What are year to have been alive. I can’t think of stranger times certainly in my lifetime, and although children don’t come with a manual – even more so there is no guide to parenting or existing during covid times. Many of the moments over the last year that have brought me the greatest joy have also been riddled with sadness. My family are split across the globe, and since having a child the moments of joy also bring moments of sadness at the idea of those loved ones missing them. I know I’m not alone in these feelings and many of us are separated from my love ones that are even within the same country. I wish I could share the perfect step-by-step guide to surviving lockdowns, social distancing and the many other challenges that Covid has presented us all with. I certainly don’t have it. The only things I have are… gratitude for the loved ones I have been able to be with, the health and safety of my loved ones, and hope for the future.
I also think I’ve been incredibly lucky not to have a child of school age, because homeschooling adds a whole new element to lockdowns with children. I take my hat off to every parent that homeschooled their child. When I was a teenager, one of my parents tried to teach me to drive, we didn’t even make it out of the gate before one of us had a meltdown. Disciplining a toddler coming into the terrible twos has presented its own issues for me. I’ve never had a problem with being consistent. I think I struggle more with knowing which battles are worth fighting and which are not. During this tiny world of day to day groundhogs, it’s hard to get perspective, there are no external touch-stones and the relationships we do have seem to gain greater and greater weight daily. Sometimes the burden of them feels heavy and other times it lifts us up. Covid has given so many of us new emotional states, that change as slowly and quickly as they please.
Ultimately though, I have been amazed by the brightness of the light that has peeked through during these times. The friends who have found love (even through the mud of dating apps and socially distanced dates), the babies that have been born, the support for small businesses and communities, and the great collective effort we have all undertaken to protect those more vulnerable than ourselves. Although we are no where near the end of the line with COVID, I hope that in a years time I will reflect on this time as forging a better world for our daughter, one that has a greater sense of community and collective effort than I have ever known before.