Well – the post I made at the beginning of May didn’t exactly take off with my motivation. That doesn’t really surprise me as I had other things on my mind but that is ok. It obviously wasn’t my ‘thing”
Now – just saying that it is ok is actually a pretty huge thing for me. Normally I would be beating myself up somewhat for “failing” to complete something….again! However I am not doing that because something has happened.
Something quite fundamental has happened….I have learned to forgive myself.
As lockdown started I needed to learn very quickly to look at things from a different mindset or I would have completely lost the plot.
At the beginning of lockdown I was scared, frustrated, cross, angry, feeling claustrophobic as we were stuck at home; my children were going to need teaching; I wasn’t a teacher; we were going to lose all our income as weddings were postponed; we were going to lose everything.
Everything was falling apart in front of me. In a single hour on Monday 16th March I had had 3 holidays cancelled, 6 theatre shows, my scouting, days out, work and by the end of that week I also had 4 children who were going to be at home for who knew how long.
I was scared! My time line was full of fear, judgement, death and I hated it. My head went into freefall….and something clicked.
Crisis control switched on.
My brain went into the mode it always goes into when a major crisis hits. I normally dissociate and another “inner being” takes on the duties of dealing with the crisis but this time it had to be different. It had to be sustained and it had to be durable and only I could do that as a dissociation is a short term answer.
For the first time ‘I’ went into crisis management. I stayed in control and I looked at things from the flip side.
I started my Daily Dose Feel Good Cafe Facebook group to escape from the timelines full of woe. It soon dawned on me that, although I initially started the group for me, others were now starting to use it and look forward to seeing some daft jokey posts or some daft banter. Soon we had a weekly quiz, and then a bingo night and a “support” group. People were coming together under the Daily Dose umbrella and new friendships were being formed. Families were talking to each other during the quizzes, they were enjoying the activities that I had put together to fill a selfish gap for me. I was needed.
I flipped my view about the closure of the Scout hut. If we couldn’t meet at the hut we would meet online instead. Within a week we started running joint section meetings and soon we were getting average attendees of between 15-20 young people and their families. Our district camp had been cancelled…ok – let’s have a virtual “pirate” camp – and boy what a success that was.
I was no longer “stuck at home” I was now safe at home and, as we had moved last year, we were so much better off with a garden I could look out over – albeit one in need of a lot of TLC but it was ours. The children could go out into it and they helped dig out for the allotment and the greenhouse.
We were all at home all together all needing to “work from home”. So what? We had a new internet provider who could carry the traffic of 7 devices all trying to access work, school work, entertainment. We had the devices to be able to all work together at the same time. I know how EXTREMELY Lucky we are in that sense.
I had lost my theatre trips but not my enjoyment of them and we could watch “live theatre” via various streaming services….and my tickets were mostly transferred to some point next year – not all cancelled just postponed. My daughter’s Curve Young Company started the process of doing activities from home so she could also continue her enjoyment of the theatre
The biggest thing though was my approach to the children and the closure of the school buildings to all but key workers and vulnerable children. How on earth was I going to deal with that?
I organised! Over that first weekend I was ready for the children to start being taught from home but I wasn’t teaching them – I couldn’t – they know a lot more than me already in some subjects but I COULD facilitate the schools teaching them. Over the weekend the children had desk areas set up, dropbox folders readied, archive folders ready, a new printer and plenty of ink. We faced tech issues but we overcame them and I tweaked my organisation to cope with the massive influx of children to the school website which meant it crashed on a Monday morning. We gradually overcame the tech issues and we moved forwards. It was never an option for me to “not worry about it” as we were being told by countless memes and Facebook posts. My children needed to be “in school” and those memes were making me feel guilty somehow because I was worrying about it but I stood up to myself in my head and decided that we were doing it. We were going to survive.
I did have (and still do have) a fairly big problem with my eldest son but his school immediately sprang to action and daily support was put in place within a fortnight of the schools shutting down. They have been the huge tugboat in the middle of this storm and they held onto my tow rope, helping to keep my small rowing boat steady BUT they also helped me to believe in myself. No longer the neurotic, over-anxious mother that I was described as by the children’s previous school. No longer disbelieved and accused of “looking for things that weren’t there”. They believed me. They supported me and they encouraged me.
Last night I looked at the figures about how many young people had engaged with their schoolwork (Here if you are interested) and the one statistic that hit me most was that only 17% of children currently did more than 4 hours of study a day since lockdown began. We were part of that 17%. We were “in school” from 9am until 3pm every day with a pretty strict timetable and work was being submitted to the teachers. My need for stability right at the start was the reason we had succeeded. We are still in that category and I am proud that it is because of me for the biggest part – because I ignored the “don’t worry” memes.
When our primary school were no longer able to send school work home I rallied again. Started putting together powerpoint presentations to link up lessons from the available resources: White Rose, The National, BBC Bitesize and the teacher’s own shared file. I was putting together lessons that were engaging my ADHD 9 year old son and he was happy he was succeeding. Then a small group of others also started on the same lesson plan presentation and they were engaging with it as well. I was actually achieving something good. I still am.
I know we are extremely lucky to have been able to achieve this things and this is no way a judgement on how anyone else has dealt with their own lockdown but for the first time in my entire life I can consistently say “I am doing a good job”. I have achieved something that I never would have believed possible and I believe, for the first time ever in me.
I would always shy away from self compliments thinking it made me sound brattish but this time I am going to shout it out loud.
I am doing a great job.