As seasoned home educators, the thing I’ve heard a lot over the last few days is ‘Oh, you guys are used to this – won’t be too much of a change eh?’ (or words to that effect). But no, just like the rest of the country, our world has been turned upside down. Not going to our regular groups and classes, not seeing friends and family, not going freely outside, is just as discombulating for us as for everyone else.
Yesterday we attempted a “normal” day of home ed, we did work in the morning (Sophia had her Latin lesson over Skype, they all did music practice, maths/reading eggs and we played some board games), had a break after lunch whilst they did a treasure hunt for each other and then we went on a rainbow-spotting walk through the ghost town of our estate before dinner. This morning, we started with a Joe Wicks PE workout on youtube and then did some cosmic kids yoga. And then I was so overcome with anxiety and fatigue that I offered them a day off work which was eagerly received.
After some teething issues (translation: fighting, sobbing siblings), the boys are now happily building a theme park out of lego and Sophia is baking. I’m working through a backlog of covid-19 related Forest School admin (or was before I wrote this) whilst trying to wrestle with the constant stream of worries circulating round my head. Last week my anxiety was work-based, it consumed my thoughts. This week, it’s about my jaw! I accidentally tried to chew something without thinking on Friday and Eli then hit me in the same spot over the weekend which has resulted in pain, swelling and restricted movement where there wasn’t any previously. Last week my surgeon said to contact him if any such things happened as I’m only 4 weeks out from surgery. So I spoke to an on-call doctor yesterday over the phone who said give it a few days and of course, now I can’t stop thinking about it! It’s probably just my body’s response to protect itself after the new trauma but worst case scenario, I’ve caused damage to my jaw and the plates which would need repair. I think deep down I know it’s the former but now I am obsessively looking at my face and comparing it with pictures of last week to assess the extent of the new swelling.
To be honest, at the moment, as a natural born worrier, I think I’m prone to just grabbing any little thing to obsessively stress about. But that doesn’t have to be the case, I can own it but I don’t have to succumb to it. Because, as I said to the kids, we can make this lockdown much easier or much harder based on our behaviour and attitude. So it’s time to adjust my mindset!
Misery loves company as they say. So if we all mope around the house, feeling sorry for ourselves and bickering endlessly, it’s going to be a really long few weeks stuck at home. But if we try and focus on the positives, devising new ways to have fun, work on keeping our cool and communicating effectively then things are going to be a heck of a lost better! (When I say ‘we’ I am mostly just referring to my rabble, not casting aspersions as to what the rest of you lot are up to!)
So here are my positives, if you’d like to share yours in the comments below that’d be AMAZING:
- We are healthy and safe
- The sun is shining and the sky is blue (and for the third day running no less!)
- We have a roof over our heads, food in our cupboards and clothes on our backs
- We’ve put a tent up in the garden and the kids are into their second hour of moving all their wordly posessions out there and showing no sign of stopping!
- My family and friends are all healthy and safe
- Whilst I can’t eat much for another 3-4 weeks, I can still drink tea and eat ice cream
- Due to the wonders of technology, we can stay in touch with those we love
- I have an endlessly cheery yellow hoody, new enough to still make me happy whenever I wear it
- This crisis has brought out countless stories of the goodness of humanity, helping those that need it and generally being lovely and kind to each other
- Local communities are going to great lengths to safely share useful information and provide entertainment for kids (rainbow walk anyone?!)
- Dan and I already both work from home so we can still work
- I’ve got loads of free time to write
- We’re still allowed outside to exercise – moorland runs, here I come!
- We’ve got a whole backlog of home ed work that we were planning on doing that’ll keep us busy for a while
- I’m married to an absolute joker, who is absolutely keeping our spirits up
- Dan has an awesome server (his contribution to this list!)
- No one appears to be panic buying the chocolate ice cream