As I sit here and write this – I feel like a pressure cooker. Ready to burst out a copious amount of steam at the flick of a switch. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but the nature of parenting in lockdown and the lack of solitude is driving me mad!
It reminds me of the days when I couldn’t go to the toilet or shower without a small person hanging off my leg or screaming at me. Except now I feel like the constant barrage of things to do, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, and work with literally no room to draw breathe in between – is what is collectively following me around.
Wherever I turn there is something that needs to be done or added to the never-ending to-do list, someone that needs to be called, a surface that needs to be wiped, yet more things to be picked up off the floor, a massive pile of deliveries that need to be un-quarantined, a thousand whatsapp messages that need reading, all the calls I will probably forget to return, a small person that wants me to listen with extreme intent to the longest rambling story about blah blah blah ever and the never-ending slew of emails which continue to invade my personal space every damn day.
While the general pace of life has indeed slowed down…yes we are no longer zipping from here to there on a highway of now seemingly pointless engagements – somehow I am still constantly whirling around the house trying to fit three days into one. Or at least that’s what it feels like when you are working, homeschooling and endlessly trying to stop the house from sliding into cesspit status.
I laugh at the endless slew of articles proclaiming about all the fantastic DIY, self-improvement or crafting projects we can apparently busy ourselves with in these new endless hours we have apparently inherited. Ha! Chance would be a fine thing! Are any of these people making such laughable suggestions parents? I highly doubt it.
I’m sick of hearing about smug people who have learned how to sign language, make sourdough or are taking crash courses in psychology. If I have made it to 9pm without feeling utterly destroyed and flopping into bed then THAT, my friends, is an accomplishment right there.
Trust me, at this point, my brain has room only for one key skill, and one key skill only – and that is survival.
Yes, survival – not self-improvement – is the name of the game here. If I can make it through another god knows how many weeks of lockdown without my brain exploding from overload as it peers into a mini mental health crisis which I feel like I am edging closer towards with every additional day, then that will be enough for me.
At least I can take comfort. One email I finally wanted to read in the last week was from the founder of Motherdom Magazine – Anna Ceesay – which told me what I was already experiencing: That 81% of parents in the UK say that lockdown has affected their mental health to some extent.
If you feel like you are going crazy – then we are sisters! Together, we are stuck in an endlessly torturous game of Whack a Mole where as soon as one thing is done, ten other things pop up that need doing, until your time…. money….and sanity…run out.
For that, my friends, is parenting in lockdown.