The past nine months have taught me a lot about myself, with the main takeaway being that I am stronger than I give myself credit for.
The four walls closing in on you as lockdown continued.
The same monotony day after day.
Feelings of claustrophobia.
All have been common in our household.
It hasn’t been an easy nine months as coronavirus spread round the world. With distractions of home school and child entertainment and ensuring that the entire family’s mental health isn’t suffering too much.
Getting ahead in lockdown
It is now we look back over the past nine months that we are able to see the impact lockdown has had on daily life. When I think back to the dark days of May here in Qatar where we weren’t able to step outside our front door without wearing a mask. And the runs where it felt like I couldn’t catch my breath because of said mask. As summer hit us and the heat was so oppressive going outside was no longer an option. The thought of home schooling ending, but the endless summer holiday days stretching out ahead.
It all feels as though it happened to a different person, in a different lifetime.
Yet I look back at my photos and realise that it didn’t, it did happen to us and here we are on the other side.
A positive mindset for a positive lockdown and keeping busy
It’s very easy to say and not so easy to implement.
I know, from reading on Facebook naturally, that many have risen to the challenge, have learnt new languages with Duolingo, have kept their brains active while partaking in distance learning with the likes of Learning Cloud New Zealand, indulged in their creative side and produced magical crafts, and of course there are those who took the time at home to finally get round to setting up their own businesses.
And while those achievements are all incredible for sure, just because you aren’t now fluent in Mandarin, you “failed” lockdown.
I know that my lockdown didn’t look like that.
And while I had grand plans of looking at studying and potentially applying for teacher training. Which is a whole other story how I keep coming back and looking at doing my PGCE. Some days it took all my energy to get through the day.
The energy required to be positive and upbeat as I dragged my five year old from under the table to participate in a zoom he had no interest in being on.
The brain power it took to motivate my eight year old to do his writing.
The physical exhaustion of my terribly sleeping two year old.
It. Was. Exhausting
Yet through it all our, and I include my husband in this, mindset didn’t waver. We tried to look for the good in every day.
Some days I totally failed. Totally. But on those days my husband stepped up and reminded me of all we had to be thankful for.
Other days my husband failed. And then it was my turn to bolster him.
On the rare occasion where we both felt down, one of the children would do something or say something that would remind us.
Our positive lockdown
And for me, that is the positive of lockdown. We have spent more time (maybe too much!) with the kids than ever before. Been able to be a more active part of their schooling (damn you conjunctive verbs and year 3 grammar!). Baked, watched films and remembered what we have.
And mainly, we survived it. We are here to tell the tale, to express our gratitude as the numbers fall in Qatar. To be able to resume a semblance of normal life.
And to hope like anything that schools go back full time sooner rather than later….