The 'Real' Groundhog Day Movie...by Becki Pallan
Currently, the nation is going through something so unexpected and alien to us that we are all feeling different about the lockdown.
Whether you have babies or children at school or even teens, maybe some of this will help you through what feels like a part in the groundhog movie.
There’s a part of me that feels the last few years have set me up for this, being a stay at home mum, with just a school run and playgroup in the diary, I didn’t have to make many changes!
I, myself, have a boy at infant school and a daughter at nursery. When those closed for us to be in lockdown and the prospect of being home and homeschooling, filled me with dread.
I am a loving mother but unless I’m feeling it, I am useless at getting the mojo to craft or to bake! I’m trying to do better but it doesn’t come natural to me.
The first week of ‘homeschooling’ hit me with fear, truly, utter fear! Suddenly WhatsApp was buzzing of excited and scared parents, sending links, ideas of what to do for our children. I had this moment of WTF!
I am now responsible to educate my children. I am an intelligent woman but the responsibility to teach them something that I know the teachers do amazingly... freaked me out.
The feeds of households around the country seemingly knowing what they were doing made me feel worse. We had printed out so many sheets that I feel I may have to plant some trees to compensate!
The weekend after the ‘first week’ I asked my son how he was feeling and how he felt it went.
He asked me for a timetable! Clearly the unstructured ad hoc maths sheets were not for him.
So that’s what I did, I wrote out a rough timetable like he does at school.
Joe Wicks the nations PE teacher being lesson one, then a mix of Maths, English etc, with breaks and outside play added in.
For us this totally worked, my son needed guidance for his day, some sort of structure. My daughter joined in with him where she could, I mean my son didn’t have a choice really, she follows him everywhere!
What I realised, is once I stopped putting pressure on them and more so myself, we just had a happier week. My husband was able to work in his upstairs office aka the bedroom in peace and we all had more of a plan for our day.
I’ve luckily been able to continue with my yoga online and I’ve also been allowing time to reset myself, whether that’s resetting how I look at stuff or journaling.
We are now in Easter, so most of the structure has totally gone out the window, but I don’t feel stressed to start over next week.
To do, what we can, until when, what we hope the ‘normal’ resumes for us all!
But until then, I am taking each day, doing what I can without any teaching experience.
But I am their mummy and I would rather they remember this moment in time as something that brought us together, which includes the “I’m bored” “mummy you are not a good teacher” and I’M HUNGRY! I mean how much do they eat!!
What I would say to anyone just not feeling this and who are not in a good place.
- Depending on your children, a timetable for their day is helpful. Nothing too regimented just something to give a little structure.
- One of the parents arranged a weekly zoom call for the children to see their friends and to have some sort of normality which has been nice for them
- I am not the best crafty mum, but we kept back lots of recycling at home to keep them busy when they feel like they want to make a random object out of cardboard!
- If you haven’t seen it (where have you been) Joe Wicks on youtube for PE lessons has been great, even my husband has been getting his fitness via this.
- If you normally did classes in the outside world, see if they are now doing online or there are great videos on YouTube for yoga, Pilates and so much more.
- Set up some FaceTime or zoom meetings to chat with friends and family. Get talking and speaking to people you’ve lost contact with. Use this time to reconnect.
- Get out for a walk or a cycle, we have a garden thankfully, but giving them a run around in the outside world is great and feels good.
- I’m going to attempt a scrapbook for him to take to school to show what he’s been up too.
Above all else I would say this:
Do what you can, this is alien to all of us. Some find it easy; some are finding it hard. Just do your best, there is no rule book for this, or how to be or to feel. A lot of us have become teachers overnight and it’s scary but don’t get consumed with what other parents might be doing. You are their parents and that is more than enough. It took me a stressful emotional week to feel better about it all.
As I said earlier, I feel like my life prepared me for the lockdown with not much in the diary, I had to make no changes. However, the one thing I have learnt from all of this is to start looking at what is next and what that means for me and my family.
We have all spoken about all the things we want to do when we can and that’s exciting. Kind of like a bucket list, also I will plan to have a little more going on in my week and to get out there!!!
As cliché as it sounds, this won’t be forever and let’s try to just be!!
To not put any pressure on ourselves, if we all stay safe and at home... we will soon see a soft play again... lucky us!!