1. Working around being a mum
Have you seen the two news clips this week, from BBC & Sky, with two women separately being interviewed & interrupted by their child? It’s sparked conversation about being a parent during lockdown & the juggling required. Both women – understandably – seem mortified that their TV interviews are being interrupted by their kid, but as lots of us know, that’s just the reality of a) being a working parent during lockdown b) being a parent who works from home ANY time. Today, I scheduled a work conference call for 11.30am knowing my twins would be napping and when someone in the meeting asked how my morning had been, I answered honestly: “I’ve mostly been wrangling my toddlers!” I refuse to hide that I’m working around mum duties!
2. Being a mum who works
Isn’t that the same as number one? No! This is about refusing to feel guilty that I’m working instead of dedicating myself 100% to spending quality time with my children during lockdown. I saw a meme the other day, shared by Dr Amal, which said ‘ Why do I constantly expect myself to work as if I don’t have children and to raise my children like I don’t work?’ RIGHT?! Aside from the fact that I have to work to… you know… pay the bills and put food on the table, I LOVE working. There have been times in the last few weeks that I’ve closed the laptop & watched a film with my 9-year-old, but there have also been (many!) times I’ve said “Not now! I’m working! Sorry!” And I have zero guilt about that.
3. My child only doing one hour of home schooling a day
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had days when I’ve felt really guilty about this. After a really enthusiastic start (my 9-year-old created a 6 hour timetable!) we’ve had weeks of zero motivation, arguments and tears. Eventually, we settled on doing one hour 1:1 home schooling each day – usually Maths or English. When I look around and see other kids doing a LOT more, I’ve had pangs of panic. But then my common sense kicks in: schools are going to have to cover the stuff the kids will have missed, right? The next school year’s going to be a proper catch up for most of them. It’ll be OK.
4. The amount of screen time my kids are getting
Look, when I tell you that one of my twin toddlers bellows “PIG” as soon as she gets up every morning, that tells you all you need to know. Yes, they’re watching a lot of Peppa (and Duggee) and my 9-year-old has built an entire Starbucks on Minecraft, but what I keep telling myself is:
These are not normal times.
Usually, my eldest would have dance classes and play dates and the little two would have playgroups and park dates… and we’ll get back to that. For now, screens are our friend.
5. My expanding waistline
I’m about to order a bunch of size 18 shorts and dresses because my size 14s and 16s are too tight. And I don’t care! We’ve heard so much about the weight that people are gaining during lockdown, but honestly? I refuse to feel guilty about some extra pounds at a time when we’re living through a global health crisis. If a few extra chocolate digestives help me get through what is essentially a bloody stressful time, then so be it!
It’s taken years of trying to undo the damage that diet culture has inflicted upon me, but I’m getting there. So, hello size 18!