parent opinion

An isolation I Don't List: The 10 things parents definitely aren't doing right now.

Things are going great at my house. How about yours?

Every day starts with my family jumping out of bed feeling full of optimism that we’re doing our bit to flatten the curve and nailing isolation life.

We go straight into a family workout video with a handsome English man who’s definitely making more money than you are out of the current crisis. My kids love doing it, never complain, stay laser-focused and certainly don’t kick each other when they’re meant to be star-jumping.

Then we walk our adorable dog, staying 1.5 metres away from each other and other people at all times and never pausing for long enough to be considered a ‘gathering’. My kids intrinsically know how far 1.5 metres is, have enormous respect for other walkers’ personal boundaries and never show any interest in spinning around lamp-posts with their germy bare hands, licking the dog or getting tangled in another responsible dog-owner’s leash.

Watch: Things mums never say. Post continues below. 

Video by MMC
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Happily, we stocked up on healthy staples weeks ago, way before all this started, so keto chickpea flour patties for breakfast are a family favourite in my house. While we eat them, we state our intentions for the day. They always include showing respect for each other during this stressful time, giving each other all of the personal space needed for optimal mental health, and ensuring we’re using this precious moment in history to build family bonds and self-optimise whenever possible.

The children know to never interrupt a work call. They know that shouting, fighting or harming each other when Mummy is in a meeting or Daddy is writing emails wouldn’t be working towards the goal of maximising the opportunity presented by a global pandemic. They just sit quietly on the educational devices that they can absolutely operate on their own. They never sneakily watch YouTube or start sending poo emojis to their friends because that wouldn’t be helpful to our family’s progress in a difficult moment.

The instructions from my children’s school are so clear and concise and easy to follow that no-one needs to read them 25 times to be able to understand what we’re meant to be doing today. My partner and I know how to deliver all “deliverables”, and the way that kids do long subtraction these days is exactly the way I did it at school so I don’t need any time to get my head around it while five different people are pinging me for meeting. It’s all just second nature.

I have a lot of spare time, so I have devised “treasure hunts” for the kids that lead them around the house teaching them important lessons from their specific curriculums. I’ve hidden conjugated verbs under the dog dish and an appreciation of art from the Western Desert on the hoover handle. The kids love helping to clean the house, so it’s never been tidier.

By the time we get to dinner, the kids have so enjoyed being inside our small home all day with only each other to look at that they just can’t wait to sit across the table and look at each other some more. They happily devour the kale stew that I read will boost our immune system and supercharge our energy levels and help us to sleep like babies without a care in the world.

Holly and Daddo find out how people are entertaining their kids indoors while stuck at home on This Glorious Mess. Post continues below. 

At night, my partner and I just can’t get enough of each other. Being together all day, every day and not seeing any other people is our dream and we just want to lie on the couch intertwined, never disagreeing about what improving Netflix show to watch, and occasionally soft-kissing as the ultimate comfort against the scary outside world.

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Oh, and there’s just so much time for our yoga and meditation practice and some on-the-spot cardio that neither of us have ever been in such peak physical condition.

Things are going great at our house. The days just fly by. We wish life was always like this.

It’s caused me to draw up a new ‘I Don’t’ list. You know, a list of things I Don’t do, rather than a to-do list of all the things I do do.

Here it is:

I don’t scream at my fighting children so loudly the windows shake.

I don’t curse at Google Classroom, Maths Online, Reading Eggs, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp, House Party, Facetime, Slack or my email inbox.

I don’t stand at the fridge shoving chocolate into my mouth and wondering if it’s too early for chardonnay.

I don’t worry about money.

I don’t wonder how my parents are doing, over on the other side of the world. I know they are safe and that they’re in a low-risk age group.

I don’t sometimes feel so gripped by anxiety and fear that I start scrubbing the dog’s paws with Dettol.

I don’t miss my friends. Not even a little bit. Definitely not so much it hurts.

I don’t give a second thought to what all the stress and anxiety in the world and inside our four walls is doing to our children’s little brains.

I  don’t get irrationally infuriated with my partner, the way he does things or doesn’t do things. The way he breathes. The way he eats. Never.

I don’t wish I’d bought all the kitchen towel when there was bloody kitchen towel because I didn’t want to be a stockpiler.

And I don’t lock myself in the bathroom and have a little sob, feeling sorry for my privileged, silly self while the world around me grapples with loss on an unimaginable scale.

Nope. Never.

Of course, the only problem in my new ‘I Don’t’ list, is that it’s all a lie.

Yes, so things are going great at my house. How about yours?

Feature Image: Supplied.


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