Yoga. Sourdough. Sheet masks.
Apparently these are the crutches getting us through our various versions of social isolation.
Self-care and finding comfort in our cages is marking this “acceptance” stage of iso-life, according to media, social media and many of my peers. Staying home is just one big, cuddly, hygge-tinged dollop of zen.
Unless, of course, it isn’t.
Watch: Horoscopes homeschooling their kids. Post continues below.
I am not alone in saying that this has been the least relaxing time of my life. And not only because the reason for all this cocooning is a global health crisis of unimaginable proportions.
I’m certainly not alone, because for everyone whose home is a cosy sanctuary where they feel safely hidden from the world outside, there’s another for whom home is the opposite.
It could be because they are locked inside with an abuser. It could be that they are shut in with the silence of their own, hostile mind. Addiction, dysfunction, poverty, chronic illness. Social welfare experts say there are people for whom this shut-in will be deadly.
In my house, we are not those people. We are profoundly lucky that our challenges are far smaller, and survivable.
But also in my house, we are facing a kind of acceptance that has nothing to do with learning to live in our bubble.
We have accepted that we don’t have the kind of family we can raise, teach and nurture alone.
We have a child with additional needs. And by ourselves, we’re not coping.
We have a child who needs routine and structure like we all need oxygen. Who can’t possibly focus on a task-list of school exercises on his computer screen without constant supervision. Who barely eats, hates to sleep and whose emotional outbursts shake the foundations of our home.
We also have a child who is eye-wideningly smart, nose-snortingly funny and overflowing with love for the people he trusts. Life with him is never boring. It’s a life lived in vivid technicolour, at full-volume, feeling all of the feelings, every day.
And, like many, many other families, we don’t really talk about it. We manage. We have our appointments, our meetings, our confidants. We have supportive teachers, close friends who understand, a small team of professionals who’ve seen it all before and can offer solace and strategy.
But then we all came home.
And everything fell apart.
Listen to That’s Incredible, Mamamia’s podcast for parents, kids and teachers. It’s packed with fun facts and amazing stories about the world around us. Post continues below.