Lockdown has become a pressing time for all of us and since March 23rd, we as a country have now gone months without seeing our relatives, and those who we love most. The effects of the deadly Coronavirus have seen the past three months develop into new changes and rules, in which, we have been forced to become accustomed to.
Times have become more challenging than ever and with children still off from school, working from home with the children around has been seen by many as almost impossible. It is understandable that this has been incredibly hard – especially for those without the support of a partner. A thing such as childcare is so heavily relied upon, that when we are without it, it almost seems intolerable to complete tasks such as working. When work is such a vital part of a lives, we become dependent on this childcare. Without having the support of childcare, sustaining an income to pay bills can soon develop into deeper worries. Regardless whether you are a single parent male, female or living with a partner.
With the school’s opening soon for certain age groups, there has been that big debate and discussion for parents whether they would want their child to return to school. Would you want your child in an environment mixing with children of other households? There is that chance that they might catch and transmit the deadly virus. It is a big issue to discuss. Do you let your child go back into an environment which would improve their social skills, or do you make the decision to prevent this to protect your own household? It is such a huge topic to reflect upon. Most likely, as a parent perhaps it is been an enjoyable experience having more time spent with the children. Our once busy lives have now come to a halt and life seems a lot slower. It became of interest to know how other parents were dealing with this. It soon became clear that a lot of parents were in disagreement with sending their child back to school. For example, if you were a parent who is having to shield yourself, ask yourself after all this time isolating would you want to have that risk and send your child to school? Would this seem right?
With years reception, one and six allowed back in primary schools, it leaves some parents of multiple children in the difficult position to still juggle work commitments. Those facing the issue have made the comment “opening different age groups have left us (as parents) with a child at school, whilst having one at home, which still adds to the issue of being unable to work as normal”. A possible feeling of many parents up and down the United Kingdom; do you find yourself struggling to work? Even though as a parent this could potentially allow a focus upon your work life, it is thought by many that they would rather ensure the safety of their own family as opposed to having a quieter working space. Then again, it seems apparent that a lot of parents have found it easy to work and balance a home life. Despite not having a choice, millions of people have faced up to the task and proven this; even 60% of people have said they would continue working from home more often than they did after lockdown. *
Mental health is an important factor to consider. It is human nature to have a natural concern for your child. Sometimes we can question do we ensure our children are supported enough with their mental health. In this matter, it is not just how we feel right now, it is important to remember to check up on our loved ones – especially children. They might not feel confident enough to speak out and explain how they really feel. All people experience lockdown differently. Many have down days and from this, it is so important that we check up on one another, whether this child or adult. Max, a student, explains how lockdown has made him feel “very irritable without the presence of friends”, whereas Tina, a mother of one, did experience down days regarding “fears and the changes of my job on return, however, spending time outside the sun really helped”.
Breaking lockdown is obviously seen as a bad thing to do. Have you been guilty of doing a “Cummings” yourself? But it is understandable from a mother’s perspective that our children’s social bubbles are currently very small. The need for child is clearly in high demand as many attempt to work in this strange and confusing time. Perhaps, there is an urge to work as many fear for the future of their jobs. There is a real sense of uncertainty in the air as many businesses are on the brink of closure, so many will do anything to maintain a job. It’s not something necessarily to be encourage breaking rules, but it has been done. Some are desperate for care. What do you do if you are a single parent? Or add to the matter because you’re a single parent working for the NHS. Do you make the decision to not work, or enable yourself to have childcare but in a low risk category? At no costs should you be asking those in a vulnerable category to look after children – this is selfish because they are of a high risk. When it comes to Grandparents, at this stage a hug with your grandchildren will most likely be very much required. This interaction with the grandchildren is wanted at this stage as much as these children are wanting to be cared for by their grandparents, but due to circumstances this should not be done. How can you stop grandchildren from hugging you? It seems so unfair and cruel to push them away, but what else can you do?
It is important to do what it right for yourself, your family and others surrounding you. Therefore, think carefully about your actions.
By Ella Sampson