Welcome to My Rant About Isolation With Kids

Well this is a new world order isn’t it. And not one that I like. Suddenly myself and my husband are solely responsible for our children’s education, mental health, physical health, dietary needs and general well-being. This is not fun. I miss my village. If you are enjoying this time with your children, it’s probably time to stop reading.

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Feeling inadequate to control my temper

Tonight I lost it at my kids. My four year old was having a truly shit afternoon and after a lot of screaming from him at me, I screamed back. Right in his ear. So loudly that my throat hurt. He looked shocked and then laughed at me. Little turd.

My threats had already escalated from no tv, to no food for the rest of the day. And I’d even had a break to have an adult meeting, whilst Chris managed the kids in the afternoon. It wasn’t enough. I miss them leaving the house so much.

Feeling even more inadequate as I see all the amazing things we could be doing

Oh my god there are so so many things to do with the kids. Craft, so much bloody craft. Sports, inside and outside the house. Resilience activities, well-being activities, kids yoga and more. Online tours of attractions, live streaming of zoos, educational activities. Games to play in your area.

FAR OUT someone please please make it stop.

IT JUST MAKES ME FEEL LIKE A SHIT PARENT.

Why – one because I don’t know where to start, there is just so much. Two because nearly all of it involves a screen and by the time I’ve enlisted the screen to have a shower and take a couple of meetings, I don’t want to put them back in front of it. Three, because we don’t have the craft supplies for most of the craft so that just leads to a hellish period of me trying to adapt what they are doing. And four – because I am mentally exhausted. Between group WhatsApp messages, responding to emails, coordinating social chats for the kids and trying to keep track of what we can actually do, I just don’t have any room to add in something like planning a fun and educational activity.

Our "school" hub during isolation with kids

Our “school” hub during isolation times

Don’t worry – I get it. Promotion is a good and important thing right now

So here’s the thing – I get why businesses are doing this. This is a horrific time for nearly everyone and people really want to help whilst also keeping themselves top of your mind. It’s smart. And it’s helpful. And maybe one day soon, as we settle into this new world order, I’ll appreciate it (maybe).

In fact, we jumped on the same bandwagon and have been moving through our book apps and making them free for a few days. (From Wednesday 1st it will be Christmas Chimney Challenge). So I shouldn’t complain. I know that. But I still am.

Moving forward with a breath and a smile, albeit a slightly hysterical one

I’ve been talking to authors around the world and the common sanity thread has been less media.

For me as a parent, I think I need to add to that a bit of confidence in me, Chris and our family dynamic. I think all parents engage with their kids and teach them in their everyday life and this insane time is perhaps the space where we do more of that.

When I am not feeling shit about my lack of magical craft or printed activities (printer is broken) I enjoy the small moments. Things like Patrick tracing his name successfully. Charlie writing a three page long story that he proudly reads to his dad. And Jazzy nailing nearly every piece of schoolwork we put in front of her with ease. These are special and ones that may stick through the memory fog.

I am not grateful for coronavirus, it’s horrible and I want it to end. But I am grateful for our family, for the bonds that bind us and give us the strength to get through (or nearly get through) each of these days.

From our isolation hub to yours – a big hug and stiff drink.

We’ll get there my friends. With or without the help of the many wondrous activities on offer.  

Kate Stead

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