As a parent at the onset of the coronavirus crisis, I found myself immediately Googling activities for my son. I wanted to keep him equal parts entertained, educated and stimulated. I considered topping up the paint supplies and making an extra batch of play dough. (If only I could get my hands on some flour)! I was worried we’d run out of activities faster than we ran out of toilet paper and the cabin fever would come knocking like an uninvited guest. But after pinning away on Pinterest, cutting out craft and setting up science experiments, I realised perhaps I didn’t need to do it all.
I am still a working mother with deadlines to meet, I am still a wife, a homemaker, a friend, the snack maker… the wearer of many hats and juggler of many balls. Throw in a global pandemic, isolation and uncertainty and I was definitely feeling stretched. And as I read yet another article about how to be productive in isolation by picking up a second language or learning a new hobby (hats off to those who have mastered any of these new skills), I decided I just needed to lower those expectations a few notches.
Parents aren’t expected to be the teacher, the employee and the parent while replicating their “normal” daily routine in the home. Teachers are still teaching, just in a different way. Kids are still learning, just in a different format. Your isolation expectations may be to thrive, but they may just be to survive – and that is totally fine in my books. Equally, your expectations of your children and partner may need adjusting during this time, too.
We’ve watched more TV in the last few weeks than we have in the last few years and the house is being trashed on the daily, but we’ve also played endless games, read countless books and made a multitude of memories together in our family home. So while I won’t be finessing my French during this time, I will be surviving and my son will hopefully remember this period fondly as the time we were all together.
Check out isolation ideas.
Stephanie Meekings is a Digital Media Officer at Cairns Catholic Education