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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Life | Life in Lockdown

The UK has been in lockdown now since the 23rd March - that's sixty three days (seems longer doesn't it?) While that doesn't  sound like  much that's two whole months out of the year we have had to stay away from our loved ones (unless you're Dominic Cummings of course). During these two months I have been off work and my kids have been off school and I haven't been close to grown up affection for too long (and no I don't mean sex, get your mind out of the gutter, I just wanna hug my mum). 

I, as have many, have taken this lockdown seriously. I do a food shop once a week where I stock up on things (mainly wine) to get myself and the boys through. I see the boys' dad when we swap the boys over and we have been in each other's houses - but as the boys are going between us both, it's not really any different than if we lived in the same house. Both of us are furloughed so the risk is minimal. 

My family members have been here to drop things off for us - treats, magazines, ice cream, cheesecake (thanks dad), homemade dinners and we have had a socially distanced chat at the door. Some may say this is breaking or bending lockdown rules, some may say a magazine for the kids isn't essential. But you try being stuck inside with two boisterous boys who have been dragged away from their family, their friends and aren't allowed to just go to soft play to burn off some energy for two hours. Some may say my mum standing on my front from two meters away from me isn't essential travel. These things have kept me sane, I'm a single mum, I live alone and not being able to have a proper chat to an adult or a hug when I'm feeling pretty fucking shit is the worst. So these visits from our family have been essential to us, mental health is physical health after all and I think if I didn't get this kind of support I'd have been in an even darker place. 

Yesterday, the boys and I visited our local park for the first time since the start of lockdown, where we met our friends for a socially distanced picnic. By socially distanced I mean, us mums kept apart (except for a quick snap) whilst the boys burnt some energy off and ran around the field. I had a few comments about not being far enough away from my friend and how I've broken the rules. A quick snap doesn't show how we spent the entire afternoon apart. Some people will judge me for letting the boys play with their friends and be close to them. Judge away. It's not that much different than if I was a key worker and had to send them into school. George has suffered immensley from being kept away from his mates, in fact me and his dad are very concerned for his mental health at the moment. He's an anxious child anyway which is something we are dealing with separately at the moment and seeking professional help with. It did him the world of good, he was happiest he's been in weeks and again I felt the risk was minimal. 

There are too many passive aggressive posts floating around social media at the moment about how people are bending or breaking the rules or how such and such had her mum outside the house for a socially distanced chat. What's essential to you might not be essential to somebody else. For example, that girl who had her mum outside her house for a chat might just be the single mum who's had nobody to talk to for weeks. That chat might have made the difference to her that day. 

It's not each other we should be mad at right now, it's the government - the government who didn't act soon enough, the government who have not been strict enough, the governement who have driven across the country to visit family then lied to the general public. If our leaders are breaking the rules why are you not directing your anger at them instead of Karen next door? You lead by example and if those in charge can't abide by the rules, how can you expect the general public to? 

I'm not by any means saying have a party in your garden and invite all your mates, or continue with your normal life as so many have, but don't judge others for doing something as trivial as staying two feet away from their ma. 

Stay safe

Rachael xo

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