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Leaving Lockdown got me like Moira...

Updated: May 20, 2021

As we approach the end of Lockdown 3, there is so much concern and discussion for the little people returning back to school and the separation anxiety that they may experience. I can’t help but wonder, if this is going to be just one sided?

Parents have been thrust back into spending so much time with their children, 24 hours a day, it’s been a lot! Sure it’s been suffocating! This time there’s been bickering, bawling and less baking and blissful weather! As March 8th gets closer I’ve seen so many posts with parents getting ready to party, hell me too!! But I also can’t help but feel that pang of self doubt. It’s a similar feeling to that of when you come to the end of maternity leave or your little one starts full time school. The sudden despair and questioning of how you’ve used your time… “ I should have done more… I should have played monopoly, and enjoyed it! I should have built a fort out of toilet rolls or we should have had that duvet day and watched ‘The Sound Of Music’ instead of insisting in joining in the times tables zoom quiz!”

Trouble is ‘should haves’ are so counterproductive and only result in regret and doubt. I know I did what I could, when I could and with all I could! It’s been testing and challenging for us all. I know that although there was time to do things that I should have, the truth is, if I look back with brutal honesty (wait for the full disclosure), I didn’t want to! So I don’t want to beat myself up by picking holes in the times we have had in lockdown. It has been what it has been, I can’t change it. I wish it could have been rosier at times.

I wonder if I had a few more days with them if I could fill it with more ‘should haves’… a few more park visits, baking and arts and crafts, but I probably wouldn’t. Right now, I am that mum who wants it to be bed time and then looks at them all mushy when they are down. And that’s how I know that when next week comes, as much as I’m grateful for the return of school and the air of silence (apart from the high pitched toddler watching Peppa Pig), I will probably tear up on my walk home from school, relieved that this time is over but slightly bereft that we are having to let go of this flexibility and return to the rigidity of school and its structure.

There’s a reason why it hasn’t all been bliss, relationships are healthy when we have that time apart. We function better, we communicate better and most importantly we get along better! So with the best will in the world, I wouldn’t have managed lockdown with all wonderfully mum planned activities because we probably didn’t want to, I’m tired of them and they, no doubt, of me.

So if you are experiencing any of this wave of despair and doubt of I didn’t do enough or the dreaded ‘should haves’, maybe you just didn’t want to. If you do want to, there’s still a few days left. Have that late movie night, let them enjoy that lie in, slack off schooling, whatever works. Let them go on Monday, detach and have no regrets.

Separation is healthy and it’s good to miss each other. If you do think you are going to struggle with your children going back to school acknowledge your feelings, try keeping yourself busy and get back into a good routine by structuring your day.

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