It’s been over a week since the kids returned to school and I’d actually planned to write a different post. But I’ve literally been struggling to come up for air this week, so I thought I would talk about what life is really like post-lockdown instead.
It’s been a crazy five months or so. Ever since the schools shut, everything just felt weird. We had some good days, some great days, some bad days and some days where we actually thought we couldn’t cope.
And I know that’s been the same for a lot of you. It doesn’t matter what everyone’s circumstances are, whether you have kids, whether you’ve worked all the way through, whether you’ve been furloughed or made redundant, everyone’s had their fair share of ups and downs.For me, it was difficult working all through lockdown. I was in the office every other week and working from home the rest of the time. I had one week off during May and it flew by super fast.
Home schooling was hard. Trying to work with everyone at home was hard. Not being able to see my friends, family and colleagues was hard. And it was especially difficult for the kids to be out of their regular routines. They missed their friends and cousins.
I decided to take the summer off and the five weeks at home were a blessing. I was able to breathe for the first time in months and spend quality time with the kids. Normally we take a lot of day trips during the summer break but this year we decided not to. We could easily have gone to a few places which were practising safety measures but as a family, we decided to give it a miss.
EAT OUT TO HELP OUT
It was a family decision but I still felt guilty that we’d chosen to write-off the summer. So we made the most out of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme instead and ate out several times during August.
We caught up with some family and friends during this time and it was nice to see faces we hadn’t been able to in so long.
My time off breezed by in the blink of an eye and before I knew it, I was back at work a few days before the kids returned to school. That brings me on to what life is like now. Oh gosh, where do I start?
MY JOB IN RADIO
As a full-time radio producer, my job involves live and pre-recorded programmes, editing, script-writing, booking guests/DJs and lots of backend tasks (which I won’t bore you with). My working week has now changed, which essentially means I produce different programmes.
So this week has been tough to say the least. I can easily get across new shows and adapt very easily under normal circumstances.But the kids have just returned to school after months. And as we’re still very much in Covid, there’s been lots more for Sukh and I to get our heads around. All of you parents with school-kids will totally appreciate where I’m coming from.
NEW SCHOOL PROCEDURES
There are endless forms and new school procedures. There are new routines for lunchtimes, different ways of preparing the kids for PE days, different entrances and exits. I feel like I’m second-guessing myself every day.
I know it’s only for a short while and soon we’ll be used to the new normal of how schools are having to operate. But this week has been overwhelming. Shivam doesn’t have a school tie at the moment. The elastic in his broke just before lockdown. The school doesn’t have any stock because of a delay in the upward chain.
It sounds so small and quite ridiculous but I like to send him to school well-equipped. He keeps telling me he’s the only kid in his class without a tie. I’ve spoken to the teachers and they’ve reassured me that there are a number of children in school without a tie and to not worry about it.So it’s a minor thing, really. But you know when you feel like you’re playing catch-up with everything? No one is attacking me over it and it’s self-inflicted. I’m putting myself under pressure for everything to be perfect. Where Shalini and Shivam’s school life is concerned, I’ve always strived to be perfect.
TWO HAPPY KIDS
It should be enough for me that the kids are having the time of their lives. They’re both ecstatic over their return to school. Thankfully, both of them have always loved school. It’s a relief for them to be able to be in a classroom, be learning and seeing their friends again. So I need to learn to just chill out. They’re happy so I need to stop beating myself up over it.
I now work Wednesday to Sunday. Sukh and I thought long and hard about this when I was offered the change. Since I’ve had kids, I haven’t worked weekends at all, unless it was on a special event or I was abroad on a work trip. But we agreed we could make it work. This is our first week so only time will tell.I work from home all week and only go in for a few hours on a Saturday. So with everyone out of the house all day, I’m able to get on with my job. But I’m not going to lie. These last few days have been difficult as I find my feet with a new routine. I’m not just talking about my job here.
In the last 14 years, I’ve done very few afternoon school runs because I’m actually in the office. My in-laws have always picked up my kids and I’ve collected them after work.
Now I’m picking up the kids every day, so I’m just getting used to this new pattern. I love doing the school run and it’s lovely for the kids to be able to come straight home.
NEW COVID GUIDELINES
As I write this, we’re now in to the new ‘rule of six’ in the UK – and especially in Birmingham, where there is a household ban. Supermarkets are introducing new regimes and some schools in the region have closed. Just as we’re trying to settle into our new normal, things are changing yet again. And that means adapting our home routine again.
Of course, I completely understand the reasons why we’re having to make these changes but like everyone else, it’s been a difficult year. I’m so done with 2020 already. Who knows what the winter holds in terms of the virus and its effects? Who can guess how much change we still face?Sukh and I try to address the kids’ questions and fears as best we can. Thankfully kids are resilient and once we’ve explained something to them, they’re on board. They find it difficult, just like the rest of us, but they get it. It makes it a lot easier for us during what is a complex time at best.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING
I for one, am counting down the days to Christmas (whatever it may look like this year). So I’m going to leave you with this; the LookFantastic Advent Calender, which is available for pre-order now. The festive season means the end of 2020 and what better way to brighten up your mood then treating yourself to a box full of goodies?
Feeling stressed and under pressure? Check out my tips on getting a better night’s sleep.
Stay safe everyone x
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Everything is so different isn’t it. We are still getting to grips with the new school routine and all the new procedures. It sounds like your kids have settled in well back at school. x
It’s going to be a while before we all find our new normal x
A friend and I were talking about the ramifications of COVID-19; socially, mentally, physically, and otherwise. It’s been a lot to handle. Who knows what’s coming with Fall! The numbers are low here in NY. We’ve really flattened the curve. I hope we continue in that direction.
That’s great for NY. I have the same hope for the UK but at the moment we’re facing further restrictions as the rate is growing by the day x
You are completely right, everyone has had their fair share of ups and downs this year, whatever they entail. I feel its still going to be tough for a while, but with a little bit or normality back hopefully we can all push through. I also feel it is a really important time to be kind to each other, as you don’t know what battles people are facing right now. Best of luck with the ‘new normal’. #DreamTeam
I couldn’t agree with you more. Its difficult enough as it is. A little kindness goes a long way x
I love how honest you’ve been in your post. It’s been hard hasn’t it. Our summer was the same, and we decided to completely ditch the idea of doing a staycation somewhere in the UK – just in case. I just hope we don’t go into a 2nd lockdown. Thank you for joining us for the #DreamTeamLinky
Thanks Annette. It’s so sad that the majority of the world have just had to write-off 2020. Still praying for better right around the corner x
It’s been such a testing time and I think because things are ever changing it’s difficult to settle into the new normal as the new normal is so fluid. It feels more surreal and harder to deal with now than it did in the beginning- I preferred total lockdown to this no mans land we’re currently in.
I agree with you, Katrina. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. With total lockdown you at least knew what ‘normal’ was x
Oh I’m so with you on all of this. Especially the new rules of going back to school. My son went back in June for a few weeks as he was in foundation so I had a bit of practise then but now the whole school is back it’s all different again. I don’t even want to think about Christmas and what that will be like. There are five of us already, so the rule of six is going to totally ruin things! #KCACOLS
It’s going to be a difficult ride for everyone in these autumn/winter months. You’re right about Christmas – who knows whether we’ll even be able to see and mix with family x
It certainly is strange times. We too have totally ditched all ideas of a family holiday away this year.
I’m looking forward to Christmas too. We have to make something awesome from such a negative year. Sending big hugs to you and yours. x
Thanks Jayne – right back at you x
Having homeschooled for 8 or more years we didn’t find huge changes in our lifestyle when lockdown began but this fall my middle son decided he wanted to attend high school and while I fully support his decision, it has been beyond crazy trying to keep track of just his school schedule and all the procedures. Yet we joke that at least we aren’t having to unlearn them from last year.
Yeah it’s been a really tough time all round x