I wrote a book! I can’t stop saying that. It might only be a short ebook aimed at parents to read to their children BUT I wrote it. Little Londoners started as a way to show people there’s more to life in London than concrete and commuters.
In the last 2 years we have been evolving into something else, expedited by our move to Marrakech. I’m still working out what that is, and I’m still finding my voice. We don’t have the following I would like, in part due to my lack of confidence to push forward. I suffer from severe imposter syndrome – an overhang from years in an abusive relationship. However I have been fortunate enough to be a contributor for online blogzines such as: The Motherload, gal-dem and cultursmag. I’ve been invited to speak on radio, appeared in TV documentaries and YouTube skits.
Over lockdown, a few things happened that made helped me reach an epiphany. I stuck up my middle finger to anxiety and this is the result. I wrote a book. A short ebook about what happened when it was time to leave lockdown.
*schools have been open to children of keyworkersand vulnerable children. As well as providing online lesson and educational support for home learning throughout the lockdown.
Life after lockdown: What about the kids?
As parent of course, my focus is on what’s next for the children. As a parent I am perhaps mindful of outcomes for children during this global pandemic. After 3 months of complete isolation, and with limited contact to the outside world. I am extremely concerned about the mental health impact on my children.
I myself collapsed in exhaustion after a brief (necessary) meeting. I was out of practice. Smiling, laughing, actively listening – and it drained me, a neurotypical adult. So who really knows what the isolation and sudden reintroduction to society will do to our children? We won’t know immediately, but we can know what it could look like for our children. We can look to countries in Europe and Asia, that eased restrictions already.
Back to School?
Heartbreaking images of a French primary school playground, shocked parents all over the world. In China (where the virus was first identified), clear partitions separate students from their peers during lunchtime. Face masks are mandatory and students sit feet apart. This is not the educational future any parent imagines for their child. Separated from their peers, isolated but not alone.
What about the home educators? Or the parents who have decided to give home education a go after their experience during lockdown. Where will we go and what will our children do while large social gatherings are banned? We are instead forced to consider our options and weigh up the pros and cons, under government guidelines.
Socialising after lockdown
Before the lockdown, the children were attending a small homeschool co-op, just outside the city. It consisted of around 5-6 other families, depending on the day. A very small social circle which is now a health risk (numbers wise). I have been considering the best way to reopen our social circle once lockdown restrictions allow us to do so.
Do we create our own social bubble and trust that eveybody will stick to it? In the UK, gatherings of no more than 6 people are advised. Meeting up with families with 2 or more children would quickly bring us over the limit. We also have to consider where we are meeting and how we are travelling (public transport carries risks). As well as how long should we meet for before introducing others into our social bubble? All of these will depend on your government’s guidance and I have created a handy little checklist (below).
For me, I will of course wait for lockdown restrictions to be eased. I will take my time reopening our circle, encouraging my children to reconnect with their friends via Zoom or WhatsApp. Initial meetings – I imagine – will be relatively short, fraught with cires of ‘don’t touch!’, as well as copious amounts of hand sanitiser. I am actually at this moment (through a friend) getting reusable fabric masks made for the children. While I’m not sure if face masks for children will be a legal requirement. I am always nervous about anything that affects the lungs. Both boys have suffered in that department, and as a result don’t deal with viruses too well. They are improving with age, but it’s not worth the risk to me.
Regardless, while I cannot say for certain what life after lockdown will look like for everybody. I have no doubt that you will do the best for your family by:
6 months has never felt so long! With lockdown and everything else that’s going on in the world I almost forgot I was meant to be taking a reflective break from the blog.
We have been in lockdown for nearly 3 months here in Morocco and the government may be considering a third extension! I’m trying to stay optimistic and hope that we will come out of it this week (June 10) as the children haven’t been outside our front gate since Friday 13th March (eek!). So to kick off our return, I’m proud to present the five of the many things that I have learned during lockdown….
How to play
B (5) loves board games, I never had time to play with him. I would play one round and then go back to doing whatever I was doing before, IF that. Now I can sit down, play and enjoy myself. I’ve taught them Blind Man’s Buff and other fun playground games from my childhood.
I can cook
I won’t be earning any Michelin stars, but I’ve always said I couldn’t cook. The truth is, I didn’t have the time to cook. When you’re a single parent and your choice is change the nappy before the baby starts screaming and stick something quick in the microwave OR cook a gourmet meal from scratch. Of course I went with the easiest aka quickest option! Now that everything is on pause and the kids are older, I have time to try out new recipes and grow in confidence.
My kids are great
All kids are great of course. But mine have really taken everything in their stride, I’m awaiting the enivitable meltdown when life returns to semi-normal, but for now I couldn’t be more proud of the way they have just dug in with helping out around the house. From keeping their bedroom tidy, to watering their plants (and each other).
I don’t read enough
As a kid, I used to read 10 books at a time. I would stay up under the covers with a torch reading, getting lost in fantastical worlds. I could recite my favourite books, word for word, front to back but during lockdown I realised I couldn’t remember the last book I had read, I then realised with horror that I hadn’t picked up a book in 2020 at all!
What do I want from life?
Well, that’s for another blog post…
Is there anything you’ve learned about yourself or your children during lockdown?