parenting during lockdown

baby, hand, infant

2020 has been a strange year with most of it spent locked down in our own homes. Juggling work commitments (feel so lucky to still have a full-time job), parenting responsibilities, PhD and other life admin has been really tiring and its taken a while to fall into a proper routine. During the first lockdown, things didn’t feel too bad as the weather was nice and there was flexibility in work to ensure that you meet work demands but also look after yourself and your family. Days were spent working, with the little one playing in the garden and getting involved in work calls or sitting next to me drawing while I worked and it all felt manageable.

This second lockdown has been different as my son is going to nursery (and I have felt super anxious about him mixing with other and at potential Covid risk even though the nursery is insanely organised and strict with their covid related rules), work hasn’t shown much flexibility in terms of handling life during a lockdown, although I am so grateful to still have my job and a steady income. But also, the weather has been colder, wetter and winter is now definitely setting in. So there hasn’t been as much willingness to spend hours outside playing and relaxing and the house has definitely felt more claustrophobic. I do worry that sending him to nursery too much perhaps feels like palming off the parenting responsibilities to others but at the same time he loves nursery and from the moment we wake up it’s all he talks about and he leaps out the car in the morning with a huge grin happy to see his classmates and teachers.

Juggling work,. parenting and studying means by days are packed full of meetings, to do lists and I feel like I am mostly always on some sort of screen – laptop, desktop, phone, ipad or telly.

I have also felt that I am questioning myself more as a parent and wondering if I am spending enough time with the little one or if I should drop a responsibility so that I can spend more time being a good parent. But then I remind myself, that he’s only two, he’s happy, he’s healthy and that I do spend time with him and I do arrange fun activities out and about so that he is exploring and learning all the time. Having chatted with colleagues who are parents makes me realize I am perhaps being a little too hard on myself or that I am too busy comparing myself to others without knowing the full extent of their circumstances and that sort of comparison is damaging to me.

I guess the issue here lies more with me second-guessing myself and comparing myself rather than my actual parenting as if I think about it, which I am doing as I write this now, I do spend time with him, I do play with him and act silly, I do make sure he’s eating well, sleeping well and developing as he should be and most importantly I do make sure he sees friends (socially distanced of course) and know that he has the best support circle around him.

how have you found lockdown life and managing responsibilities? Let me know in the comments.

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