Lockdown Life

Blog posts and updates have been few and far between lately since we started lockdown. While it’s nothing on Melbourne and Sydney, we are into week 5 now and looks like we have many more weeks ahead of us yet. Life is busy and stressful and lovely and slow and overwhelming. I cannot believe the rollercoaster that can happen in the space of just one day, sometimes even in an hour. It can be wonderful and horrible all rolled into one 15 minute space.

My days start out much as they always have, early and in the dark, except that now it’s lighter in the morning which is a great constant reminder that even though we feel stuck in a loop, things are moving forward. I work on the business by the fire in the morning…emails, orders, financials, customer queries, marketing, planning before children one by one start to head in. Rob set a goal with Harper at the start of the term that they would walk 100kms so Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays they get up in the dark and walk. Most of the time it’s been a lovely time for them both, and Frank of course, but there have been lots of dark and grumpy mornings too, trudging through the village in quiet crank. There’s washing, and chores and I try and head out to the office by the time the school day starts at 9am for Rob. He has been doing all the home schooling for Maggie while the big two take care of themselves in their rooms. I think the school day is about 2-3 hours long for her and I am grateful that I can head out and pack orders and run around with the shop and post office before getting home 12.30pm to tag team with Rob.

I get home, I tidy up, I unpack groceries, pack up school stuff, I catch up on emails, feed small children who don’t stop, catch up on work that has come through for the morning and we head out the door for a bike ride and trip to the park, Frank in tow. There’s whinging and complaining and there’s lovely moments as we take in spring that it busting forth everywhere. It’s home for a little while  – getting dinner on and then we head back out to the oval to have a run around with the dogs. Lucy and I have a chance to walk around the oval and have business meetings in between as it’s the only chance we have to see each other. She has been heading into the office at 5am at pack orders before getting home before Chris heads out to work at 7am and her day of kids and home schooling begins. The dogs and kids run, we try and go through to dos, orders, plans and LOTS of complaining and crying and laughing together and then head home to dinner and clean ups and baths and showers and finally time to sit down. Once I finally get Maggie to bed around 7.30/8, I am not far behind…exhausted from the day, the business, the emotions that can happen during that time.

Rinse, repeat.

That’s it on a loop for 5 weeks. In between there are fights. There are tantrums (SO many from me). There are endless platters and requests for food. There are screaming matches, slammed doors, tears. There are lovely moments of togetherness that make you so glad that your family are home and safe and under one roof. There are endless dishwasher packs and unpacks, so much FOOD consumed. SO many gin and tonics, extra strong of course. Lots of TV watched. So many dumb fights between Rob and I. Barely a moment for us to catch up with each other even though all we do is see each other. There’s news on constantly. There’s stress and worry for what is happening around us – for so many people who are suffering and stressed right now and what seems to be no end in sight. There’s been stress with our kids in their own ways. So much worry about how they are coping – sometimes well and sometimes not at all. There have been sleep issues for Maggie, there have been teen issues with the biggest and for poor Harps who is missing the end of her last year at Primary school. It’s just this underlying tension and worry for everyone that sits in the pit of your stomach most days that you have become used to that can eat away so much some days.

It’s a lot isn’t it? And it’s not even a lot because we are so lucky. We are lucky to be where we are and have space. I am lucky to have a business that is still standing that has been helping so many people for many months send gifts and presents to their loved ones. It has been a joy and privilege to be able to help people stay connected in that way. I can’t wait to be able to be in the office again with Lucy though. To be there for longer than the bare minimum time.  I can’t wait to see my friends again and family who I miss so much. I can’t wait to not have dumb fights with my husband and spend time as a couple again – rather than house (in) mate. I can’t wait to see my kids back out in the world thriving again, rather than dwindling away in their rooms.

I spend large chunks of my day getting messages from people that follow along with my life. I know so many of you are doing it tough right now too. There are people on the frontline working in full PPE for 12 hour shifts, comforting the sick and scared and then terrified of bringing the illness home to their own families and children. There are teachers losing their minds trying to stay connected with their students and teach while managing their own kids at home. There are police officers, people trying to get to sick family members and loved ones. There are people losing businesses. It’s just such a shit time and I know that no matter who is in the shit show we are all feeling the same things. We are all overwhelmed or happy or calm or losing their minds at any given time. I know we are ALL worried about our kids. We are ALL having dumb fights with partners. We are ALL missing people we love. 5 weeks in, 5 or more months in…

I hope you are OK. I am not sometimes. Most of the time I really am. I am grateful for so much though. Taking time at the end of each day thinking about all the good stuff has helped me a lot. So has not watching as much news as I was. Being outside in nature and the day is also so good. It makes you feel smaller than when you are in your house. It reminds us of a bigger world we are in. Seeing the seasons also reminds us that things are moving forward, good times are ahead. I have had to take the pressure off all the ‘shoulds’ that I hold. The expectations and pressures I put on myself and saying no. Hence why there’s been not many blog posts, I literally don’t have it in me. I and trying (which is very hard for me) to accept things out of my control and trust that things will be OK. Maggie will one day sleep again, the kids will one day be back with friends and one day I won’t be such a mole to live with.

We love in hope.

Anyway, tell me, how are you? Sending you love from our corner of the world to wherever this finds you. You are doing a great job. This is hard. There’s no perfect. Things will get better. Things might be shitty, but it’s a shitty situation, you aren’t the shitty one. Be kind to yourself. Try again tomorrow.

Comments

  1. It’s just such a shit time, living in Sydney I actually forget how many weeks we’ve been in lockdown now. Thankfully my husbands business is fine, thriving actually being a tradie. I worry for my teens, especially my daughter in year 12, finishing her schooling life in her bedroom, her best friend living in a different LGA so my girl is alone a lot. I feel like she’s already checked out of school – just can’t be bothered limping to the end any more you know? 😓 . I worry about those front line workers, who don’t have a choice – they just have to get on with it all. I worry about the impact this is having on people, so many people losing their life savings, their jobs, their businesses – it’s all so shit.
    But it will end – it really will! x

    • My daughter is doing her HSC too .. it’s been so shit for them missing out on all those milestones and with all the uncertainty surrounding the HSC but I’m mostly amazed at their resilience – I keep reminding myself this will make them stronger – they live privileged lives and most of them haven’t really had to deal with much adversity – and even though the motivation to study has pretty much gone out the window I’m so grateful her mental health is still largely intact. x

  2. thanks for sharing.
    everything is A LOT right now,
    cheers Kate

  3. We have been in lockdown for the whole of term 3plus the last school holidays , our daughter and 2 young children moved in with lockdown so I understand school issues
    We are safe ,well but had enough
    I am trying to concentrate on simple pleasures like sunshine , cup of teas and meal planning but it is becoming more difficult, let’s just say yesterday was a nightmare
    We pray for a return to more normal life

  4. Donna Holley says

    Such a shit time for everyone. I am lucky in QLD for now, and I can’t imagine how tough it would be for those down south. Kids, business, not seeing loved ones just terrible. The front line workers, what heros they are. We whinge about wearing a mask. They are top to toe in protective gear. As shit as it is, so many have lovely homes to spend time in with their families. I often wonder what it must be like to be in a unhappy home, not being able to get out. Yes you are lucky but your issues are big to you and your family. I haven’t see our girl for almost 2 years but someone is worse off than me. Some can’t see the family that are ill or dieing..Our daughter was married via zoom which was so upsetting, but they are happy. They still had a special day, just Sophs dogs walked her down the aisle instead of her dad, but they are healthy and happy. i am so very sorry that you are all going through this and I hope it will be over soon. Hang in there guys.

  5. Great blog post Beth. Honest and raw and real. My son completed year 12 last year in Melbourne. 6 months in lock down and not knowing if they would be allowed to sit there exams. Missing out on everything from formal to graduation as well as all the wonderful other things you only ever get to experience when in year 12. He missed out on them all. BUT…… He survived (and is probably stronger for the experience) and is now at uni (still studying in his bedroom). Fingers crossed we can quickly get everyone vaccinated and open up our country again.

  6. Beth,
    I love your writing style and I’m exhausted just reading about what you manage to pack into your day.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us – we can all relate to what you’re going through to a greater or lesser extent.
    Things will improve and please keep writing your blogs – it’s so refreshing to read a raw and honest account of how you feel and the strains these lockdowns are having on you and your family
    Not many people can articulate their thoughts and feelings as well as you can.
    Hang in there and take care

  7. Leeanne Boyson says

    Tough times, had a covid test today with my son – we are both feeling crappy – tired, aches, headaches, runny noses etc…..

    Just ugggghhhhhhh

    I love your posts – so honest, no raw and so so not alone lady !

    I’m eating everything that vaguely comes near me, I’m luckily enough to work from home snd I do know I’m lucky but it also feels that I never leave our kitchen table, never stop walking and never stop thinking about work ……. Just uuugggggggh

    You MUST tell me where you got that gorgeous shirt/top from in your blog – it’s beautiful !!

    Chin up Charlie’s and keep breathing and remembering we are blessed and lucky…

    Just uuuggggghhhhhhhh

  8. You’re keeping me and many other women sane through all this Beth, thank you.
    My little one turns 7 today. I’ve made an Anne and going to try and whip through the day of work so we can try and make something special of a lockdown birthday.
    Brighter days ahead for us all.

  9. Erica Murdoch says

    Thanks for your honesty. This feels like my story though a bit different with a couple of twenty-somethings who are at home with us and don’t want to be! This attitude and sass and snide remarks! If I could get in a car and buggeroff, I would! Here’s hoping for better times ahead for all of us!

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