Parent Guilt in Lockdown

In case nobody has asked today, how are you all? Life is all a bit shit at the moment, isn’t it?

While Jamie continues working (from home), I’m juggling all the housework (which there is a continuous flow of with all 4 of us at home), working myself as I work from home anyway and not to forget, being a parent of two.

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The toughest part of lockdown for me has been Oliver’s naps and fitting everything around those. Up until two days ago, Oliver would take up 80% of my time alone. Joshua was such a content little baby, who was happy playing independently even from a young age, but Oliver is the complete opposite and wants constant attention. Literally constant.

Whilst I write this, Oliver has changed overnight. He has started to nap in his cot upstairs during the daytime, which is an absolute dream. I have got more done in the past two days than I have in the two weeks. When Oliver was a few weeks old, he suddenly refused to nap unless I was cradling him – regardless of how much I tried. Thankfully, my persistence has paid off and at 5 months old, he is now napping on his own again!

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I must admit, Joshua’s home-schooling has taken a complete back seat – he has spent most days playing. As much as I love watching him enjoy himself, I know I have dropped the ball. His education means so much to us and I can’t believe I haven’t been able to do better. I have been focusing on fitting in all the housework and everything else has stopped. I even stopped working for pretty much the entire time we have been in lockdown. The most I could do each day was the very basic stuff – washing up and quick tidy. If I was lucky, I would get a few more bits done.

I just didn’t have the time to plan lessons for Joshua and sit down with him to work through it all. I genuinely think that Oliver napping in his cot will completely change how I experience life in lockdown now. Because before, I spent at least 6+ hours of the day doing absolutely nothing. Hopefully my new-found freedom will help me finally get back into home-schooling, taking care of the house and cracking on with work.

Up until now, lockdown has been a circle of guilt. I feel guilty about not spending time with the kids when I focus on cleaning, work and getting all the odd bits done that come with renovating a house. But then I also feel guilty about not looking after the house and not working as hard as I can when I spend all day focusing on the kids and giving them what they need.

 

 

But I need to remember that I can’t do everything in one day and that it is okay to leave things for ‘tomorrow’. I am only one person and being the cleaner, cook, nappy changer, teacher, entertainer, writer and parent is all too much. While Jamie works, I’m doing it all alone, but I know that I’m not alone and there are many other people out there struggling just like me.

I’m slowly learning that even in lockdown, there are memories to be made and life to live. I’m doing my best and as long as the kids are happy and thriving, what the fuck else matters?

Stay Safe and Be Kind

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