The husband told me about an Guardian article he’d read regarding, ‘How to survive being locked into a house with your family’. The article detailed how to emotionally cope with the situation. Po faced and earnest, my love shared such nuggets as, “We need to make sure we are taking breaks from the kids and get exercise…..we need to look after our mental health”.
He nodded sagely.
Shrewd advice.

However….

I could have dropped with hysterical laughter.
Or started manically banging my head against a wall during the manologue. Clearly my mental health is not as strong as it could be.

As the primary stay-at-home carer for our 2 kids, I have been surviving various forms of illness imposed quarantine on and off FOR 7 years. Every year from November to March our kids tag team illnesses, so much so that I renamed them Pestilence and Plague. I think they actively seek out other sick kids to lick. 7 years in, I’ve finally come to accept my situation and have learnt to play the mental hopscotch with my sanity, that comes from the quarantine.

But I was thrilled to be explained ‘how to survive being locked into a building with my family’…. thank you for fucking mansplaining the fucking concept to me again. DAD. I love you.

Here’s what I’ve learnt about surviving quarantine. Here comes some ‘Mammysplaining’ at its finest…..

Against all current positive thinking trends, I urge you to LOWER your expectations to depths they’ve never been to. Then get a thrill each time the dial of your family home happiness meter pops up over zero. Read the smugetry Insta posts,
“So glad to spend this slow down time with my family and reassess what’s important to me”
…and then remember that these people are  l  i  a  r  s

They are either in heavy denial about how hard it is, or day drunk.

Take a deep DEEP breath and accept that the next few weeks (dear God I hope it’s not months) will be shite. Your kids will drive you demented and you will have fantasies about murdering your spouse. Murder is messy, remember this. You already have enough housework to do. You do not want to have to clean up after a massive spousal murdering rampage. It’s a good mantra to have running through your head. You can even say it out loud if needed: “Murder is messy”.

Stock up on your anti-anxiety meds, CBD, wine whatever you need. But don’t day drink. I agree that in the short term, it does make everything more fun, but you eventually have to stop drinking, and then you’ll have a hangover with small kids. Literally the worst. And also drunk murder may happen (see previous paragraph) Or, most terrifying of all…. you could be inspired by your quarantine cocktail of choice (a Quarantini, if you will)  to make bad choices about expanding your fam. If there is a baby boom 9 months from now they’ll be called the Corona-babies.

I am loving all the advice about time management. Very wise that. Break the time into chunks. Structure the day……The clock will be against you. It’s so true. I have actually taken my clock off the wall from time to time to check it wasn’t broken. It wasn’t. It’s just that time really can move that slowly. It’s like a mind game, which you control as you are held captive by tiny belligerent (possibly sick) overlords.

There was a bit in the article about, ‘Imposing a quiet time where everyone goes to their rooms and stays there without talking to each other’…..Just remember that you can’t do it for the whole day, cause you still have to feed them and give them water, or they’ll die. 

Speaking of food, now is the time to hop onto Pinterest, to figure our recipes that will use up all that pasta and dried beans you panic-bought last week. After a week of dried pulses and lentils, you’ll more than likely need the other thing you stocked up on too….

It’s crazy times.
The coronapocalypse is upon us
Let’s keep the vulnerable safe.
Wash your hands.
Maintain a distance. 

Whatever you do, don’t let your toddler lick your face and sneeze into your mouth like mine did this morning. 

And remember….

Murder is messy. 

 

I was born in Ireland, grew up in England and met my Cornish husband in Catalonia. We now live in the Netherlands, in Dutch suburbia with our two differently wired, small kids. I spend my days parenting, writing and being amazed at all the Dutchness around me.

One Comment on “Locked in

  1. Pingback: Pantless nations | Write Now Rebekah

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