Thank you to everyone who submitted their stories for our Parenting in a Pandemic piece. We are covering one a week for 3 months due to the response we got, all absolutely incredible pieces that show the honesty behind lockdown, what we encountered along the way and where we are now. We have decided (unless the author has requested to not be anonymous) that names and details will be withheld and have left it to them to come forward if they'd like to and if they feel comfortable.
Lockdown was most definitely the strangest time of my life, with such highs and lows and extremes of emotions.
For starters when lockdown was announced I was 6 months pregnant which meant lots of confusion as to what the difference was between shielding, self-isolating and social-distancing - basically we just stayed home for 3 months! It meant a rethink to birth plans, we’d always seen the hospital as the safe place to give birth but now the idea of a home birth seemed safer.
On top of pregnancy worries we had all the regular concerns of parents in lockdown. Suddenly we were ‘homeschooling’ our eldest and trying to entertain a toddler. Never have we been so thankful for our garden! We were also lucky in a way that my husband was furloughed. Whilst this meant a pay cut it was manageable as we stopped paying nursery fees. It meant he could be with the children whilst I worked until maternity leave kicked in.
Our lockdown experience had some highs, at first I genuinely loved every extra day spent with the children we wouldn’t have otherwise had. It also had some lows.
My mother in law moved to a care home last year, suffering from dementia. In April we received the dreaded phone call to say she was ill. They suspected Covid, then thought it was something else, then she seemed better, then worse again, until very sadly she passed away. We’ll never know for sure whether it was Covid as she was one of the many in care homes who never received a test.
In May, I then had my own family drama. I had the happiest of childhoods, with two parents I loved, but over time it was clear to anyone they had drifted apart. Lockdown brought secrets out into the open and suddenly I became a child of divorce.
So our boys lost a grandmother and became distanced from a grandfather, but in June they did gain a little sister. Our 3rd baby finally arrived, several days late, born at home whilst her brothers slept upstairs. We’re so grateful that she brought so much joy to us in such a gloomy time.