Breathe…. take a deep breath in… and out… As I sit down to write this, that’s exactly what I’m currently telling myself. It’s 15:10, the sun in shining and its a chilly Spring day in Repton, England. What has “life during lockdown” looked like for me?
Well, let’s back track to when it started 13 weeks ago. We were informed on Wednesday 18 March that our schools would be closing on Friday 20 March. That Thursday, I had a little wobbly.. my mind was racing, what does this mean? Home schooling? How much of a teacher would I be and have to fulfil for my children? How long would this go on for? For those of you who don’t know, my kiddies are 5, 4 and 3 – so its a busy house. Very busy! So I bought the supplies I could, additional educational work books, a few treats for good behaviour along the way and before I knew it, it was pick up time on Friday and that was it.
I created an awesome schedule, which made me feel better. If I’m organised and can process the “knows” then I’m ok. But it’s the unknown’s that send my mind racing, constantly wondering, asking questions and researching. None the less, we chatted to our children, and the Madsen Family School was due to start on Monday. For 5.5 weeks, we’d done it all, felt positive, felt up there, in control of what we could be, fun projects, educational activities and baking. I’ve honestly loved this time with my children so much. We are family that enjoys quality time, so our cups are overflowing. I have moments where I struggle not knowing when boarders will be opened and we’ll be able to see our family from South Africa, but, the journey continues. I find myself on the brink of week 13, slightly less motivated as we push through the final 4 weeks of this school year. We have not yet had confirmation for when schools could possibly go back, but it’s likely only to be in September, which is the start of a new academic year. My eldest would be in Year 2 (equivalent to Grade 3), middle daughter in Reception (equivalent to Grade 1) and youngest still in playgroup. The English system is very different to South Africa, reading and writing starts at age 4. Hence why I felt the pressure to educate them as much as possible. I’ve put our schedule a side, and find my self going with a flow more, doing whatever activities and exercises we can for that day. I try incorporate one of each of the following into each day – reading / writing, numbers / maths, art and crafts. If I don’t get to it all, well tomorrow is another day.
We’ve all been pushed, stretched and tested during this lockdown experience. I am grateful to have a supportive husband, hands on father and solid marriage. I recently started a WhatsApp group with some mommy friends in South Africa, however some mommy’s are in France, Amsterdam and Australia. On this platform we can uplift, share and help one another along with education, routine, eating habits and more. I’ve found that looking on websites, Pinterest etc can easily become overwhelming when trying to juggle it all… the house work, the cooking, school, work and your husbands new work schedule, to name a few. I’ve certainly had my days, wondering when this is going to be over, feeling upbeat and positive and then the opposite the next day. What I find comfort in, is knowing that God works all things for His good. Even during these times of uncertainly, change, and so many variables. My sister-in-law recently sent me something that honestly hit the nail on the head –
One day I feel happy, The next day I feel sad; One day I feel good, The next day I feel bad. One day I feel full of energy The next day I feel worn out; One day I feel confident, The next day I feel full of doubt. One day I feel carefree, The next day I feel I care too much; One day I feel on top of things, The next day I feel out of touch. One day I feel brave, The next day I feel scared; One day I feel ready, The next day I feel unprepared. One day I feel proud, The next day I feel shame; But, I should never feel alone, Because other people feel the same.
Mommy’s reading this, please know you are not alone. What ever the ages of your children, we are all in this together. Never before have we had to wear so many hats. We know that we just need to keep on going, keep on keeping on. I’ve found the grace in letting go, in doing things at a steady pace, after all, slow and steady wins the race.