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After so many months in lockdown and the new normal of social distancing and mask wearing aa a family we have barely begun to return to life before Covid19.

We still don’t have a car having not being able to get a new one after ours was scrapped the week of lockdown. So we haven’t been anywhere that isn’t walking distance, except 3 bus trips, twice to my mum and once to the park.

We have had our food delivered so only ventured out a handful of times with Ravey to get him out and used to the world when I’ve needed to gets something in particular. Off we have headed with masks at the ready for entering the shops and to Ravey this is all quite normal now. He knows that people were getting sick so everyone stayed indoors and now we wear masks in busy places. He seems completely at ease with it.

I have written a number of posts documenting the trials and tribulations of family life amid this mayhem and the stress involved with it, but with the end potentially in sight, at least temporarily anyway, a whole new phase of family life will need to be developed and adapted to.

This week I have found myself questioning how my family and I will cope with the change back to the monotony of the working routine and the loss of the secure, constantly available family unit.

Daily life has changed dramatically. I have tried to keep a semblance of normality for the children in a very abnormal situation but Ravey is 4 and suddenly he wasn’t able to got to preschool and play with his friends. No seeing his wider family, going to the play park or going swimming etc. We have kept it simple and it doesn’t seem to have caused any anxiety.

During lockdown even when it was OK to go out for exercise and we are very close to the park we decided not to risk it. We never went out apart from to get a weekly shop in the early weeks when we couldnt get a delivery.

We didnt leave for weeks. Eventually we started taking the kids for a bike ride to the top of the road and back or around the surrounding roads for a short bit of exercise. In those days it was rare to encounter anyone on our quiet residential street other than the occasional car or passer by.

We did start to notice Ravey being quite weary of people approaching and a number of times made comments about getting sick if they get too close. A few times he cut the ride short for no reason, just saying he wanted to go back. Thankfully he seems to have moved through that and now seems more confident in being out and feeling safe.

Never before have the children spent so much time together and it has come at a point where they are just about able to play games together, albeit between fighting! It has been so beautiful to watch their relationship bloom and they clearly adore one another. Roo will seek Ravey out the moment she wakes and Ravey is pretty much obsessed with everything she does, wanting to pick her up and cuddle her at every opportunity (“awwww she is so cute mummy!!!”)
They may spend the day with me but they spend every waking moment together.

I imagine when Ravey starts school in a few weeks, that it will be experienced as a tremendous separation and loss to Roo. A drastic and sudden separation which may very well impact on her feelings of security. And in turn for Ravey, to leave the family unit will come with mixed feelings of excitement but also anxiety at separating from what has been a secure and containing family life, where everything is predictable.

All I can hope is that he will not be alone in this experience and that the teachers will be mindful and sensitive to this potentially difficult transition for the children.
With social distancing most of us have been told we have to say goodbye to our children on their first day of school, at the gate then leave.

Si and I have talked at length about when he has to return to working in the office and the impact this will have on his time with the family. Its so hard to think back to how we were living with Si leaving in the morning and getting back just as the kids were getting ready for bed.

Of course the COVID 19 outbreak is a horrendous thing to happen to this country and the world and it has and will continue to cost thousands of lives, but I would be wrong if I didn’t also acknowledge that alongside the negative impact of this outbreak on society and not seeing our family and friends, that there is also a part of me and us that doesn’t want lockdown to end.

Its enabled us to strip it all back and remember what matters most, those we love. Those we haven’t been able to see that we miss so much but also those we live with. There are the moments when you are tearing your hair out and are at your wits end but having so much time to just be together has been amazing.

Si has continued to work full days from home but without the added time pressures of travel to and from work he has been able to have so much more time with the children and I. We have been able to eat all our meals together as a family and it has been less pressure for me trying to get everything in order before he gets home,

Despite all the stress its been far more relaxed for us all.

I know Si is going to miss the children terribly when things eventually return to normal and they will really miss him too.
I feel very sad thinking about it myself because I have loved having him home. It has been stressful but I’ve enjoyed being able to share the experience with Si, to laugh together when the kids are doing our heads in and to see the absolute love and adoration the kids have for their daddy.

I feel closer to Si than ever and so lucky to have him and that we have all stayed well. The emotional impact of letting that go cannot be underestimated.

I cannot wait to be able to see my family normally wheneverwe want, for the kids to have play dates. To hug my mates.

I’ve missed them all so much. I am excited for what we get back and being able to enjoy all the things we had taken for granted, but at this point, whilst awaiting the next steps in the return to the new normal, I am beginning to mourn the impending loss of all we have now. The simple and beautiful day to day family life within these 4 walls.

Life where there is no focus beyond just us and our little unit.

7 Replies to “Returning to life after lockdown: Mourning the loss of the family bubble”

  1. It’s funny… because I think maybe we all needed to slow down, take a step back and have this time to appreciate everything and everyone we have, just that bit more…? Xx

  2. So hard aye… we are in and out of level 2 here in New Zealand…. but have been pretty lucky overall to be fairly safe so far… it has changed things forever…. sending love xx

  3. This was interesting to read. Most people complain how bad is the lockdown for our mental health and family life. Very few are aware that coming back to the normal ways after such a long period of time will also have tremendous effect, especially on little children. My older kid starts kindergarten next week and I’m both excited and terrified. He was used to going to nursery school since he was 12 months old, but the last couple of months have been the longest period he stayed at home except infancy.

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