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From Zoom calls to home-schooling, lockdown has impacted us all in one way or another.

At the beginning, lockdown was a novelty. The kids were off school thinking that it was cool and the three of us spent 24/7 with each other – but none of us knew that it was going to be the new way of life (on and off) for the last year.

Early on in the first lockdown I tried to keep some sort of routine – maybe thinking (hoping) it wasn’t going to be for long. Then weeks would turn into months and it got a lot harder – especially with the kids not seeing their friends or family. I’d do schoolwork and homework with them but there were so many distractions of not being in the classroom. Ayda was quite switched on online, so she adapted well to checking what work her teacher had set and joined in with daily classroom zooms; but George not so much. Maybe it was a little bit of a “but I’m not in school” kind of attitude and maybe not having his teacher there all the time. Obviously, I tried my best to help and encourage him, but it got very frustrating for the both of us. I couldn’t force him and losing my patience wasn’t healthy for either of us. His teacher has been a great support throughout, so I contacted him and asked if George could have physical worksheets instead. It was no problem and sorted for me to pick up weekly. George preferred seeing his work on paper; being able to write and cut out and stick things down made him a lot more enthusiastic. Earlier on in the lockdown he really struggled with his classroom Zoom calls. As much as he missed all his friends, he got very nervous and was very shy during the calls. He’s got better as the weeks and months have gone on, but he hasn’t really enjoyed them, and it’s been hard watching him become so introverted during them when he’s usually outgoing, bubbly, and loud! 

I think lockdown has made the kids appreciate me and what I do a little more. There are no magic fairies that come and sort things while they are in school – it’s me and that’s it. There’s been more of a willingness at times for them to be a little more helpful around the house too – George maybe more so.

Both Ayda and George have shed tears. George especially struggled early on. Bar some reassurance and a big cwtch trying to convince them “this won’t be forever” we have, in one way or another, got through it but it’s not been easy. No one knows when this will all end, and when we’ll all return to some sort of normality.

I’m quite a private person and live a quiet life – to the point where my family will tell you I’ve been in lockdown for about 5 years. But until you’re told you can’t go somewhere or see someone it’s strange the effects that can have. I’ve felt at times I’ve gotten into a bit of a rut. Just living a kind of Groundhog Day where every day is the same with one rolling into another.

Being together 24/7 is bound to cause tension, tears, and tantrums. It’s important to take that time out for yourself. Relaxing the routine a little to keep your sanity, and to try and keep spirits high when times get tough. I’ve learned to maybe take a deep breath and be a little more relaxed. It’s been hard for the kids and the environment at home is mostly all they’ve known, so it’s better to keep it a happy one.