Joanna P’s story

I’m a Mum of 2 nibblets. I had my 2nd child in August 2019 so was on maternity leave when Covid hit us. My husband left his paid job to try and start his own product design company 3 weeks before the first lockdown so he missed out on furlough, benefits, or any sort of government schemes as he couldn’t tick the boxes required.

I was lucky that my little girl was only 3 and still in nursery so I didn’t have to juggle homeschooling and a wriggly baby at the same time. We spent lockdown 1 as a bloody good excuse not to get dressed, not tidy the house (hey, who’s going to see it?), and I concentrated on entertaining the kids and trying to keep my husband fed, watered and vaguely positive while watching our savings disappear. It was tight with money but luckily I’m a dab hand at selling stuff on eBay and Facebook, and I could do Catsitting for friends for a few quid here and there. 

Lockdown 2 was more tricky and when my eldest didn’t start school until the end of September I had to use up a chunk of my holiday to delay returning to work. 

We were never big on going out as a couple so didn’t really notice anything different there but I was really starting to notice the pain of not taking the kids swimming or to soft plays so they were tearing the house to bits. 

Brief period of normality for a few months while I worked and the kids were at school/ nursery made me feel more in control again, I managed to lose my ‘lockdown love-handles’ and the extra wage meant I could buy puzzles and activities to keep the kids entertained more. 

This lockdown however has been brutal. We’re now thoroughly knackered. We have no family nearby to help us out and our 4 year old has asthma so we’re extremely cautious about everything. We don’t go to play parks in case of cross contamination, I only let her see one friend a week to allow for possible incubation periods to come to light, we bleach all our shopping when we get home, that sort of cautious. Aggy now misses her school friends and swimming lessons and is in tears most days. I’m on furlough to look after her so husband can work, but still paying full whack for nursery so we’re back on that tight budget again. When the baby is around he dominates much of my time and attention so the 4 year old feels even more put out, so then I feel bad too. I miss my family terribly and haven’t seen them since December 2019 so get very emotional now and then. 

I’m trying very hard to see the positives, like thank God for furlough or we’d have nothing, spending quality time with 4yr old while babs is in nursery, enjoying being away from workplace worries, and speaking to my parents almost every day on FaceTime. 

I’m going to plant seeds in millions of pots and hope the garden will be full of veg and flowers as a result. Until the baby destroys it all, obviously. 

At the end of the day, lots of people have it worse than us, so I’m very grateful for what we have. 

Goodness that was a lot longer than I anticipated! Sorry! Very cathartic though… 

Hope you lovely lot are coping ok, thanks for the pull up nappies – they’re a blooming lifesaver against Mr I-hate-lying-down. 

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