Lockdown is a unique experience for every single person. PR Account Manager Becci Dutton shares her thoughts on home-schooling, work and living in the UK while her husband works abroad.
So here we are again. Lockdown 3. It’s not much fun for anybody and no matter what a person’s circumstances are, everybody would prefer life to be back to normal where they can hug family, meet friends and go where they want.
My experience of Lockdown is unique, as it is for everybody.
I wasn’t in the country for the first lockdown in March 2020, but returned to the UK in July with my two boys, then aged five and eight, while my husband stayed working abroad.
School stayed closed abroad so we remained in the UK for the boys to attend school and they had a wonderful autumn term of lessons, clubs and making new friends, even with Lockdown 2.
Then Lockdown 3 hit and we were back to home-schooling.
We were also isolating at the start of it as we tested positive for Covid 19. Thankfully we were all well and our main symptoms were tiredness.
I am so very thankful that we all recovered well, and I know that it is not the case for many people and my heart goes out to all those families suffering with bereavement and long-term Covid.
Thankfully, our school provided a wonderful home-learning system and we got into a routine quickly.
Doing it on my own without my husband here is hard work. Not only am I helping organise a Year 1 pupil, who needs a lot of support as there is so much practical work at that age and trying to make a Year 4 student stay on his chair, but I have the house to run with all the usual washing, cleaning and cooking etc... just like any other parent.
Some days I walk 5,000 steps going between the two of them before we have even left the house! I work part-time so I aim to do my work in the evenings, around the boys’ education as I am in a position where I can choose to do that. Although a lot of my evening is spent printing out endless sheets for schoolwork the next day! Forget watching a Netflix series... what’s Bridgerton?! How lovely that must be (not envious, of course!)
My boys are very energetic and are always desperate to get outside to exercise. Once we have finished school at about 2pm, after starting at 9am, we head out for long walks. We aim to be out for around two hours. We have explored places in Shrewsbury I never knew existed. We will have some lovely memories of all our walks... and the constant mud! When we get back, it’s then a case of washing all the mud off everything, getting dinner sorted and the usual household chores, as well as playing a game of some sort with the boys.
I don’t think anybody’s situation is ideal and it is hard for all children and parents. I am trying to write this blog while home-schooling them at the same time and have been interrupted so far around 5,000 times with questions about imperative verbs, how do you spell very (I have said 3,000 times that it is not thery!) and general moaning! We also have a pencil and rubber monster as every day all of them disappear despite putting new pencils in the online shop nearly every week! Where are they all?
I would prefer them to be back at school so they can see their friends and be taught by their teachers… and so I can save the ink in my printer!
But saying that I also love their company. They are very sweet and help me as much as they can and play together brilliantly. We are certainly a little team.
I do feel guilty for not working as much as others and for the fact my children don’t have their father with them during this time. We miss him and don’t know when we will next see him. Life is full of uncertainty as we don’t know when flights will reopen or when we will get back ‘home’. The children and I have had to adapt to a total change in life and country pretty quickly. And if travel isn’t easier before July, we will only have seen my husband for eight weeks in a year.
So this is for everyone, whether you are working full-time and trying to home-school at the same time, whether working part-time or full-time parenting, living on your own or in a house-share, you are all doing a brilliant job.
There are no comparisons, we are all in this together and let’s work to the day when our lives can return to normality and our children can resume their active lives, full of clubs, school, friends and family. And we can have a cup of tea without hearing ‘Mummy’ 22 times!