Our very un-instaworthy lock-down life
Updated: May 13, 2020
So here we are, into our fifth week of lock-down in New Zealand.
When I take a minute to step back, take a breath and look at what we have done, it astounds me. If we had been told in January that we were going to be asked to stay home for 6 weeks and only leave the house to go to the supermarket, pharmacy or a walk around the block we couldn't have imagined it. But here we are, doing it and doing it well.
I haven't been to the petrol station in over a month and have only been to the supermarket a few times. We have a daily walk with our dog but other than that, we stay within the four walls of our house and somehow make it work.
As a country and indeed a planet, we have shown courage, flexibility and resilience in a time of fear, worry and huge uncertainty.
As a Mum I have found it a really interesting journey. My son and I are real homebodies and we are very happy at home. In fact getting my son to go out and do new things outside of the house has always been a struggle. So I can safely say that he is possibly living his best life right now, if he wasn't missing his friends so much.
For me, the job of keeping him busy has been interesting. I have watched other families bake, craft, dress up, take cycling adventures, and many other things that we are not doing. My boy doesn't want to do that. He has a small group of interests that he adores and that's all he wants to do. I tried in the beginning to offer other activities but I learned pretty quickly that I was wasting my time. He is happy reading, making his own games, playing board games, listening to podcasts and talking to his friends. Oh and he wants lots of screen time but I am a bit stingy on that! Don't get me wrong - he most definitely is getting bored some days and then we have to figure something out.
So instead of doing a lot of things together and making the 'best' memories in this time, I learned that just being alongside him was enough and what he wanted.
The lure of comparison caught me in its trap pretty quickly as I felt like I wasn't doing enough and wasn't the 'instaworthy' Mum, but the way we have figured this out has proved to be our way to happiness, calm and not too much wine consumption in this house!
And then Term 2 of school started and the homeschooling factor kicked in. My previous career was a teacher so I felt like I had pretty reasonable expectations about it. I knew it was NOT going to look like him sitting at a desk for 6 hours a day. I would never expect a child in my class to do that on any day of the school year. I also knew that he might not want me to be his teacher. Being a Mum and a teacher at the same time is a very tricky balance which is done successfully by those who officially home-school their children, but not something easily done at short notice. And so I tread this path very carefully and it has not been without trip ups, but we have found a way that works for both of us that involves some basic expectations but very little pressure.
My husband is still working full time from home and so he is basically 'not here' during the day. So we are a two person team every day and I have found it my highest priority to make this time calm, happy, and content for both of us. I see this as the the way to the end of the marathon with our relationship intact. I have to admit though that I really look forward to the weekends!!