So, we’ve had big changes in Wales (and the UK) this week. How are you all getting on? This week, Danny has returned to college (on-site for two days a week) and the girls have returned to school (full time). Non- essential shops have now reopened and most people have now had their long-awaited haircut. I see some people are really happy and excited about the news, and I can understand it as people have missed “normal” life, especially when it affects their livelihood. Without a crystal ball, I’m going along with the changes cautiously and trying to stay as safe as we can while still keeping an eye on numbers.
Back to School
A third wave is still expected in Autumn and there will be more lockdowns ahead. But while the kids can go to school and we can get out and about a bit, I suppose we should try and do what we can, safely.
In Wales, we can still only meet up to 6 people from two households outdoors. So, we can’t have big outdoors socially distanced get-togethers yet (which is a shame as Danny turns 18 this weekend!). But we’ve already missed lots of big birthday celebrations- what’s a few more? We will celebrate as best as we can of course.
The girls seem to have settled back to school, I know they’re happy they can see their friends again and get face to face teaching once more. But it’s a shock to the system going back for the first time this year in April. I had to remind myself of drop off and pick up times and they have so much more to deal with.
As numbers are currently low (will this change now schools have reopened?), I’m feeling a little less worried than the last time they went back.
Of course, if it begins to rise again, I will bring them back to remote learning but if they can manage to stay in school, I’m quite looking forward to having extra time. Time to tidy, time to work (and build up our funds again) and time for myself. Apart from the few weeks when they did go to school last September, I’ve spent more or less 24 hours every day for over a year with the kids (I know it’s the same for most parents!). So, no wonder, we’re starting to feel like we could do with a breather. Remote schooling was time-consuming. As I’ve mentioned here a few times, I was so close to deregistering and homeschooling as in the long run that would be less time consuming for me, being able to teach the girls together (differentiated of course) or at least the same subjects at the time. But both schools have been so supportive during this time and the kids really didn’t want to leave permanently. The exhausting part of remote learning to the school’s online schedule was having to quickly switch between (for example) fronted adverbials with Izzy, to fractions with Caitlyn and then to simultaneous equations with Rebecca. Of course, there were times when they were all settled in their work, needing no support from me but there were definitely times when they all needed me at once for completely different areas of learning and my brain was fried. Also, I know we could have done less work but the girls all wanted to do their best.
More Quality Time
I also found that after spending all morning and part of the afternoon doing school work with me, as soon as it was over the kids wanted their non-school time to be away from me. During the very first lockdown before home school started, we loved playing games, watching movies and making crafts together. But they soon got sick of their “teacher mum”. I have to admit I was relieved to have a breather away from them too, a time to relax before making tea. A change is as good as a rest I suppose!
We did enjoy lots of the work too, especially Izzy’s primary school work. Overall it was a positive experience that we’ll always treasure but I can’t deny that it was hard work that left me without time to do my own work. Usually, if I didn’t fit work hours into the day I’d work late at night to catch up, but I felt too exhausted for that. Also, my evenings became family time with Dave, when he lived with Andy, and with my Mum and Sisters as watching TV #togetherapart became our bonding time. I’m still looking forward to the real-life hugs.
Now the kids are back in school, I can go back to being “Mum” and hopefully enjoy fun, quality time again.
Back to life, Back to reality…
Anyway, I was trying to say that I’m looking forward to working again while the kids are in school. I feel motivated and almost like my normal self again. Caitlyn has also started back at local and county football, which will be really good for her. Brownies and Guides will start meeting again soon and we can finally book Danny’s driving lessons. I’m easing into this new normal slowly. I feel like I’m spinning plates and only adding an extra one in once I know I’m going strong and steady with the plates I’m already spinning. If I try and start spinning too many plates at the same time, I’m just going to break them all. Actually, it’s a really bad analogy for me as I would be useless even spinning one plate- oops!
I’m still feeling uneasy and confused about everything. On one hand, things are going back to normal and the kids are back in school, therefore I’m out and about more again but also I still haven’t been into any shops (essential or non-essential) yet and our lives are still far removed from how they were before March 2020.
We’re ok though and can keep going longer. I hope you’re all as okay as can be. Good luck if you’re returning to school or work. Stay safe and well all!