Our Executive Director, Ellie Turner, blogs about parenting through Covid-19 lockdown.

I look back on that Sunday night. The one before the first real week of lockdown, my husband unable to work from home. I’d seen a friend post on Facebook a home schooling schedule;

9 to 9:30am – PE with Joe

9:30 to 10:30 – reading

10:30 to 11am – numbers

11:30 a kitchen disco…

I copied it. I drew stick figures in bright colours and stuck it to the kitchen cupboard with Sellotape. I felt pretty positive about it and as the kids still had the echo of a school routine in their bones we actually kept it up for a few weeks.

When I look back I see; the moment when the window cleaner caught us dancing in the kitchen and the day all our science experiments did the complete opposite from what they were supposed to and we seemed to disprove gravity and the existence of oxygen.

I have to think harder to remember the anxiety, the fear of the virus. My mum had a bad accident at the beginning of lockdown and had to be in hospital for nearly a month. No one could be with her. I always thought I would fight an authority that tried to keep me away from someone I loved. But here we were and ‘The State’ had my mum.

I have to think harder again to remember my darkest moments. On that first opportunity to walk outside with a friend it was all there. Laid bare. I wanted to hug her, but we stepped along side by side 2 meters apart.

I am full of pride, love, and admiration for all the women I know. Going out to work. Staying home to work. Running a business. Managing the loss of their own or their partners income. They do it all while also attending to the welfare of their kids, partners, friends, and relatives.

I feel badly let down by our government. They prioritised a pint & a movie over finding a safe way to support schools to have more kids back. I find this infuriating. There has been a point in everyday where I have thought ‘they should be in school’, mostly when they are gravitating towards screens. It has made their world’s so small. And, we had worked hard to make their world’s so big!

The kids and I have done over 3 months together at home. Now, a further 4-week summer is laid out ahead of us. The government must prioritise schools opening. I am working full time, making sure they have ‘full’ days and in truth I am tired. I’m thankful that my two (aged 7 & 9) are resilient, friends and really funny! I remember the plans they made for when lockdown lifted. Getting back to school was not one of them (it was the only thing on my list!) See family in Ireland, have friends to sleepover, get more pets (due to a small white lie I told) and of course to go to Disneyland (#nevergonnahappen).