Experiences of 2020

Christine - Stay at Home Mum

I’m Christine, I live in West Lothian. I’m a ‘stay at home mum’ which, other than a brief period of work last year, I have been for 5 years. I thought the time as a stay at home mum would have prepared me for lockdown quite well; some weeks I don’t have much adult interaction, I'm an introvert so I’m happy in my own company. An unprecedented global pandemic and being at home all day with 3 kids is certainly different to the ‘before’ times when it's forced upon you rather than a choice!

I forgot the snippets of conversation you have with staff in the shops (I haven't been to a shop since March), or the friendly staff in our local cafe chatting to me and my youngest, or hearing about school from my 5 year old, or taking my 13 year old out to his groups. My youngest child is in the ‘shielding’ group so this has added to my anxieties. I’ve felt supported in a practical sense to keep her safe but, and I think this goes for a lot of aspects of motherhood, no one really asks if you're ok? You’re managing everyone else's needs and emotions, the general day to day routines mixed with your own worries. And that has been hard alongside being in the house all together a lot more.

Just being able to go sit in a cafe by myself, or meeting a friend to go to a toddler group - the small things have been hardest. I sometimes felt a bit lonely and isolated before but this has definitely been amplified in lockdown. I think as mums we’re so busy thinking of others and all the things that life throws at us, that sometimes we forget ourselves and that we need looking after as well.

I do berate myself for complaining as my husband’s job is pretty secure, so I feel grateful we haven't had the stress of a lost job, or uncertainty about returning to work. My children seem to be coping incredibly well. It just feels very overwhelming most of the time.

I was hoping to return to University in the Autumn. I hope this can still happen to give me something to focus on and find myself a bit again.