It’s the last week of the summer holidays. I’m sitting on a concrete step on the edges of our local velodrome, watching Little H take part in a cycle skills course. Hard to believe it’s August as I’m in a jumper and jacket yet still feel cold. I’ll almost welcome September when we can stop pretending it’s summer and just get the warm jumpers out again! Aside from the perpetual chill I’m now feeling though, for the first time in ages I am almost mentally relaxed. I finally feel like I have some capacity to think.
For years this blog has been a space where I have recorded my life – it’s event, feelings – but I feel like for the last year I have struggled to find the words to write even though I have so desperately wanted to. At times needed to. It’s hard to know how much of this has been caused by the pandemic.
When I am finding days hard, I question myself by thinking that the girls would have always been the ages they are, always this demanding. So perhaps I should stop feeling so low and get on with it.
But then I remind myself that during the last 18 months, we’ve dealt with 5 months of home-schooling as a family. We’ve dealt with countless lockdowns keeping us away from support networks and activities. We’ve created so many forms of entertainment at home that it feels we’ve exhausted them all! So perhaps, in reality, my feelings are right and fair. Especially when coupled with the similar emotions my girls and Sam are dealing with. Perhaps if I had been mothering my girls at this age under normal circumstances I would have only had “normal” levels of tiredness rather than feeling on the brink of burn out. Perhaps.
Of course I only know the experience we’ve had. After 3 weeks off work, I have been able to invest time into the family without a split focus; gone elsewhere for a few nights which felt so strange after so long!; sorted out annoyances in our home; allowed myself some time alone to do things I want to do on my own schedule.
As my return to work and the new school term approach, I remain hopeful that this academic year we won’t see home schooling. I feel less anxiety that self isolation could throw our lives into chaos at no notice. I feel confident that my ability to focus and think without less stress and anxiety will have returned after so many months balanced on a knife’s edge. So much to be cautiously hopeful about and perhaps I’ll find my words to write again.