Well this is a load of weird shit…

Hello from dystopia! What a weird few days and weeks this has been! I suppose I am not the only person in the world to be blogging about all this COVID-19 lockdown craziness but I thought I would chuck my thoughts into the ring too. So here it goes…THIS IS SHITScary, weird, confusing shit.This period of adjusting to this new normal way of life is proving to be quite tough. I am sure it is the same for people everywhere. I started to prepare for the homeschooling side of things over 2 weeks ago and my friends thought I had lost it. I bought workbooks and activity books and supplies. I even bought the boys a uniform to help them feel like it was still school (more for Dylan, Evan isn’t fussed). But in my head that was the tricky part. I would need to homeschool for 2 weeks and then have easter holidays, job done… But that is not what we got at all, was it?So here we are… Lockdown. And how is lockdown life treating you? I am mostly ok with it but it is pretty full on. I keep feeling the enormity of it. Having to stay in the house and garden for potentially months. We have had to cancel pretty much all of Dylan’s birthday treats (we picked a great year to get him things to do rather than toys). He’s been really good about it all. It must be so confusing for them. We had a little birthday party for Dylan and his best friend on the last friday of school. It was only with people from school and people we walk home from school with so no new “circles of potential”. It was really lovely to do something for this birthday seeing as everything else we had planned has been cancelled. But when our friends were leaving I think it hit us all. How long would it be until we were allowed to be in close proximity again? There were tears.Homeschooling is hard work. We are enjoying it but trying to “teach” Dylan whilst entertaining Evan and Carys is tricky at times. The garden has saved us. Me and Dylan talked a lot about what he wanted to do during “Hartley School” time. He loves the structure of school and he loves school so he said he wanted it to be the same as school. He wanted 6 hours and he wanted it in lessons. Day 1 went well but Evan wanted to do his own thing a lot. Day 2 was ok. Day 3 everything went to pot. I think day 3 was the same for a lot of people. I just felt so overwhelmed. I didn’t want to fail the children. I didn’t want to do it wrong. I wanted this to be fun but I also wanted it to useful and to actually teach them things. It felt like an impossible task. But we plodded on. I had a chill in the bath and a long think. This is effecting the whole world. Huge chunks of the world are on lockdown. Huge numbers of ill-equiped parents like myself are trying to teach their kids stuff… We need to give ourselves a break!So new plan. Thursday we spent the whole day in the garden. We did some learning tasks centered about the garden. Dylan built a den to do his spelling and maths worksheets in, we planted some vegetables, we looked for bugs but mostly we just chilled and had a lovely time. We are in this for a while I think (I hope not, but it seems likely) so I think an adjustment to a slower pace of living is needed. Lazy days are fine. If we get some learning in then that’s great. If we don’t then there’s no need to stress.I am really loving all the rallying around people are doing. There is so much cool stuff going on. From amazing youtube things, to zoo tours, to colouring pages… it is amazing. And then all the people who are stepping up to help out. The amazing NHS, all the teachers and keyworkers putting themselves at risk, it is incredible.I still feel cooped up and trapped but getting outside and breathing in some fresh air really helps with that. We are setting up the exercise bike later so that we can use that a bit. Hopefully over the weekend Joe can let me have some alone time and I can sort my head out a bit more. But this whole lockdown thing is huge. It is ok to feel like it is huge. It is ok to feel overwhelmed and it is ok to say that you feel overwhelmed. I think as we all settle in to it we will find joy in it. Spending this time with the children is so lovely and I really hope that Dylan and Evan can look back on it fondly. I am trying to take the pressure off myself too. Just getting through the day is fine.Thanks for readingHow are you doing?xx

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