Covid, parenting in unprecedented times.

Covid, parenting in unprecedented times.

So what are the direct impacts so far..

Never before has something so small caused so much short term trouble and upheaval since the arrival of your first child. Unless of course you called your first born Covid!

I never thought in my lifetime I would be adding an international pandemic to the long list of things I need to worry about protecting my kids from. But here we are as a human race fighting  an unprecedented war against  the minuscule unseen deadly enemy of covid. So what are the impacts from a parenting perspective?

Home schooling

What`s that all about?. I am not equipped physically or mentally to be a teacher. I did fleetingly consider it as a career a long time ago then realised I have no patience. This has improved with 3 kids in short succession but not to the extent where I want to educate them every day. Fair play to the schools and teachers though trying their best to keep the learning going Through online systems or by giving out packs of work for kids they have been a great suport.

I have looked at what many examples of what parents are doing in regards home schooling. In all honesty there is no best or right one, they are all great. Make it work for you and you kids. We have a nice mix of learning, fun, arts & crafts mixed along with a little outdoor play (please let the sun keep shining). They have also started exercising to Joe Wicks, who isn`t at the minute?. Here is a link for those few who aren’t currently doing it

Silver lining, no school run every day An ode to the school run.. My poetic ramblings.

Key workers and protection

I fall into the key worker category which is great and it`s fantastic to play a part in the fightback. It also however raises some fears. Whilst the majority of the country are staying at or working from home in a relatively safe environment key workers are still out in the open and exposed to risk. This scale of this is obviously role dependent. Mine would be relatively low and with all of the usual precautions should be OK.  It does however confuse the kids when they hear on one hand that everything is shut, the park, McDonalds, indoor play etc.. and that Daddy still has to go to work. Thankfully they are still young and they don’t linger too long on any particular question.

Oh look Waffle is on TV….Bbbbyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeee Daddy.

Silver lining, I am not home schooling every day (see above)

Silver lining 2, I am not working in retail anymore. (They are doing an amazing job at the minute!)

Explaining Covid

So how do you tell a child about something so grim and complex?  There are many useful links and resources online which are brilliant and maybe useful for children older than mine such as the 2 below,

Fantastic video from Belfast Health Trust,

Another great video from Playmobil,

We are fortunate that our children’s school had already told them that there was a “bad flu” at the minute. This meant there “were a lot more germs” around. They don’t probe more than that and we don’t encourage it.

We are just remaining calm about the whole thing, at least while the kids are around and trying to keep as normal as you can be in this situation. They will pick up on our fears and anxiety otherwise. There are some things they do notice though and will relate to when they are older such as why they are inside so much, why they can’t see their friends or go for dinner and why they are allowed more time on their tablet computers. They were also confused when we did our daily exercise the other day visiting Belfast castle pre lockdown, it was understandably closed.

Silver lining, they are too young to understand.


This is probably the hardest part with a 5, 4 and 2 year old at home. The older 2 have started making friends at school/nursery and every day you would have the chat about what they have been up to when having dinner. This has now obviously stopped and they ask to see their friends everyday, this need can however be met to some degree with digital technology and video calls…phew….

It`s also the family impact of not seeing relatives and cousins. Again we can overcome some of this with technology. It’s not the same and with mother’s day just passed and Easter on the horizon we`re going to have to make the best of a bad situation!

Silver lining, no birthday parties at soft play every other week..


Half a million people responded to the NHS call for volunteers in 1 day, simply amazing and inspires me for future generations when my kids are growing up that there is still so much community spirit and resilience in the world. On a smaller scale this has been seen by local and national companies offering services free of charge with a particular focus on the most vulnerable.

In the UK this crisis has dwarfed the impact and division of Brexit Brexit, will someone think of the children!. Let us hope that this is remembered when the dust settles. Locally in Northern Ireland it is recognised that the politics and division of green and orange is not relevant or important in the grand scheme of things. A realisation that if we work together we can achieve so much more, again I hope that this is remembered when this is all over.

This togetherness is, to use a much overused word at the minute, unprecedented and hopefully leaves a legacy for the generations of the future.

Cloud 1, whilst some of the celebrities singing/entertaining from home have been welcome most have been self serving nonsense, please make it stop!

Cloud 2, they are putting more rubbish on the TV to fill the schedules, its only a matter of time before we are all in a Mrs Browns boys and Miranda trance…

Anyway that’s my post over and I am off to try to find out what day it is…………stay safe folks and stay at home!

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