I thought I’d do a lighthearted ‘listicle’ (!) today, to mark the fact that we Malaga residents are still in ‘Phase 0’ of the 0-4 stage Spanish quarantine de-escalation plan. Everyone anticipated the return of socially-distanced beer and coffee sipping on the sunny terraces of the Costa del Sol today, but alas the people at the top said ‘No!’
So, here we are, stuck in the strictest level of lockdown, and all I can do is take a look back at the lessons I’ve learned so far. My perspective is that of a parent of one pre-schooler and one seven-year-old, with a full-time job and a husband who also works full-time. We all have our unique set of lockdown challenges, so here’s what I have learned from mine:
- The only time you will get any peace and quiet is at silly-o-clock in the morning. But you may regret the decision to get up at 5am when it gets to 8pm and the kids are still bounding around full of energy.
- Asking for half-an-hour’s peace and quiet is not unreasonable, in fact it is more selfish to deny yourself a break, play the martyr and then take it out on everyone else later.
- If you can’t get any peace and quiet indoors, there’s always the supermarket…if you head there at the right time of day.
- Dirty dishes breed faster than rabbits. The minute you turn your back on them, the sink fills up again. Make sure everyone takes their turn washing up.
- Don’t feel guilty if your children spend more time online/playing video games than you would like. Just remember to give them your full attention at times when you are able.
- 12-6pm may be the allocated time for children to have their outdoor exercise, but if it’s 30 degrees and sunny, stay poolside and chill!
- Bathtime is sacred (your own bathtime, that is).
- Don’t be too strict about the homeschool timetable: think quality over quantity when it comes to educational activities. It’s more important that your kids are engaged and interested than that they slavishly follow the curriculum.
- Leave non-urgent work tasks until the afternoon or evening, once the kids have finished school. Also prioritise your own mental wellbeing over meeting work deadlines.
- You can NEVER do too much reading, or writing 🙂
As for the final lesson on the list, last night I learned that a poem I submitted to a competition has been chosen to appear in a forthcoming anthology. In print! This was such wonderful, uplifting news that I wanted to share it with you and say thank you to anyone who has read this blog so far, especially those who have given me positive comments and encouragement. You have all kept me from giving up and backsliding into self-doubt, and for this I am truly grateful.
These are my ‘lessons learned in lockdown.’ What are yours? Feel free to share below or post a link to your blog. Happy Monday everyone!