Why Do I Feel Like Such A Terrible Parent During Lockdown?

Answer: I’m not. I just need to adjust my expectations of family life.

It’s a fact. Parenting is tough during lockdown. It’s tough all of the time, but especially during lockdown. Our emotional energy is depleted, we’re juggling so much, we’re hitting a wall several times a day. So how could we ever be the best version of ourselves in those circumstances?

I don’t know about you, but I need to adjust my expectations of family life. We KNOW that even in normal times, it’s not the blissful romantic magical experience that we often see painted on social media. Yes, those moments exist but in reality, it’s bloody hard work.

So I’m lowering my expectations and accepting that it’s OK to muddle through the next few weeks / months with my kids watching more TV, eating fewer vegetables and me being too tired to fight all the battles I probably should.

Here’s how family life is different for us during lockdown….

SCREEN TIME: WHAT WE’RE TOLD IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE

Try to limit screen time as much as possible, ensuring there’s a healthy balance between screens and other activities. It’s a good idea to encourage educational games and programmes to help their development.

SCREEN TIME: WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE FOR US IN LOCKDOWN

Does the TV have an off switch? I forget. My eldest does her home schooling on a laptop and then plays Minecraft in her breaks. My toddlers are demanding wall to wall Peppa Pig and CBeebies.

MEAL TIMES: WHAT WE’RE TOLD THEY SHOULD LOOK LIKE

Eating together as a family, sharing news from the day, having a laugh and a joke. All while eating a nutritionally balanced home cooked meal.

MEAL TIMES: WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE FOR US IN LOCKDOWN

The kids refusing to eat what we give them. Us feeling too tired to even argue. They then ask for cereal /crackers and we cave because it’s easier right?

FAMILY TIME: WHAT WE’RE TOLD IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE

A walk in the park, a day trip to the seaside, perhaps meeting up with friends for a family pub lunch and then home for board games and hot chocolate. Ahh, family life! Isn’t it great?

FAMILY TIME: WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE FOR US IN LOCKDOWN

Feeling like my kids are glued to me. The little ones especially – they’re sitting on me, pawing at me, climbing on me all day long. Family time is great but can I go and sit alone in the (freezing) garden for five minutes just for a breather please?

BEDTIME: WHAT WE’RE TOLD IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE

Getting those little tykes in the bath,splashing about in bubbles, then wrapped up in a big towel and into their pyjamas for a bedtime story. Surely the most magical part of the day?

BEDTIME: WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE FOR US IN LOCKDOWN

Me, feeling so tired from the day I could weep, chasing my toddlers around, trying to cajole them into their PJs. I read their story in a monotonous voice, too exhausted to put 100% effort in, my mind already on the glass of wine I’m about to pour.

What does family life in lockdown look like for you?

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