My children, Charlotte and Sadie, are nine and six now. They’ve been off school since the 19th March, today marks three weeks that we have been in lockdown together, staying in, seeing nobody.
Charlotte screamed at her sister this morning. She screamed at her for messing up the bedroom she had tidied so carefully and precisely, messing up the order that she had created, she screamed like I’d not heard her scream before and then she cried, she sobbed. Her order has been messed up. It sure has kiddo.
I’ve often said that I have one regret from when Charlotte was a tiny baby and that was that I didn’t sit and do nothing with her. I was always afraid that somebody might think bad of me if I was still in my pj’s at 11am or if the kitchen wasn’t clean, or pots were left unwashed on the worktop. What on earth would the postie think if I had to sign for a parcel and my hair looked like Albert Einsteins?
So no matter how dreadfully tired I was, no matter, if I’d had to take a shower at 4am because Charlotte had thrown up her milk right down the back of me, I was up with the birds, showered dressed and washing those damned pots, mopping that damned floor, clearing up all the baby sick covered muslins/clothes/bedding that we dealt with for the first nine months of Charlotte’s life! I was ready for the postie in case I had to sign for a parcel, ready to make that cup of tea and ready to pretend to the world that I was coping perfectly well with my new life as a parent.
Hindsight really is great if that is, you can use that knowledge of the past to change the way you do that same thing in the future. You can’t get time back with your first baby again, I’ve often thought about my regrets about creating that illusion of order so that on the outside, to everybody else it looked idyllic. What an idiot I feel sometimes. What on earth is the point of putting on a façade to the world when really, your world is within those four walls?
So my point? Three weeks have passed. Two of those I spent running around like a headless chicken, trying to make sense of this crisis, trying to fill my head with knowledge, the knowledge that just filled me with fear and made me spiral into a state of sheer panic because I couldn’t find the answers (because nobody had them). I have a need to know things, a need for knowledge, a need for order – I wonder where Charlotte gets it from?!
So in this third week, I have hindsight. I have hindsight that I can use now, whilst we are still in this lockdown situation. Having the pause button pressed has made a whole world of difference. I can see clearly, I sleep, I eat better, I exercise with Joe! I’ve spent time with my children instead of overlooking them in the search for more knowledge. We have planted the sunflower seeds one of our lovely customers sent to me for fixing her nappy (I’ll keep you posted Franki) we have written stories, we have baked birthday cakes and made birthday cards and today, we’re going on holiday….
To the back garden in our tent! Charlotte and Sadie have rediscovered old toys that had been chucked into the loft and have brought their dolls down to come ‘on holiday’ with us too, we might even sleep under the stars tonight after our barbeque.
I do not want to look back at this period of time with the same regrets I have from nine years ago, I would love for my children to one day say hey, do you remember 2020, it was ace wasn’t it, we had such a laugh even though we were all cooped up together and couldn’t go out or see anybody. Crikey, we clearly can’t wait for it to be over so that normality can resume, we can hug again, go to a restaurant, go to the park, that endless list of things we will do that we are all mentally writing.
For me, I have a clear strategy and that’s to do my absolute best to make sure we all come out of the other end of this intact, closer and more understanding of one another’s’ needs because I’m learning so much more about them and more of what makes them tick by spending this precious time in such close quarters.