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Experiences of 2020

Janis - Scouts Scotland

“Mummy I need you” is a familiar line from my time in lockdown. But I suppose it’s better than the “Mummy come wipe my bum” which is often shouted out, usually right in the middle of a zoom call. It’s funny how they always walk past their dad and come to me first, not that my other half doesn’t do his share. I’m sure it’s similar in many households up and down the country.

Lockdown has been really hard. I have a three-year-old and a seven-year-old. I work four days a week for Scouts Scotland and my other half also works full time. Lockdown for Scouts has meant 80% of staff have been furloughed. For those of us left working, it has meant a much increased workload.

It has not been an easy time for the Scouts. We, like many other third sector organisations, have been hit hard with a huge loss in income. In normal times my work is much more fun, sharing happy news stories about the impact that Scouts makes to young people; but now I have to retell the hard reality that we are facing to MSPs or journalists and it’s incredibly draining. Combining that with working from home, trying to homeschool and constant cooking – because apparently my children are always hungry - has meant that my own mental health has suffered. There were a few weeks that I was just so angry at everything and everyone (sorry to all who felt the wrath).

The shining lights through this have been the youth groups that my seven year is involved in. Her dance teacher has been amazing. She’s adapted her classes to run online. The sound of her voice shouting directions through the tablet is very welcome, and we have a smiley happy girl at the end.

The volunteers with her local Beaver group have also been brilliant. I can’t thank them enough. Because of them my daughter has taken part in camps from home, built dens, played emoji bingo, done drawing challenges, run around finding things for scavenger hunts and a had great big campfire song singalong in the kitchen.

The mum guilt is strong though. My three-year-old has learned the phrases “in a minute” and “I’m too busy” and I know this is what I tell her when she wants to play. Hopefully soon we will all have more time to play.

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