Covid school holidays

After we had survived week one of home learning, the school holidays were brought forward. This was a good thing. In all honesty, both the kids and parents (not to mention the teachers) needed a few weeks off to process the huge changes and turmoil into which we had been thrown. In a matter of weeks, quite literally our whole lives had been turned upside down.

This posed its own new problems. How exactly do you entertain two kids in a semi-lockdown situation for 3 weeks, while trying to maintain a healthy routine and some form of physical activity? All Mr 12 wanted to do was Playstation and Miss 10 was leaning mostly towards the Nintendo Switch and the TV. Camping plans for Easter were out the window and the weather was pretty hit and miss.

I started out with a million jobs to do. I taught myself new skills painting furniture, baked up a storm and decluttered. We rode our bikes, went for walks, started circuit training in the garage and the kids learnt to skip. We played board games, did jigsaw puzzles, built cubbies and watched family movies. We even reacquainted with old toys.

But still I fretted and worried about whether the kids were getting out enough and whether I was allowing too much screen time. Some days no one got dressed. Some days the kids were on screens all day (shock horror)!!

There was and is family time galore, which mostly is a good thing. But, there undoubtedly has been extremely challenging times. Tempers have boiled over with yelling and screaming. Yet we have found new ways to overcome (signs on bedroom doors and such like). We have learnt to draw new boundaries.

I have slowly been learning to let it go. Let go of the notion that there is a right or wrong way to do this. How could there be? No one has had to do this before! I have rested and so have they. It has been quite refreshing to lead a life that is far more simple.

I have listened to myself and I have listened to them. A podcast a few days back reinforced what I had been thinking. The kids are happy online. They are maintaining their social connections and their mental health is just fine (that is, until Mum comes along and tells them to get off). We are all beginning to realise the importance of connecting with people and how much we crave it. These kids don’t even have to think about that, they are doing it all the time.

This time out (it sort of feels like we are in the naughty corner?!!) has had and will continue to have some very interesting consequences on society. Some things will never return to the way things were and nor should they. Thank you Australia. We have all done an outstanding job. If ever we needed an illustration of what we can achieve, the ANZAC day driveway dawn service was it. Just mind blowing.

As we contemplate a return to school, it is clear to me how important this time has been and how we will look back on it with mixed emotions. There are things we missed out on; birthdays (Mr 12 is Mr 13 today, with no fan fair or big celebration), Easter camping, coffee dates, the gym and dinners out. But, there is so much we have gained; empathy, respect, kindness, resilience, simple exercise, cooking and IT skills.

Our school returns on Wednesday…….. online. More than anything I think it is out of respect to our teachers who have gone above and beyond working to provide an online platform that is second to none. My children will not suffer. So long as Mum stays calm and gives them plenty of food they will find their way through and on the other side they will have skills (mostly IT) that most of us adults only dream of!

I am ready. Bring on more home learning!

Mum Bee

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