Each month I join up with Cheryl from A Chronic Voice, to use her writing prompts to tell my readers about how I am coping with my health. The April writing prompts are; Returning, Understating, Distancing, Stressing and Celebrating.
These past couple of weeks I have returned to home schooling. This isn’t something new to me, I’ve done it four times before. However, I’ve only ever had to home educate one child at a time. Now I have three at home, aged 9, 12 and 14 years and it’s very different. The older two are very much left to their own devices, but I know my 14 yr old is having problems. The 9 year old needs lots of encouragement. It’s not been easy, but I’m trying not to put to much pressure on them or me. I’m no teacher!
So many people have understated the danger of this COVID-19 virus that has taken over the world. The government understated the importance of social distancing and staying home. And when the schools were closed a lot of British families took it as a chance of taking a holiday. The results of which will surely be evident very soon as the cases of the virus infections rise rapidly.
We decided to distance ourselves a little earlier because of my weak immune system. So the kids did not go to their last week of school. I’ve been keeping a diary of our isolation so I won’t go into that here.
When you are chronically ill though, staying home becomes the norm. I rarely go out anywhere. I find going out stressful and I’m rarely well enough. I felt so guilty when the kids had a week off for half term. We managed one day out shopping and that was it. I promised I’d make it up to them at Easter..but now we won’t be going anywhere until we are sure we are safe.
I distance myself from friends and family when I am not my best too. I don’t like them to see me too ill, I hide a lot of what I feel. But, I’m both lucky and unlucky. I have a big family at home, there are seven of us. This means I am never really alone, which is good in case I need help. But it also means I never really get any peace and quiet. I don’t mind being alone, I can cope without social interaction. But that’s never going to happen in this house.
Stress is a big factor in my illness, the more stressed I become the more ill I feel. When this whole COVID Pandemic started I felt the need to know everything, I spent ages watching television and reading about it. I felt the need for information, I needed to know everything, I wanted to be armed and ready. Instead I overdid it and stressed myself so much I made myself physically sick.
Now, I’m keeping my stress levels down by limiting my news and learning about the virus and choosing mindful activities instead. I’m still worried, but no longer stressing.
Oh my, Easter is my favourite time of year, two weeks off school and loads of chocolate. It’s going to be so different this year. We are not going to be able to go to the farm to see the baby animals or enjoy days out in the warmer weather. I’ve bought Easter Eggs nice and early so the kids (and grown ups) will get their chocolate treats. They also have eggs off my brother and his wife which they exchanged before the lock down.
Spring is coming, we’ve had some sunshine and I can see the leaves on the trees at the bottom of my garden started to appear. I love to celebrate the changes in the Seasons which involve lots of colour changes. I love to celebrate the new life that Spring brings too. But these celebrations are not the same with that big dark cloud of COVID-19 hanging over us. I know one thing, I will celebrate when it’s over and life can return to normal, or whatever new normal we will have to endure.
April Writing Prompts
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Thanks for these great thoughts about Covid and how it is affecting you and your family. I homeschooled for over 20 years, so I feel your pain 🙂 They’re all feeling the stress, too. Give them lots of grace, hugs, and let them know that you believe in them. Stay safe 🙂
I can only imagine how difficult it is to home school while chronically ill. I hope you find a balance to work for you all.
Hurrah for Easter eggs! Keep breathing, I’m sure you’re doing a brilliant job 🤗
You have my utmost respect for homeschooling 3 kids! My kids are 12 years apart. I homeschooled the eldest for his last few years of high school and my youngest from preschool to this year which is her senior year. So basically I only taught one at a time. Funny thing is people often assumed that sending them to public school would have been easier on me because of my chronic illnesses. But homeschooling was actually the best option. That is once I allowed myself to break free from keeping a typical school schedule. Relax and know that you are doing the best that you can.
It’s funny you should say that, I do understand. I keep an app. on my health and how it changes and for the first few weeks of homeschooling (despite the pressures) my health was a lot better than it was trying to get them into school each day, getting their uniforms and lunches ready and up on time takes a toll on my health. x
My eldest daughter is 9 and my youngest is 6, so I hear you on the home schooling! I am not a teacher and we have not really done any proper school work since we started lockdown. My girls are both intelligent and inquisitive, however, so I’m not worried about their development. They read books regularly, they watch educational videos and TV programmes, they love to be creative and they tell me when they want to learn something new. We will muddle through.
I home schooled 6 children many years a go. Sometimes the most important lesson is learning how to be kind to each other, and how to support each other in the seasons of life. I loved your photo of the purple flowers.
A lovely post, Anne. I am sure that everyone are able to relate to the troubles that the current pandemic is causing for you. When living with chronic illness, we often do so behind closed doors, alone. The only comfort of this pandemic is that we are all in this together, a feeling of solidarity and togetherness, not experienced before. I hope you and the family enjoyed your Easter Eggs!
Hi Anne. I can completely relate to everything you’ve written here. Home schooling must be so difficult. I can’t imagine the extra stress that has caused for you. It sounds like your family is supportive and I’m so happy to hear you had a good Easter. I miss those types of celebrations being in Asia.