As I sit here in Doha, typing away on the laptop after fighting (and losing) with my children about homeschooling I realise how much lockdown has taken out of me. I am burnt out and there’s nowhere left to go but to the shouty mum I don’t want to be.
My eldest is spinning on the desk chair rather than picking up his pencil and writing his English homework out. My five year old is in the garage building a box fort and sneaking food out to eat. And my two year old is pretty obsessed with Ben and Holly.
I know that here it is easier than back home, we are in the middle of blended learning. One day in school, one day at home.
Our playgrounds and parks have re-opened.
Restaurants and hotels are open. The shops are open.
We are a long way from last May where children were not allowed out of the house, where you needed to wear a mask from the second you stepped out of your front door, schools were shut, and the blistering heat meant that we couldn’t really utilise the back garden.
Yet I am feeling burnt out
Even as I feel that maybe I can see a pinprick of hope on the horizon for a post pandemic life, I then turn on the news and see where the UK is. When it feels like even longer until I’ll be able to go home and hug my family. When it’s another zoom instead of being able to board a plane and see my mum.
It’s another fight as I try to get the boys to write another word, do another sum, and I am only home schooling them half the time. I worry about our relationship as I turn into a nagging, shouting mum. Again.
Another day of the same old, same old.
Another day where I beat myself up over guilt over the things I have not done, the things I did not appreciate.
Another day where I remind myself that it is so much worse for other people. That I have my health, my family and we are somewhat free to go out and about. We aren’t locked down as hard as we were.
But I am still exhausted
Exhausted and fatigued of this relentless rollercoaster that is coronavirus. Of having my hopes built up to be able to get home, to have them dashed when I see quarantine has been extended (and the thought of the three kids in a hotel quarantine. Well, the less said about that the better.)
Fed up of being the shouting mum, the not fun mum, the cross and grumpy mum.
And I am slowly starting to realise that it’s ok to not be super mum. It’s ok to not be ok.
There is nothing wrong with the fact that I am still struggling with this.
And I guess, that’s halfway to acceptance. To letting go of the guilt I feel.
And, hopefully, getting over this lockdown fatigue so I can push on until it is over. Because one day it will be over.
Whenever that may be.