Why I am grateful for the lockdown.

It was never my plan to write about Covid-19, isolation or our time in lockdown.

It is a subject that we CANNOT escape from right now, it is wherever you look.

On the news, when you go to the shop for essentials, when you go for your one walk a day, on social media… the amount of information is overwhelming and I didn’t want to add to the barrage, especially when I am in no way an expert and I will not tell people what to do or pretend to give advice.

You do you.

But it isn’t surprising that we see this information everywhere considering our lives have all changed dramatically in a very short space of time and of course people are talking and writing about it because we are living it.

It is becoming our new normal.

Because of this fact, because it is everyone’s daily existence, it felt odd to not talk about it from our perspective at all. It is something I can’t just ignore, even if I may want to.

Personally, I feel like I am still trying to process what is happening.

It feels like one big daily nightmare.

If anyone would have said to me a year ago, in 12 months time there will be a global pandemic which will reach the UK in a matter of months and will, temporarily, change life as we know it, I wouldn’t have believed them.

To think that the country has been on lockdown for nearly 3 weeks, we can only leave our house for essentials and we don’t know when ‘normal’ life will resume, is overwhelming.

I had a little cry this morning when watching the morning news (I only try and watch the news once a day). I was thinking about those lives lost, those families torn a part by this virus, the children who have succumbed to Covid-19 and those who are not able to attend the funerals of their loved ones. It genuinely breaks my heart.

We, as a family, are just trying to take it one day at a time.

2 months before the country went into lockdown my maternity leave ended and I went back to work.

My biggest concern during January to March was working on little sleep, Izzy always seeming to be ill, juggling a puzzle of childcare with Grandparents, working from home and nursery… but also trying to spend as much time as possible with Isabelle, attempting to keep Mum guilt at bay.

I was also finding my creative outlet in my blog which I had just started. There is something very cathartic about writing. It is my own personal therapy.

I felt like I was spinning a million different plates at once, frequently dropping a couple… not necessarily breaking them but having to gather them up, re-spin and carry on.

I needed to slow down and prioritise… how is that even possible in modern life!?

Well, life took it out of my control and forced me to do exactly what I needed to do for my sake and for the sake of my family and my relationship with my daughter.

Our isolation started a few weeks prior to lockdown due to symptoms of Covid-19 that I experienced.

I only suspect that I had the virus as I, like so many others, was never tested.

By the time I was well again my company was working from home as the country prepared to lockdown.

My fiancé wasn’t sure what was going to happen at work and we were faced, as all parents in this situation were, potentially months inside with our children…

It is very easy for people without children to say, “you are so lucky to have all of this time”.

“You are safe at home, not stuck”.

“As long as we have our health”.

Obviously these are the most important factors to focus on. They ground us, they give us perspective.

But at the beginning, before the reality dawned on us all, we faced long months inside trying to occupy, entertain, teach, inform and keep our children safe.

It was a scary, anxiety inducing prospect.

I had always had help with Isabelle, especially from her Grandparents.

I had also always struggled with the idea of keeping entertained at home.

It goes back to the struggles I first felt dealing with a newborn and I found leaving the house and having activities really helped.

I was so nervous that these options would not be available.

Over the last (nearly) 5 weeks I have had to face this front on, reassess my priorities, make time to play and enjoy the simplicity of having time.

Time with my family, time with my daughter.

By March I felt like I was losing the connection and relationship I had with my daughter because I wasn’t there.

This may or may not have been true but I felt like the bond we have developed during my maternity leave was waning and I felt pangs of jealousy knowing that other people were spending more time with Isabelle than I was.

I no longer feel that way.

Our bond is closer than ever.

I can enjoy the simple things.

And for that, and ONLY that, I am grateful for this lockdown.

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