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Walk in my Shoes24th May 2020

Lockdown life and kids

To honour Mental Health Awareness Week and to encourage our staff, volunteers, and organisations we work closely with to pay more attention to the present (aka mindfulness), we’ve asked a few of them to write a journal post and diary a day in lock down. These blogs will provide a snapshot of the everyday lives, experiences and wellbeing of our people.

Anonymous writer

So as part of Mental Health Awareness Week I’ve been asked to ‘blog’ or probably more in my case ‘babble’ about our day….. Well I’m in lockdown with two kids…. how exciting can that be for anyone?!

We’ve not left our house since the 18th March as my son has some medical issues. Both my son and daughter have had lockdown birthdays…. my husband and I had our 10th wedding anniversary, my mum turned 70. I feel that all our important family celebrations will have passed by the time we are out, and what will that ‘out’ look like?

My husband has been working in London on and off throughout this, going in for a few days here and there. He managed to break his collar bone on his first ‘trip’ in. A few weeks ago London was quiet but with the weather and change in messaging, yesterday it was busy in the parks and spaces. It makes my son scared that his Dad will get ill, I have to say that it worries me as well. My mum and I made masks which we hope keep him ‘safe’ – jury’s out in whether they help but that and hand washings is all we can do. It feels better to be doing something.

Today started off well, my son drew a picture for teachers day, my daughter wrote her name for the first time. These little victories are what keep us going. We put the pictures that they have drawn in our window every week to cheer up passers by.

But like every mum with a child with medical issues something is always lurking around the corner. The afternoon was spent looking after my son who today is having some issues with one of his medical problems. It’s quite hard to be there for both my children during these times. I spent my time going from one child to the other, texting my husband with progress reports on my son in between. It’s worrying me that we wont be able avoid hospital if he stays the same.

So quite a difficult day in lockdown all round for our family. For my husband, worried about how the train will be, can he socially distance in London. My son in pain and distress. My daughter probably more concerned about lack of snacks this afternoon.

I am the lynch-pin, I can’t dwell and have to be strong for everyone, ‘just keep on keeping on’ as Curtis Mayfield sang. Music is helping, I have the radio on all day. I’m ‘Zooming’ in the Isolation Arms with my friends and colleagues in other museums. Talking about stuff and nonsense whilst dressed in the weeks theme. We’ve had sci-fi, art, this weeks is sport. I speak to family, my sister is having another baby, life goes on.

These are unprecedented times for us. As a social historian it’s good to reflect that previous generations of people have faced all sorts of challenges; War, disease, famine. We will emerge, adjust and hopefully the changes we make in our lives will be positive for all our futures.

Find out more about Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust’s initiatives for Mental Health Awareness.

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