I wanted to write a blog today for two reasons: 1: to get some things off my chest and 2: to give other Mums on this platform a space to talk about the past year.
Many mothers experienced a profound shift in their lives, well beyond the mere loss of their routines when the world began to grapple with the pandemic. Some of these shifts I have enjoyed and some I have hated.
Mums are juggling jobs, managing the house and child care with an intensity that has never before existed. Mothers are home-schooling while cooking.. they’re preparing lunches while working.. they’re cleaning whilst taking care of the children… As we all know, the list goes on! For me I experienced highs and lows while handling these roles; having to deal with the waves of guilt and stress that come with not doing some of these things well and great joy when I accomplish something which I never thought I could. I also experienced great sadness with events that have happened during the year.
I will start with the negatives and end with the positives. Please note that these are my personal experiences and feelings. I know many people have gone through a TERRIBLE time and MUCH WORSE than me and I am in no way diminishing that fact. These are purely my own life experiences.
- I LOST MY JOB – This was a toughie. I really loved my job and I sadly lost it in the early days of the pandemic. This not only meant that I didn’t have an income, it meant that I couldn’t do something that I loved anymore. This made me really sad.
- NO HOUSE HELP – Im sorry to the mums reading this who don’t have any house help, you must think Im so spoilt. I am. I have the luxury of having Ammu, my amazing cleaner for a few hours a day. When she couldn’t come in the early days, I struggled tremendously with the cooking, washing the vessels, cleaning (sweeping, mopping, dusting etc), washing the clothes, managing kids and their online schooling, helping with homework and finding time to sit down for 5 mins to talk to my husband. I was like a robot and not a happy one! I was so happy when she could come back after the lockdown was lifted. I appreciate her so much more now and we now work as a team to get all the jobs done.
- ONLINE SCHOOLING – I will start with saying how impressed I am with the way teachers have handled this change. They are doing an exceptional job under very challenging circumstances. My children’s teachers are really fantastic and I am pleased with how the online classes are implemented. However… my children have found some very clever loopholes when it comes to handing in their work. Whilst I should be happy about spending more time with my children, I am not happy about the majority of that time being spent shouting at them for not doing their work! My children have moved schools during the pandemic. Hats off to them for adjusting to online school so quickly and that being a new one with new classmates and teachers but Im so fed up of having to chase them to do anything. I have had more fights with my son over the last few months about his pending work than we have had in his entire life. This makes me really sad. I am also sad that the children cant play with their friends in real life and that they have both resorted to playing video games to interact with their new friends. I eagerly await the day that they can go back to school and back to normality.
- CONTRACTING COVID – This virus is a bitch! Although my family and I had a light strain of the virus and there was no need for hospitalisation, I have really struggled with fatigue for nearly six months now. Some days are good and I can get a lot done and other times I struggle to get out of bed. I think being so tired has made me more irritable and grumpy and I lose my temper a lot quicker than I used to. If I feel so crap after such a light strain, I feel pity for the people who have really suffered and to those who have sadly lost their lives.
- LACK OF EXERCISE – When Covid struck and we went into lockdown, I found a way to exercise in our compound – running around the building, climbing the stairs, playing games outside with the kids etc.. but since I was unwell I don’t have the energy to exercise. I am sad that I cant push myself to do this as this was a time for ME. Without this “me time”, I am literally never on my own (I have been interrupted 12 times already whilst writing this! LOL). Due to the lack of exercise I have become very body conscious which ultimately stirs up childhood eating issues which I have to keep fighting.
- MENTAL HEALTH – Fighting Covid and body issues, managing the house and children (all whilst confined in a small space) has pushed me to some low places. I am surprised at myself. I am shocked that I have had such dark feelings. It has made me realise how IMPORTANT mental health is and how talking and seeking help is vital to ones wellbeing.
- LOSING SPECIAL PEOPLE – Sadly I know two people who couldn’t cope and have taken their life during this pandemic time. I am utterly saddened to know that they felt they couldn’t reach out to anyone. One lady was a member of our community, a Super Mum. She was a wonderful woman and a wonderful mother but felt she couldn’t go on any longer. This is one reason why I am writing this; in order to give confidence to those who are struggling. Reach out. We are all there for you!
Enough doom and gloom, time for some positives…
- LEARNING TO COOK – I would have called this a negative last year as I hated to cook. Oh how things change! I have had to learn to cook during this time and to my surprise, it is not as bad as I thought. The thing I don’t like is the washing up afterwards. I have learnt to cook Indian food and I have gone back to my roots and learnt a lot of english dishes. I am proud to say that I have even entered a healthy cooking competition! Those of you that know me will surely be laughing right now 🙂
- TIME WITH MY FAMILY – Although this was mentioned in a negative point above in regards to online schooling, I wouldn’t want to be locked up with anyone else. When we are not fighting, it is nice to spend time with my children. We had a lovely fun Diwali and we are now gearing up for a bright Christmas. I have watched them grow in-front of my eyes and achieve a huge amount this year considering they are stuck at home. I am amazed by the resilience of children. I feel that children have really suffered this year but they just push on through which is amazing.
- EDUCATING MYSELF – I am passionate about parenting, children, education and development, philanthropy and health and wellness. 2020 has given me the opportunity to learn more about these subjects.
- MANALI – Going to HP was definitely the HIGH HIGH HIGH of my year! We spent a week in the beautiful mountains and I was SO HAPPY. I am longing to go back there.
- FINDING SUPPORT – I am so thankful to my Super Mums team of admins and to the whole community. You have no idea how much you have helped me! From commenting on my posts to reaching out when I needed a hug. You have lifted me from low to high many times and I am extremely grateful for that.
- COMMUNICATION – Anyone that knows me knows how utterly useless I am with communicating. I forget to return calls and emails and I always put calls off until I am too embarrassed by the extended length of time that I just never call 🙁 This period of time has forced me to confront this flaw of mine and pick up the phone. I have reached out to friends and family who are far away and we have reconnected which has been LOVELY. I cant say I’ve perfected my communication skills but it is a work in progress.
- GRATEFUL – After my long list of negatives, it is surprising to read that I am actually grateful for things. This period has really taught me to appreciate the little things and be grateful for what I have. I am a lot luckier than many people out there and I must continue to be thankful for my friends, my family, this community, the excellent education my children are receiving and for what I possess. I cant complain too much when I have been blessed with so much.
As I try to move into 2021 with positivity, I look back and reflect on this crazy year. It has been a time of restriction, sickness and sadness and yet it has also been filled with so much happiness, love and learning.
In 2020 I have witnessed the power of community. I have seen such kindness and generosity. I have seen people care for strangers as if they were family. I have seen Super Mums MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Let us take this lovely gift of community and care forward to a bright 2021!