Stacey: “As full time working parents, Scott and I were nervous to say the least about lockdown. The thought of working and juggling schoolwork filled us with dread. We are an outdoorsy family, and it’s unusual for us to spend a whole day at home let alone weeks on end. On top of that Ged, 6, is ADHD so we had no idea how he would cope. He self regulates through overindulging in the gross motor skills. He’s super sporty and uses that as an outlet and to help strike a balance and regulate cognitively. At the beginning we felt judged for taking the boys out for daily or twice daily exercise. A couple of ‘well you’ve got a garden’ comments made us feel awful. Thankfully the government quickly confirmed that those with neuro-diversity should take the exercise they need, which made us feel better about our decisions. It really comes down to prioritising Ged’s health well being.
It’s not been an easy ride, as I’m sure anyone with children this age will know! To make it work we’ve been working shifts of childcare / home schooling and our day jobs. I log on at 6am most days to get ahead of the day and Scott will often be online late into the evening. Like most parents, we are doing whatever it takes. Lots of screen time isn’t great for Ged, as it creates sensory overload (another ADHD challenge) so managing the balance of all the online work set from school didn’t really work at the start. We’ve chosen to take snippets of what school have set and combined with workbooks for his age. They’ve both spent time cooking, gardening, cleaning and growing fruit and veg in our new greenhouse. Turns out they fight over chores too – whose turn to mop is now an issue!
Vaughan, 3 really misses his friends and our extended family. He talks often of nursery and what he’s going to do when ‘Corona Virus goes’. It feels odd hearing a pre schooler talking about the pandemic. We caught him wrapping is hands in cling film; when we asked why, he said that this way he could see his Nanny and Poppa and friends and touch them too. Whilst it broke our hearts a little, we were impressed with his line of thinking!
On the whole we are doing well. I’m incredibly proud of both my children’s resilience and strength of character during these challenging times. They’ve both shown maturity and empathy that I didn’t know they were capable of. We’ve laughed hard together, shed a few tears, consumed a lot of gin (parents not children) and been on many family bike rides to burn energy. We are trying to stay strong, lower our expectations and take pleasure in the extra family time that this awful situation has afforded us.”
Stacey and Scott work full time in HR and Financial Services, respectively. Their two boys are Ged, 6 and Vaughan, 4.