I’m looking out the window today and cursing the rain and mud. Last weekend it was snowing, but it didn’t settle. The week before that we managed a quick trip out but we sank in the waterlogged fields. I am finding it increasingly difficult to ‘enjoy’ lockdown.
Last March, I loved the extra family time we got as a result of the national lockdown. Now a year on, January is here, and Lockdown 3.0 is a lot less fun as the weather dictates a lot more time inside, and because it’s just been such a slog for such a long time!
I am a key worker in a school so even at the very start of the first lockdown, I still had to go into work, and work from home on the other days. My husband was furloughed for a few months, so he could look after our child on the days I was in work or when I had to do bits at home. All in all, we definitely had more free time together during the week and it was a refreshing change of pace to have very little pressure for a time. I look back on photos from that time and they make me genuinely so happy.
We had not long been in our new house when everything shut. The sun shone and we were lucky to be out in our garden every single day.
We decorated the majority of our house as a result of some good planning on the final days before the shops shut, and some good deliveries from online as the months went on. Our child’s speech came on leaps and bounds, and we knew we were so lucky to have this time together as a family.
We missed our family and friends but like everyone else we did our best to embrace video calls, online escape rooms and quizzes, and the occasional doorstep visits when it was someone’s birthday.
We were both back to work full time from around May. Like everyone else, we loved the short periods of time where we were able to socialise a bit more. I got to hold some of my friends’ new babies, have a small celebration for our friends’ adoption, and we were able to make the most of our wedding anniversary when restaurants were open.
Then the rate in our local area got higher and higher. As we have both still had to work full time out of the house every weekday, we immediately distanced ourselves from friends and family again, and we protected the vulnerable members of our inner circle. We have to have a childcare bubble in the week where we are both working, but we were just the 3 of us all over Christmas as we were in Tier 4.
I am surrounded by people at work every day, but I’ve held my 5 month old niece just twice. I couldn’t see my brother and nephew at Christmas – their first without my sister-in-law after she passed away. I miss my friends and their children. These little ones are growing up and my only contact with them is through photos, videos and Facetime. We’re lucky to have that, but it’s just no substitute. I feel desperately sad for my friends whose maternity leave is coming to an end and they’ve not had a single opportunity to attend any classes, or show off their child publicly.
I am bored of explaining why we can't hug the people we love at the door who are dropping off birthday presents for the 3rd birthday - a very subdued affair that will be on Monday!
Most blogs I have written end on a lighter note, or they find a silver lining. But today, I just want to moan and say that I can’t wait for all this to be over. Some will have had it much harder than me, perhaps with more money worries, more loss, and less support. I don’t think this has been positive for anyone – at least not now it has gone on for so long.
I know that tomorrow I’ll feel brighter, and I’m hoping that this blog will feel cathartic in some ways as I just acknowledge out loud that this is rubbish. I hope that very soon the sun will shine again, and we can make up for lost time.
Stay safe everyone xx