When staying in is the forced new normal

There is so much to write about the global situation right now, but it also makes me wonder on a micro level how this world crisis is affecting my own family.

Just over two weeks ago I had suspected Covid-19 and we didn’t leave our house for fourteen days. The strangest part of this for me was how normal our new reality quickly became for my children (aged 4, 6 and 8), and how quickly they adjusted to their new and more limited lives.

Staying in become the forced new normal and before long some of our children likely won’t remember our pre-lockdown lives. Within just a couple of days my older two children stopped asking when they’d next see their friends, go to a restaurant, a museum or on holiday. My youngest still regularly chats about all the places we are going to visit “soon”, but seventeen days in even she has stopped asking when she can have a play date with her best friend. I wonder how long it will be before she completely forgets her nursery, our usual life outside our house and our proper non-virtual time with her extended family and friends? The thought that this is very possible makes me cry whenever I think of it.

I also think a great deal about my children losing so many months of their childhood. Being unable to see their grandparents, their cousins, all our beloved family and friends for so long really hurts. Also, whilst I appreciate that they will no doubt have wonderful times at home with us and each other during this lockdown, what we do at home does not replace the rich lives they usually lead at their fabulous school and nursery.

Four to six months at home is a very long time. My daughter will likely never return to her pre-school (before starting school) and my boys will miss so many special school memories (sports day, school fete, school plays etc). I’ve lost precious 1:1 time with my youngest before she starts school – our Fridays (my usual non-working day) together were magical and we both so miss that special time together. The cancelled family holidays too: Eurodisney, which we’d been counting down to for months, Center Parcs etc. Who knows when we will be able to re-book these for. Then there’s the simple everyday stuff – the walks to school, the lazy weekend brunches, supermarket visits, Cubs, piano lessons, Monkey music classes, swimming classes etc. Of course all of this will still be here when the lockdown ends but my children will all be that bit older, as will I, and I doubt life will ever be quite the same again when this ends. This is time we will never get back and I feel a real sense of loss about it.

But I have to push on through this sadness and focus on what I have right now and how brilliant it is. I’m extremely fortunate. I think of those without what I have, eg families struggling in tiny flats without a garden, toys, school resources or even essential food supplies; people who’ve lost their jobs. I’m stuck here at home but I’m with the four people I love the most in the world and we have so much to say to each other and to do together during this time. My husband and I have our jobs and interesting challenges there to work through. And we have the (virtual) support of our amazing family, friends and colleagues, which is a massive comfort during such times.

How are you and your children coping with the lockdown? I hope you’re all adjusting well. Do comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear your experiences!

* the picture is my 8 year old’s representation of the Coronavirus in Aquabeads.


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