What keeps mums up at night during lockdown

I’m being plagued continually with questions and concerns. Why do lockdowns always seem to occur in school holidays? My children deserve more than staring at a computer all day at home, being cut off from their friends and all social contacts. They need to have a break and to feel the wonder of nature and exploration, this is so much more than home learning. Then my mind goes to the devices our children use all day. Surely they are harmful, but I’ll admit that  they help to keep my sanity. I  drift off to sleep and wake up at 3 am with a start.  Am I making my children fearful? And the virus itself, to vaccinate or not? What happens if one of us gets sick? Will I ever see my elderly grandmother again who lives in the USA? 

Then I wonder what the future holds for my family? Adam and I are both working from home and we share the job of parenting as much as we can, but he’s the main breadwinner so I do most of the work with the children and in the house. Most of the time I’m just drained physically and    mentally. How long can we sustain this jumble for? We are fearful and uncertain about our future, emotionally and financially. Life’s structure has broken down. I can’t see my parents and they can’t help at the moment with the kids which is affecting the build up of my new health business. Our social life is tricky,  everyone is so engrossed in their own mini worlds. Community is somewhat lost although calls with friends and family help to close this gap. How can I hold it all together, have patience for all of them, not to mention my relationship and my work.  

At 5 am Kate drags herself out of bed to drive down to Bondi for a walk and to have some time out before her family wakes and her groundhog day starts again. She listens to some music and watches the waves splashing against the rocks.  

She’s home at 6.15 am to prepare a healthy breakfast for her family. 

At 7am her 8 year old daughter comes in and turns the television on and the first argument starts. Kate feels truly terrible for the losses that her children have been through in the last year. The zoom school, the loss of a very close family member, not seeing friends and no after school sport or art. Now another lockdown and Kate knows that her children aren’t enjoying the carefree childhood years that she did, but still no television at 7am.

At 8.30am she has the 3 children ready to walk to the park and she enjoys seeing the three of them playing ball together. At  9.30 she tells them it’s time to go home for zoom school. There are grumbles but they go. Home life is routine: there is monitoring zoom school, cooking, cleaning and trying to keep the house quiet while Adam works. Occasionally she gets an hour or 2 to work on her new health business and her other job. 

It’s hard for everyone to work, to do school and to keep connections alive through a computer screen. It’s just not real life. But she knows that this lockdown will end and she hopes that she can keep doing her best and be forgiving of herself when she has a meltdown.

10 Tips to  help us get through another lockdown  

  1. Take some time for yourself, you need to put your oxygen mask on first
  2. Try and get out of the house for a walk in the morning and afternoon with the kids
  3. Be forgiving of yourself and the rest of your family, these are strange times and they call for flow not rigidity 
  4. Stay in contact with your friends even if its a quick hello or a voice note 
  5. Let the children help you cook and let them make a bit of a mess or play some games together
  6. Keep to a routine, especially during the week. Get yourself and the kids up and dressed and ready to start their day.
  7. Try to sleep well and limit the amount of news and social media 
  8. Use this lockdown as an  opportunity to sit down and eat dinner together and bond with the family
  9. Laugh when you can, it really helps to reduce the stress
  10. When it gets too much, dance with your kids or give them a big hug, these will help you to let go in a good way

 This lockdown has an ending … 

Dr Margo Lowy

Maternal Ambivalence
New Book ‘The Maternal Experience: Encounters with Ambivalence and Love’ out now!

margo lowy profile

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