Staying Home, Saving Lives - A Covid19 Diary, Week Six

The days are long. Excruciatingly so at times. But the weeks are short.

I missed a week of updates. I'd like to say it was because I was completely busy but I wasn't. I don't feel like I get busy anymore, I don't work but I am homeschooling the kids, and as much as it is time consuming, I don't feel like my days are full or busy in a fulfilling way.

If anything, I guess I was busy being miserable! I do try and keep this blog positive but I have to admit that I am really struggling sometimes.

I find it hard to believe that it has been six weeks of this 'new normal', the weeks themselves now seem to have blended into one hazy week, similar to the summer holidays but without the highlights of trips, days out and friends to draw your attention.

Still, I set out to record these times for us as a family and so I will continue to do so. The rest of my writing seems to fall to the bottom of any to do list, I miss the uninterrupted space I was only just getting used to and so it is nice to have this one ritual every Friday, to sit down and think over the week that has passed.


My homeschooling has been hit with a major crisis of confidence in the last couple of weeks. Nothing has triggered it, I just feel that I'm getting to end of my stored enthusiasm for playing at being a teacher. As the children ask for more and more work and seem ready to start the next topics, I'm left feeling like I can't keep up. I can help them with the work they are given, taking it further and adding more to the timetables set by school but I feel like I can't create a lesson once that work is completed.

It's a shame because actually, the lessons with the children were giving me back a sense of purpose that I haven't had since everything went pear shaped a few years ago. It's an exhausting job but I enjoy sitting down with the kids and showing them something new.

Our lessons are a little more spontaneous now, a bee on the windowsill in the bathroom inspires a morning of learning, that then feeds into art lessons and the topic about animals and life cycles. Lily painted a picture and labelled it, then wrote an acrostic poem. Oliver learnt about beehives and honey and was sad when the bee finally flew away (it threw itself off of the windowsill, so I hope it flew anyway).

Oliver's topic this week has been The Jolly Postman and so we have been working towards having a fairytale party today - playing Post Offices, designing invitations, talking about fairytale characters, writing a shopping list and even doing some budgeting. With so much of his work being centred around play, I feel more confident with expanding his learning and working around a topic.

The end of Ollie's topic party today was the highlight of the week. We dressed up (even me, but there aren't any photos), ate the cupcakes we made, played around and danced. My heart almost burst when Ollie asked Lily to dance and he twirled her around, kissing her hand and bowing at the end. He can be so cute sometimes!

Lily needs more work and more planning ahead. I'm using Twinkl resources and The Maths Factor as well as the school's recommended White Rose Maths. However, I worry more about her falling behind, especially as she would have been doing her Y2 SATS this term under normal circumstances. On the positive side, she is so keen to learn and do things that it's easy to set her a task and leave her to it, she's also enjoyed getting involved with Oliver's topics and, when all else fails, she will sit and read a book.

We had a few exciting deliveries later in the week, including this tent from Hobbycraft which has been turned into a book den in the living room. On Friday night the children slept in it, even having a midnight snack (at 8pm shhh). I like to think that it's moments like that they will come to treasure, even if they don't notice the stuff I'm actively trying to teach them.


Teaching the children to cook is a great idea and a really important life skill. That said, I wouldn't mind being able to cook a meal without help at least once a week!

As we've settled into the routine of cleaning and cooking, housework and gardening it seems there is less to actively learn and just more time spent going over what the children have done already. But this week I decided to teach the children how to cross stitch using these butterfly kits from Baker Ross.

I feel like my motivation, my resolve, to take something positive from this experience has settled now to more realistic expectations. Teaching my kids to cook and clean may turn them into future Michelin chefs and super spouses but that isn't the point of staying home. As much as I want to give the kids everything they would have at school and more, I'm realising my own limitations and I can only do so much.


After saying last time that we hadn't had as much screentime, it has jumped up again this week. On the days I've been finding things hard it's easy to just let the kids spend an hour on the Kindle, reading, playing games and watching something different to whatever their sibling is watching on the TV.

Matt and I have finished watching The Nest and Race Across the World and are looking for something else to watch so have started watching New Amsterdam on Amazon Prime Video. It's already proving to be popular and we're a few episodes in after a couple of days.

I finished City of Brass and started Kingdom of Copper straight away! This book caught my attention more than any other in a long time and transported me away on a flying carpet to a world of fiery Djinn and mysterious Marid. I have pre-ordered the third book on my Kindle already and am counting down to when I can visit again.


I've come to dread the weekly shop. I put it off as long as possible but no matter when I do it I always find myself close to having an anxiety attack. I think it's the combination of fear (of catching Covid19), stress (at buying the right thing, not forgetting anything, finding what I actually want to buy) and worry (about the cost and how long the supplies will last).

When it comes to cooking with the supplies I do get, I am enjoying cooking different meals but at the same time resenting the feeling of being chef on top of a teacher and a cleaner. I find that I prefer cooking a hot main meal for lunch and then letting Matt prepare a snack for tea time, otherwise I feel like I never leave the kitchen and dining room.

It's a bad decision for my health but I have bought a deep fat fryer. Frankly, I don't care. The chips are amazing and in the absence of Nandos and my favourite restaurants and takeaways, I need something get me through. Homemade chips for the win.


The social highlight of my week has become a weekly quiz with a small group of friends. It's not long and it's not fancy but just seeing their faces and having a bit of a giggle means so much to me. I also joined a quiz with Matt and his school mates which was a great laugh, lockdown or not.

When it comes to missing everyone, I just tend to put my head in the sand. It's a bad habit I've had for a while and means that I'm not very good at calling people or arranging to chat on Zoom or similar.

However, as time goes on I'm finding that I really do need to be better at contacting the people I'm thinking of and I plan to be more intentional about organising quizzes and virtual get togethers over the next week. I'll let you know how I get on!

Stress Levels

More than anything, I wish I could switch off my dreams. I have always had very vivid dreams and nightmares that I find hard to shake off the next day, combined with my anxiety about this whole situation, and the fear of losing people I love, I don't think I have a good night's sleep in a long time.

Even on the days when I think things have gone well, when I've avoided the worst of the news and kept the fears and worry at bay, it's at night when the thoughts creep up on me and the dreams hit me. I'm trying some mindfulness techniques before I sleep now, and spending time in prayer properly before I try and sleep.

If I find it hard to sleep then I find that listening to some of my favourite worship tracks help a bit. It's better to have one of those songs in my head than Baby Shark!

How're you finding things? Are you enjoying the time you're spending at home or is worry causing you anxiety? Let me know in the comments or join me to chat over on Facebook!

You can read about previous weeks here:
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four

Our Cherry Tree © . Design by Berenica Designs.