Lockdown: Missing the isolation

I’ve spent the last six and a bit years working for myself at home. After 15 years with the banter of a busy office, I wasn’t sure how I would cope with the isolation, but I’ve loved it. I do get the odd bout of loneliness and I’m always ready to see the kids at the end of the day, but I enjoy my solitude.

I’ve got myself a good routine of mainly work, a few chores and a bit of the ‘me time’ we’re always told is so important for our mental health. For me, ‘me time’ is running, walking, reading and blogging. There’s not a long bath or candle in sight. I need that time to recharge my batteries, so I’m ready to be a parent (and taxi driver) again when the kids come through the door after school and work.

Of course, my isolation came to an abrupt end nearly three months ago. I’ve always struggled with juggling work and school holidays. It’s surprising how much attention teenagers who don’t get up until mid-morning or later seem to need, so I wondered how I would cope with lockdown.

Strangely, it wasn’t a problem. We have enough space that everyone can have a room to themselves during the day, whether they are working, doing schoolwork or just watching videos and gaming. Yes, there was more mess in the kitchen, but there were less interruptions than I would usually get in the school holidays. (I’ve realised that the interruptions are mainly people asking for lifts – if three kids all want a life in two directions every day, that is a lot interruptions!)

I spent nearly three months enjoying having my whole family at home. I even found plenty of time to read, because my kids were busy with schoolwork or gaming. But then something changed. I probably got more work. My husband went back to the office (so nobody was around to help clear up the kitchen).

Lockdown easing hasn’t really changed things here. I only have one child who should be at school, and year 9s haven’t gone back. There’s been a handful of lifts for the kids since in the last few weeks. I’m still juggling all the household chores I was doing when I had an empty house. But the house isn’t empty and nobody would ever consider hanging out the washing (or even putting their own stuff in the dishwasher to be honest).

I keep thinking ‘I’ll just finish this bit of work, then I’ll be able to read’. But I’ll finish the work and have to bring the washing in, put the guinea pigs out, put the recycling away and clear up the kitchen. My reading time seems to have disappeared.

And I need it back.

I’m missing my isolation and my ‘me time’. But I’ve still got another two months without it.

Who else is missing their old life of peace and quiet?

Books, Reading, Isolation, Me time

Author: Sarah Mummy

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9 Comments

  1. Oh I feel exactly the same, it’s the one thing that has really bothered me during lockdown. I just miss the time to myself, working without distractions and having a bit of time to do what I want each day. Roll on September!
    Nat.x

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    • Glad it’s not just me. I’m just surprised it’s taken me this long to start struggling. Roll on September indeed! The summer holidays are actually going to feel very short compared to lockdown. x

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  2. I do miss the solitude too, even though my kids are not too demanding. Also, I have to home educate the youngest whlle the older two get on with their work. It takes up so much of my day, along with all the extra cooking and cleaning.

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    • It must be hard work doing the home education too. I’m grateful that I don’t have to do that! Thank goodness your older two just get on with their work. The extra cooking and cleaning definitely makes a difference too.

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  3. I’m so with you on this. the last 2 weeks have been the worst for me for the same reasons. I also feel that the kids are beginning to struggle without routine. We are all pretty frustrated with each other at the moment. I feel your pain! xx

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    • Oh dear, sorry to hear that! A few weeks ago, I convinced myself that lockdown was over, but now I realise that it isn’t at all. I’m finding ‘lockdown limbo’ harder than full-on lockdown, where everything was very clear.
      I really hope the kids can settle down easily once school goes back. x

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  4. Oh yes I hear you!! I can’t remember the last time I had an hour to myself. I have loved having the family around but I am craving some peace and quiet now. Having said that,I have read more during lockdown as I have sat and read every day with my daughter as part of homeschooling. It is funny isn’t it how you can be at home so much yet you never get a minute?

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    • I am in awe of anyone who has had to keep up homeschooling through all of this time!
      The only hours I’ve had to myself have definitely been when I was working, which isn’t quite the same as an hour to unwind. And even then I will be interrupted by the doorbell or the kids telling me they’re going for a walk. It’s good that you’ve been reading more. I started out by reading more, but somehow that seems to have got less in recent weeks.

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  5. Thankfully I still get quiet – although N commentates all day through his school work. But once he’s out on the farm or hiding out in his den/on youtube, I still get plenty of time. It’s just that thre’s a lot more cooking to do. I hate cleaning so avoid as much of that as possible, but the dishwasher is now going every other day, compared with 2 times a week previously.

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