And here we are again! Hopefully for a shorter time, but here nonetheless.
After the shock and a bit of anxiety, I have tried to settle and consider what we learned last time, so that we can apply it again this time.
Here are my learnings:
1. This will not last forever
I guess in some countries it really does feel like it is lasting forever which I totally acknowledge but even then, it won't last forever. There will be an end and reprieve. We don't know when that is and that is the hard part. Being in it is hard, looking forward is hard. My plan this time is to just take one day at a time, with very few expectations. I know that sounds like a cliche but I really do think it will help me. I am just going to think about today and the best way my family can cope on this day. Tomorrow I will think about tomorrow. I want to keep my expectations low of when it is going to end. It will end when we are ready. I also want to keep my expectations low of what we might 'achieve' during this time. I am totally OK if we just drift through the days. The relationships within my household are my top priority and so relationships over productivity for the win I believe.
2. Try to ignore the rule breaking
OK so I am a rule keeper. Maybe that makes me boring but that is just how I am made.
I find it really hard to see other people out there breaking the rules while my family is working really hard to comply. However, I have to remember that other people are not in my control and all I can do is my bit. If I allow myself to get tangled up in what others are doing, it makes me cross and anxious which are emotions I don't need right now. So, I am going to do my bit and try as hard as I can to ignore the rest. It will be hard!
3. Find joy in my days
Dance in the kitchen, notice the beautiful light falling on my dining room table in the afternoon, soak up my son's face as he snuggles on the couch reading a book and smell the first signs of Spring coming in on the air.
If I add up lots of these simple joyous moments over a day, I am well on my way to protecting my mental health and enjoying this time at home.
I get so much joy from photographing my family in our home as they do what they like to do, and so this becomes a focus for me during lockdown - a creative outlet to soothe my anxious mind.
4. Home-schooling is no walk in the park
I used to be a teacher (actually I still think of myself as a teacher even though I am not practicing, as it is one of those things that stays in your bones) and so you would think I was ready and sorted for home-schooling. But no - the combo of me, my son and school work doesn't go down well. It just doesn't. He doesn't want me to be his teacher, he wants me to be his mum. I expect him to do a small amount of school work everyday (he's motivated to do that anyway) but I do not expect for me to be giving him lessons. I am here for guidance if he wants or needs it and that is about it. Sounds like I don't care? I really do, but I also want our relationship to be in tact at the end and that takes priority right now.
5. Have wine on hand
Yes, I am one of those people who loves a glass of wine at the end of the day, or with dinner. I am very lucky that one glass is usually enough. I mean, I know that using wine as a way to soothe is not ideal but I am OK with it for now because I don't go overboard. So if there is a bottle of wine in the fridge, I know that if all the other points above turn sour, I can drown my sorrows in a lovely glass of rose, and try again tomorrow!