Released On 5th Mar 2021
Alison's blog: Normality hopes
The time we were all waiting for is finally here. Schools are re-opening and we will have some of the much awaited freedom and peace.
This second lockdown has been so much harder than the first for us. The weather meant we had to spend more time indoors, watch too much tv and have too many snacks, and their new bellies show just that.
And yet, I feel a bit melancholic. This has been (hopefully!) the last chance to spend so much time together as a family. I am going to miss the leisurely breakfasts and the kids lingering for hours in pyjamas. I am going to miss the sneaky afternoon play in the park.
When they announced schools were not reopening in January, I felt my world crumble. I felt cheated by the government because I had decided not go to my family abroad at Christmas since the quarantine rules meant we wouldn’t make it back for school in time, and with the last minute decision not to reopen schools my sacrifice had been in vain.
I didn’t think I could take it. Work had picked up again, I was starting two new programmes, the business demands were as high as usual and I didn’t think the kids could go through it all once more.
But somehow after the first month from hell, we had started finding a balance again. We had a rhythm and the kids had finally learned not to burst in my room when my video calls were on!
Yet they have both regressed during this lockdown. My 8 year old has started coming in our bed during the night and my 4 years old is having night’s wet accidents again. They both seem to be too hungry all the time and I often feel a failure in my nutritional offerings. I have given up trying to give them a variety of vegetables and stick to carrots and peas as I know they will eat that. My weekly menu revolves around the foods that will create the least tantrums. My eldest especially is on a thin emotional thread, quick to anger or tears and I hope going back to his friends will stabilise him.
Now, watching their faces glow while talking about returning to school, and what they are going to do with their friends, warms my heart. I realise school is not just, as I used to think, a means to education and to keep the kids occupied while mummy and daddy are at work. It’s the place they mature, experiment their freedom and autonomy, re-affirm their personality, let out their energy and re-charge their social batteries. I realise I will miss them more than they will likely miss us. This long time at home has been harder for them than it was for my husband and I, and they have been paying the higher price.
I hope they’ll treasure some of the good family times together and forget about the bad, and most importantly that they will never have to see the school gates closed again.