do at least ten minutes of yoga every day. I’m also using my Buddhify app at least twice a day and that’s been great at calming my mind a little. Honestly though, much of my own time this week has been spent reading or binge watching Judge Judy! I want to sew and bake and do so many other things but until the jumble of thoughts in my brain simmers down a bit, I just can’t. Right now I’m doing whatever occupies me enough to get through the day. One bright spot this week was having a Zoom chat with my four best friends. Oh and I started a 500 piece jigsaw I bought for me and Eleanor to do; she quickly lost interest. I haven’t done a jigsaw in years!
Anyone else feeling like their home has never been cleaner? It’s funny, we’re at home a lot anyway, but I’ve been cleaning like it’s never been done before. At least it’s some kind of exercise! Speaking of exercise, I know that the guidelines are allowing us out daily for a walk, but I’ve literally never seen so many people walking past our house! It’s like the entire nation has suddenly discovered they’ve got feet! I know that I’m not moving as much as I’d like to, but I’m still achieving 30 minutes per day. Must be working; I’m not sticking to my Slimming World plan but I’ve managed to lose 2lbs!
Shopping has been a real focus for everyone this past couple of weeks. The panic buying in UK supermarkets is just ridiculous. Even my mother is at it (but of course can’t see it and is condemning others for it). We’ve been doing our usual weekly shop (no crazy toilet roll buying here) and panic buying has made that a little more difficult. Thank goodness for Ocado. The service hasn’t been perfect but they’re struggling under the sheer volume of orders and I’m actually incredibly grateful that I can shop without leaving the house. I can still donate to food banks using Ocado too, so that’s pretty cool. What isn’t cool is my urge to just Prime all the things. It’s too easy to mindlessly shop for unnecessary stuff, but so far I’m resisting. Having no disposable income really helps with that!
All in all though, I think that all of us are coping fairly well so far with everything that’s happening. We’re fairly content in our own company anyway. Plus, we’re incredibly lucky to have a big garden and plenty of space indoors if we need some alone time. I did say to Andy that as we work from home, home educate our children, never go to the pub and would usually rather be at home than around other people, I feel like we’ve been training for this moment! Social distancing? No problem.