How are we all coping? We’re one week and a few days into the UK lockdown and that means one week into homeschooling whilst trying to work and stay sane… it’s no picnic is it? At the moment I’m trying to type this whilst sat next to Edith on Teach Monster (an app for phonics) who keeps nudging me and asking questions like “mummy do you like my monster’s ears?” or ” Can you just read this for me please?”
Whilst that is going on, Toby is whinging in the background because he’s finding the whole thing really tough, and I’m about ready to explode.
The truth is though, I would rather be the mum with the colour coded schedule than the mum that is sat watching TV with her kids.
I’m seeing so many memes and people on social media mocking the schedule mums, referring to them as smug or the “perfect mum” but the truth is, I’m neither. I don’t have a schedule to make others feel inferior, I don’t have one to make myself look like a boss mum (lols) and I certainly don’t have one to be smug. If we’re being brutally honest, I don’t even have one for my kids, they are children and every child is going to be in the same boat at the end of this, with a lot of schooling skipped and a lot of catching up to do.
I have a schedule and a plan for me and for my mental health.
I’m the type of person that *really* hates change and uncertainty, but the undeniable fact is that change and uncertainty is all that the coronavirus pandemic has left us with. I’ve spoken before on my instagram about the way in which “quiet weekends” are often the hardest for me, the ones I find so smothering and claustrophobic, so for me, 12+ weeks (and let’s not be daft and pretend that we only have another 2 weeks of this. Your kids aren’t going back to school until September 100%) of “staying home” and relaxing, trying to be productive when I’m surrounded by Miss Can-I-Have-A-Snack or even trying to do stuff around the house when money is a huge uncertainty in my line of work, well… that is hell for me.
So here is what we’re doing:
- 9am – 9:30am – Active Time (PE of some kind)
- 9.30am – 10am – break
- 10am – 11am – Academic time (this includes worksheets, challenges, maths, topic of the day etc
- 11am – 12pm – creative time (lego, crafting, baking, playing music, cooking, making things, shops, science experiements)
- 12pm – 1pm – Lunch & Play
- 1pm- 2pm – Quiet time (reading, puzzles, ipads)
- 2pm-3pm – Academic time (tv programmes, worksheets, colouring, tasks)
- 3pm-3.30pm – Active time (walk, gymnastics, yoga)
I’ve kept it really loose because some days, it just doesn’t work well. Today is an especially stressful day and we’re finding it really overwhelming, but the thought of going and trying to sit down and relax whilst the kids fight, argue, demand my attention or repeatedly request something is enough to make me want to scream. So we try to figure out some kind of routine for us all as a family.
I think ultimately it has to be a case of whatever works for you. There will be lots of families out there that look at my schedule and think it’s nuts! How could that work? It comes down to the way each person works through this shit storm. If what works for you and your brood is to curl up on the sofa and relax, then I think you should do that without shame. If what works for you is to do little play based activities, then you should do that – again, without *any* shame. There is no right way to handle this completely unprecedented pandemic, but there is a right way to handle our thoughts about how others are doing it – and that is without judgement.
So, next time you see the mum with her colour coded timetable and you think “oh just fuck off” – stop, remember that it’s not about you, it’s more than likely her way of coping.