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The original plan with this series of blog posts was to write one a week. Obviously. Of course, that didn’t happen. I started week two of lockdown feeling fairly positive, or at least resigned to our fate. As the week went on my mood just got lower and lower and, if it wasn’t for the girls, I don’t think I’d have gotten out of bed by Friday.
Lockdown and My Mental Health
Although I joked after Week One of lockdown that our lifestyle feels like we’d been training to stay indoors and avoid people, I really started to feel it by around Wednesday of week two. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve suffered from both depression and anxiety in the past and this current situation is not helping. It’s the worry for my family’s health which is really starting to get to me. By the end of week two I had a meltdown worrying about my Dad.
I was also starting to feel quite a bit of pressure which wasn’t helping. Lots of well-meaning people had been tagging me in posts on Facebook for help sew scrubs, hats and other things for the NHS. I did sign up to sew some scrubs during week two, alongside the NHS volunteering I’d already signed up for. I’m happy to do it, but feeling like people expect that of me is a bit much to cope with.
Alongside that, I’m also feeling angry. Why are people having to give up their time to sew garments for the NHS that the bloody government should be providing? It’s ridiculous! We’re one of the richest countries in the world and yet I’m seeing posts every day about people trying to help with PPE, scrubs and the like. Frankly, if you voted for Brexit based on a message on a bus and this Tory government, I hope you’re proud of yourself. Clapping for one minute a week is not going to change the fact that the Tories couldn’t care less about the NHS that, ironically, has recently saved the Prime Minister’s life. Yes, lockdown has started to make me a little angry and way more publicly political than usual.
Last week, week three, was a tough one for me. I feel like I’ve put myself out there a lot checking up on people with very little reciprocation. Paradoxically, my mum is making much more of an effort and we’ve been talking quite a lot. So that’s something. It’s also been nice to catch up with my brother regularly. Although I really don’t enjoy video chatting, I’ve been trying to catch up with my friends when I can. It’s hard though because I’m not actually feeling very chatty. I spent much of week three pretending to be cheerier than I really feel, watching Jamie Oliver and Judge Judy and avoiding the daily briefings like the plague. I just can’t face watching the death toll rise any more.
Just to really kick me when I’m down, I had a major endometriosis flare up at the end of the week. I’d been expecting it, but my stress levels certainly play a part in how bad it can be. I got up on Friday with all kinds of plans and was back in bed feeling miserable by lunchtime. On the plus side, it gave the girls some quality time just with Andy and they baked some hot cross buns.
What About The Kids?
Week two in lockdown started off pretty well. The girls are adjusting incredibly well to everything really and I’m so proud of the way that they’re getting along. I did plan out a few activities for them to do, based on Pawprint Badges‘ challenges and we started off the week doing some spy challenges. Phoebe came up with the idea as she wanted to play detectives. We had fun learning about Morse code and writing secret messages with lemon juice!
Also that week, we decided to let the girls have a TV in their bedroom. Well, a computer monitor hooked up to Netflix and Disney+, set to only come on at certain times of the day. It felt like parenting fail to be honest, we’ve always kept screen time to a minimum. After talking though, we realised that at the moment we want to veg out and watch TV, so it’s hypocritical of us to tell the girls they can’t. Eleanor is now busy watching the Star Wars films and Phoebe declared “I’m grateful to the virus Mummy, or we wouldn’t have our own TV”. She also said she’s grateful that nature isn’t being damaged by humans at the moment, so that’s nice!
We’ve mostly stayed in the house and certainly haven’t been going for a daily walk, so week three saw us spending a bit of time in the garden. The girls and I planted some seeds we’ve had hanging around for ages. We also found some frog (or toad) spawn! When we moved in, we had the remains of a pond that someone had filled in. It was obviously still damp enough though because we’ve found toads, frogs and newts! The girls helped Andy to excavate it over the weekend and we’ve going to have a little wildlife pond.
Despite my reservations about screen time, the novelty seems to have worn off. We’ve found that they’re watching about half an hour of TV after breakfast and then turning it off. They’re still playing with their other toys just as much. As for the Kindles, they’re probably spending a couple of hours on them a day. But what is nice to see is that they’re tending to share one and play collaboratively.
I took the pressure off myself by not planning things, realistically, I knew we wouldn’t do. Plus it’s technically the first week of the Easter holidays and we wouldn’t usually be doing much. That really helped with my state of mind and feelings of guilt this week!
Into Week Four
Now we’re heading into week four of lockdown in the UK. It doesn’t look as though anything is going to change any time soon. It’s the start of a new week as I’m writing this and I feel ok. Who knows if that feeling will last the week, but for now I’m going to try and stay as positive as I can.