London Loves

London has been in the news way too much recently, for all the wrong reasons. So I wanted to make a space where we celebrate the London we know- not the one that’s full of tragedy and police tape. Every … Continue reading

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Why the Masked Singer is the Best Thing You can Watch Right Now

Still January you say? And a particularly cold and rainy Saturday in Lockdown #3000? Lucky we have something to look forward to tonight. Yes, the LWAT Family have fallen hard for the Masked Singer, with the possible exception of the moody preteen who considers himself above all this ridiculousness. Because it is ridiculous. But that’s what makes it great.

I’ve always found it hard to get into TV singing shows because they’re mainly quite dull – once the no-hopers are eliminated early doors, it’s just week after week of earnest young things finding extra notes to put into songs you don’t really care about. And they’re also savage – as the actual singing is so dull, the entertainment comes from how mean the judges can be and how they can destroy someone’s dreams with a carefully-placed “meh”. It’s a bit close to home and deeply uncomfortable to watch.

Whereas, the Masked Singer has no malice in it whatsoever. There is a variety of competence levels on show – tho this season, the vast majority seem to be pretty good at the singing bit – but the judges lavish out praise and hold back on the abuse. The singing competition is a mere sideline in the whole glorious guessing game. And the contestants are already successful in their careers, so the stakes are anything but high.

Instead, the heated competition is betwen the four judges on one side and us at home on the other. Can we figure out who that giant purple blob is before they do? What did those words on the school desk mean? Why does Viking pronounce his name with the emphasis on the last syllable? What does any of it mean?

***From hereoin, spoilers for Season 1 are contained. I assume this won’t affect your life in any significant way***

To start with, I was sceptical about the whole show because I assumed it would be the usual tedious reality TV stars that always turn up on these things – your Big Brother and Gogglebox wannabes who are so desperate to keep their faces on TV that they’ll put a giant duck suit right over those faces. But then I saw on Facebook that Justin Hawkins of Darkness had been unveiled as Chameleon and suddenly my interest was caught. It would turn out that three of the singers would be from the indie/alternative world. That giant duck? Skin from Skunk Anansie. Skin! The angriest woman of the 90s! (And that’s a tough title, given how many angry women there were in the 90s) The angriest woman of the 90s singing opera in the giant duck suit! How is that not first class telly?

And the rest of the ‘slebs were no mere wannabes either. My kids hadn’t heard of most of them but they knew Ce Lo Green alright from Teen Titans Go! and they were suitably impressed that he would take time out of his schedule to bumble around in a monster costume for a few weeks.

Which is why we got straight into the second series. It gives me and Eva something to talk about in a month that is depressingly free of any kind of excitement. We can research together and rewatch the clues videos and scour the internet for fan theories.

Yes, I know it’s all a load of superficial pap but so is Bridgerton and I’m enjoying that too (NOT with Eva tho!) A bit of escapism is exactly what we need in this grey, cold month when the world outside is a dangerous and scary place. If you can overcome your scepticism and give it a go, you might just find yourself agreeing with me…

Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post. We’re just fans 😉

 

 

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Let’s Be a Bit More Careful With Other People’s Mental Health

Happy New Year readers! And welcome to the January to end all Januaries. It’s largely cold and dark and we’re all stuck inside once again because of the plague. Truly it’s the most Januaryish month in history.

I’m not a fan of lockdown, as I probably expressed a lot last year…I understand why we’re being locked down again, I support it as an action that needs to be taken but you’ll never see my clicking my heels in delight at the prospect. I am simply not built for isolation.

But one of the worst aspects of lockdown last time was not my own situation but the conflicts on social media when everyone chose to work out their anxieties by criticising other people. It was totally understandable that it all happened that way – it was an extreme time and none of us had ever experienced anything similar. So we had a mass freak out and everyone’s freak outs exacerbated everyone else’s freak outs.

This time, it’s a little different. We should have more of a handle on how this work. So, in my mind, it’s slightly less excusable to attack others on social media just because of your own anxiety. Yet, it still happens. The guidelines allow for exercise with one other person once a day, which for many is a mental health lifesaver. I only manage it more like once a week because of work but still, a takeaway coffee and a stroll through the park with a friend at a safe distance has made this lockdown more bearable than the first. And this lockdown has, in effect, has been in place since November, in spite of the technical tier changes that went on during Advent.

The risk posed by two people from two households, both alike in dignity, taking a walk hasn’t been formally measured but given the mitigations – open air, distance, limited numbers – it seems fairly small. But the benefits can be huge. So it’s frustrating when I yet again see people on social media forbidding others to take that walk because the guidelines tell you to Stay At Home. Firstly, it’s not accurate because the activity is well within guidelines. Secondly, it’s treating other people’s mental health very carelessly. It’s giving others commands that may well plunge them into despair if their only chance of fresh air and company is snatched away. The prospect of endless weeks of confinement will causing lasting damage to some people. When I read my posts back from last Spring, I can feel the despair in them. Hardly surprising when I was grieving the loss of all my hopes and plans, as well as grieving a friend. So I’m taking steps to ensure I don’t get back into that state of mind.

Our words carry immense power and you can say or write them without ever knowing the full extent of their power. Someone could carry those words with them indefinitely while the originator could throw them out into the universe and move on. A political scuffle on a local, group recently led to several private messages to individuals that carried with them threats of legal action. I largely shrugged mine off but what if it had been sent to someone vulnerable? Someone who was already struggling to cope? It could have been disastrous. Our words matter and we need to be careful with them.

I wrote, almost a year ago, about the #bekind hashtag, which I thought was shallow and ineffective. I was right – as soon as the pandemic hit, people forgot all about #beingkind and starting attacking one another. I said at the time we need to underpin #kindness with proper understanding but here’s the thing – we didn’t. The crisis pushed us past that moment and our attention turned to other things. Maybe it’s time to revisit the idea of properly understanding other people’s situations. And if we don’t understand, hold back. Don’t jump in with both feet just to have Our Voice Heard. Consider what someone might be feeling, what the repercussions are. Treat other people’s mental health as if it was as important as their physical health.

Or maybe that’s too much to ask?

 

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2020 in Review

Oh my, this year has been absolute pants hasn’t it? I couldn’t really think of a way to sum it all up without being horribly depressing so I’ve decided to go right back to the birth of social media and resurrect the end-of-year questionnaire….last completed in 2008 when the toddler was a mere foetus and not the strapping tween he is now. Back then, my life was about going out and doing things and – latterly  – a lot of throwing up (Thanks Roo!) This year…welll it’s been….I think the answers speak for themselves…!

1.What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?
Lived through a pandemic

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No, and I’m starting to think that’s where this all went wrong….

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes…we have a new choir baby and also there was a new baby that shares my name, who I’d hoped to meet over the summer. That plan got scuppered…

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes

5. What countries did you visit?
London Borough of Islington a handful of times and Harwich. Do they count? Oh and Hampshire before lockdown#1 happened but I can barely remember those days

6. What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020?
A life

7. What dates from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
13th March – the day we went home from work and never came back

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not strangling myself or anyone else

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting round to refunding my season ticket

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, not really….remarkable under the circumstances.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My feather fan

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Well, the kids did remarkable well, considering

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Let’s not get political…

14. Where did most of your money go?
Groceries. We have bought pretty much nothing else this year.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Pretty much nothing. Some occasional puppy encounters.

16. What song will always remind you of 2020?
The sound of slightly out of sync worship videos will always be my 2020 jam

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Sadder
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter
c) richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Seen more friends (answer taken straight out of 2008!)

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Staying at home

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Surprisingly enough, at home

21. What was your favourite month of 2020?
August – infection rates were low and we were even allowed to sing for half of it

22. Did you fall in love in 2020?
No

23.This question doesn’t exist.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
We have watched SO MUCH TV it’s hard to say. Currently rewatching the West Wing…I did enjoy Staged, tho it wasn’t DT’s strongest look.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No

26. What was the best book you read?
How have I not managed to read any books this year?? What else have I had to do??

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
How to play an alto part with one hand and scroll through a shared screen with another while singing the soprano part.

28. What did you want and get?
Wensleydale. Today.

29. What did you want and not get?
So many things it would be depressing to list them all out.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
I did go to the cinema in January before all *this* happened! So Little Women

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
This was before lockdown too! So I went out dancing in Winchester, saw lots of friends the day after and then had a nice lunch at Auntie Sabbage’s house on the day itself. Jeepers, won’t see the likes of those-a-days again! Oh, and 39.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Some manner of normality

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?
Elasticated

34. What kept you sane?
How are we defining “sane”?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
This was the year that put me off David Tennant. I mean, it’s been a disaster (but then so was his unwashed hoodie in Staged)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Got quite into the US election (another answer straight outta 2008!)

37. Who did you miss?
Everyone

38. Who was the best new person you met?
No-one

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020.
Never just assume you’ll be able to buy toilet roll

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Never thought I’d need so many people….

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It’s a Long, Long Time from March to November Part 2

I enjoyed doing my last set of March-November photos so I thought I’d finish off the months. We left Nathan and I  enjoying lunch on the edge of lockdown 1. It gets worse before it gets better…

Thursday 19th

In March – an emotional week has resulted in the first almighty migraine of lockdown. I think I took this photo to try and convince Nathan to come home from the office and pick Eva up.

In November – Eva has taken to sleeping on the floor. I think I took this photo cause she’s cute when she’s asleep.

Friday 20th

 

In March – Nathan is home from the office but keeping up his Friday Tieday tradition

In November – this pretty much sums up the state of affairs in America by this point

 

Saturday 21st

In March – one of many, many games of Heroquest between Nathan and Reuben over lockdown

In November – one of many, many koala hugs between Nathan and Eva

 

Sunday 22nd

 

In March – our first ever post-church Zoom

In November – I’m watching myself leading worship at church on my home telly but am wearing the same grey dress in both. You can’t tell from the photo but I’m actually wearing the same grey dress in the March picture as well.

 

Monday 23rd

In March – On the first official day of homeschooling, the children erect an elaborate tent in the back garden

In November – Covid has stopped children from changing into their PE kit at school. We’re not sure why, but it means Eva has to be sports-ready every Monday morning

 

Tuesday 24th

In March – Eva has painted a tiny teacup to look like Harry Potter

In November – Eva made a cheese scone at school and is posing with it by the sunset window

 

Wednesday 25th

In March – Reuben has taken to making Harry Potter characters on the wii and making them duel

In November – Reuben has stuck a puppy inside an infinity gauntlet. Standard.

 

Thursday 26th

In March – Eva is by that same window as she was a few days ago in November. There’s a sunset

In November – hey look, another sunset…

 

Friday 27th

In March – Eva is bored enough to start sweeping crumbs out from the inside of the sofa

In November – Every day that I get to drop her off at school, I am truly thankful

 

Saturday 28th

In March – trying to fight the boredom of a lockdown Saturday with an app that makes pandas appear in your lounge

In November – trying to fight the boredom of a lockdown Saturday by dressing as characters from “Gravity Falls”

 

Sunday 29th

In March – a brief spurt of creativity sees us decorating the front yard with pastel chalks

In November – a brief spurt of productivity sees us collecting six new dining chairs. Gauntlet still atop dining table.

 

Monday 30th

In March – a choir rehearsal on Facebook Live

In November  – a choir rehearsal on Zoom. Oh, how things have changed.

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It’s a Long, Long Time from March to November

 

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Wandering Around Walthamstow

I did a couple of posts called “Walthamstow Wanders” around 2015ish. Back then, we were still new to the area and were wandering around because we were discovering things and places and it was all very exciting. Nowadays, the discovery phase is very much over and we’re wandering around the North of Walthamstow because there’s a pandemic and it’s somewhere we can get to on foot.

Dour times.

Still, there is some fun to be had in the North of Walthamstow. I only realised a few days ago that the Feel Good Centre had reopened its Extreme Park so we booked in there, after quite some grappling with the infamous Better app. The Ninja Run and Clip n Climb still aren’t open but the soft play is and so are the trampolines. Which was quite a novelty for both kids, given we hadn’t been there since March. Frankly, even the bike/scooter ride there in the rain is a novelty when they haven’t left the house in days (well, Eva at least).

It wasn’t the ideal day but it was the only day I had off work so I was determined to make the kids have some kind of wholesome fun that didn’t involve killing people on Fortnite. And I think they did have fun.

The Extreme Park was weirdly crowded, given it’s Covid Times and Roo complained a few times that littlekids were getting under his feet. It was also the usual drag of having to wear a mask for an hour while they played, and so not even being able to get a coffee. But for all that, it was Better fun than sitting around watching Mummy take conference calls all day.

And on the way back, they enjoyed this selection of horrifying Halloween masks in the party shop near the Billet:

 

And I enjoyed spotting a rare twin variety of Walthamstow’s most famous native species – the dumped mattress:

While this looks slightly miserable, I should point out that Roo and I also headed that way a few Saturdays ago and that day it was glorious weather:

We had a spontaneous meetup with C’sMum in Lloyd Park and got a bonus cuddle with C’Mum’sBrother’sDog, thanks to C’sMum’sBrother. So that was a much more serotonin-filled trip, with the sunshine and the puppy. But today was pretty good too. One day we’ll leave Waltham Forest for something other than church but until then…..Walthamstow Wanders for the Win.

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Yes, There’s a Stigma. There Shouldn’t Be But There Is

 

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and for reasons best known to myself I’m writing about Facebook comments on a BBC News article. I know, I should not react. But the reaction to an article about miscarriage stigma utterly baffled me. It was an overwhelming “What stigma?”

 

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there should be any stigma around miscarriage. It should be something that every family should be able to talk about. But the work is dismantle that stigma is not yet done and just claiming ignorance of it ever being there isn’t a helpful attitude to take. It’s like people who claim that racism isn’t a problem because “I don’t see colour”. You don’t solve a problem by refusing to acknowledge it was ever there.

I should also say I’ve never had a miscarriage. I’ve had two pregnancies and I have two children. I’m one of the lucky ones because so, so many women that I know have been through it. And yes, there is a stigma.

It’s stigma that stops families announcing pregnancies in the first trimester because they don’t want to also have to announce a miscarriage. It’s employers expecting women to be back at work straight after it happens. It’s the expectation that women will stop being sad about it a month or a year or ten years later. Or the expectation that they’ll stop being sad about it when they get pregnant again. And then there’s the lack of understanding around pregnancy after loss  – the constant paranoia about every twinge and every moment of stillness in the later trimesters. We all need to understand that subsequent pregnancies will never be as anxiety-free as that first one. Until this is all acknowledged and widely talked about, the stigma will never quite go away.

It is great that so many women who commented on the BBC article had experienced positive and sympathetic reactions to their miscarriages. But we all need to understand that every family’s experience is different and sadly, not every family has that positive experience. Others who commented that miscarriage was a “private family affair” also missed the point – telling women to stay silent about their trauma only exacerbates that trauma. How do we not know this by now?

I don’t know how best to go about dismantling the stigma that we still see around pregnancy and infant loss. I’d hope that my friends know that they can talk to me about their losses, even if they were a long time ago. But I do know that calling it a “non-issue” is insulting to so many who have been through it and feel like they can’t talk about it.

I hear you. I see your pain. It is genuine. Let’s hope we can get to a place one day where everyone feels that their pain is equally heard and seen.

Be kind to yourselves today, parents of lost ones. And be kind to yourself tomorrow and the next day too.

 

 

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A Shout Out to the Worship Leaders

 

It occurs to me that I’ve written about my life as a lockdown choir leader – oh, and THAT made cheery reading – but I haven’t written about one of my other roles  – that of a lockdown worship leader. Oh don’t worry, I’m not here to convert you. I doubt this post will convince anyone that the churchgoing life is an easy one right now. I mean, you don’t even get a free cup of tea any more. It’s rubbish.

But I wanted not just to write about myself but to give a shout out to anyone else who has been leading worship through this strange old time. It’s been hardgoing, hasn’t it? Everything you love about worship – leading a group of people through the medium of music – has been largely absent and that warm feedback you get from the congregation replaced by the unforgiving glare of a camera phone lens. I have sung more to the internet these last six months than I have my entire life I think and it hasn’t always been easy or gratifying. Every little glitch is repeated for all to see and the things you never needed to worry about IRL suddenly become all too apparent. Not just your voice and playing but your face, your clothes, the state of your house….it’s a magnifying glass for your every insecurity.

I know, we’re not supposed to be self-conscious. We’re supposed to understand that this is all for the glorification of God, not of ourselves. We do understand that on a head level. But also, we’re human. I think.

It’s also been a time of real distinction between the wealthy and high-tech churches and…well, the rest of us. When you’re already feeling insecure, it doesn’t always do your soul good to see the amazingly slick offerings of the megachurches. It’s been great for humility but not so great for motivation when you’re sitting in your garden shed in the rain clutching a guitar and hoping the shed roof doesn’t collapse before you finish recording verse 3. That said, we’re blessed to have some youthful people in the church who have mastered video editing and live-streaming (and clearly, at nearly 40 I am not counting myself as one of the youth). I know that not all churches have found it easy to adapt to this new tech-dependency.

Life on the screen was weird enough but worship leading has not got less weird since returning to in-person church. It’s still captured on the internet – live-streamed onto YouTube in our case – but there’s only one take and that take is done in front of a sparse and silent congregation who are all wearing masks. Don’t get me wrong, the congregation do a lot of encouraging eyebrow- and forehead-work while I’m singing at them but it’s a very different experience to the usual feeling of leading people in song.

So all of you fellow worship leaders who have been ploughing on through videos and in-person weirdness, consider this a socially distanced pat on the back. It’s been tough and strange and it’s not going to be over for a long, long time. But keep on keeping on. And just remember why this we’re doing this. Also, remember that it’s a great opportunity to roll out obscure 90s songs that the congregation would probably hate because they’re masked and distant so, even if they complain, you can’t hear them. Hallelujah!

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The Confidence to Sing

 

Around 2004, I went on a 6-week course in an arts centre in Islington called “Confidence to Sing”. I revisited that same arts centre last year as it happens…in those BeforeTimes when we could wander about and take in arts shows as we wished. Anyway, Nathan mocked me a little for going on this course because confidence in singing has never really been an issue for me – he said it should be called “Opportunity to Sing”.

Anyway, it turns out that in 2020 I lack both the confidence and the opportunity to sing. Not that I’m not confident about singing to the internet because, heck, I’ve had to do a looot of that lately. What I’m not confident about is getting my choir back together and singing again. And that’s not my fault – the guidelines have been crafted in a way that have consumed hours and hours of choir leaders’ time poring over them trying to work out whether we’re officially Allowed to Sing.

And that isn’t what any of us want! We don’t want to find a loophole, to have to reimagine ourselves as a protest or a frisbee team in order to be able to gather and sing. We want to be told that yes, we can go ahead. We are choirs, a legitimate segment of culture that shouldn’t have to shoehorn itself into “education” or “exercise” in order to sneak by.

If it’s not safe to sing together, that’s fine too. We spent months waiting patiently for the results of the research and during those months, we adapted and ran choirs on Zoom or Facebook Live, even though remote singing is far from ideal. We shed members at every turn and we grimaced and carried on. Then at the start of July, professional singers were allowed to sing again and we amateurs again just had to deal with it and keep going. And then on 14th August, a thrill ran around the amateur choir community as we were finally told that singing probably wasn’t going to bring in the apocalypse after all. The new guidelines were ambigous and there were some implicaiton that we could still only sing in groups of 6 but clarification was on its way. On 21st August, the OneVoice Campaign published an interview with Barbara Eifler, CEO of Making Music, and she finally gave us all that certainty we needed. We didn’t need to limit numbers, we just needed to risk assess and plan and clean and we could then we could finally get our choirs back together.

So that’s what we started doing. Risk assessing, planning and cleaning. And, well you probably know the latest. Exactly one month after amateurs were given the greenlight, it flipped hard to amber. We’re back to a state of confusion with mismatched guidelines and the number 6 hanging over our heads as if the Devil himself had put it there. Our clarified Performing Arts guidelines still stand, we’re told, but then the guidelines for the hire of community facilities specifically name choirs as a group that might not be able to stop ourselves mingling. We’re in a world where choirsters can’t be trusted to distance but toddlers can. What kind of madness is this?

We have done our share of waiting and we shouldn’t now be forced to hide away, singing quietly in case someone catches us out. We want to have the confidence that we are doing the right thing. Some of the bigger choirs came out straight after the “Rule of 6” statement and confidently stated that they were exempt, for various reasons. But the exemptions list came out and, where sports teams and exercise classes sat, choirs did not. So while I’d love to have that confidence, it doesn’t feel like it’s a confidence that’s well placed right at the moment.

But we did have a sing! After all that risk assessing and planning, we had something in the diary for 13th Sept. So, we were distanced, limited and outdoors but we sang for an hour or so the day before the rules changed and it was glorious. Just wish I knew when we’d be free to do it again…

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I’m Calling Time on Parental Guilt

 

Every parent knows about parental guilt. It’s handed out in the postnatal ward, along with the Bounty pack. It consumes you when they’re a newborn, hits your last nerve during the toddler-antics phase and reaches previously undiscovered depths as they start school and you’re thrown into this new world of phonics and homework.

Well, I decided earlier on this year that I was done with it. Because of this year, pretty much. As a working mother, I obviously carried the Standard Issue Anthology of Working Mother Guilt (the SIAOWMG) around with me, which contained  dates of every Sports Day I’d ever missed and Google Map print outs of every time those bleddy trains didn’t work and I was late to pick up. It was a pretty weighty object to tuck under my arm every day but it was the price of having a job and I just kinda accepted it, only occasionally wondering why the Anthology of Working Father Guilt looked a lot more manageable.

But this year has changed everything. For once, there have been no Sports Days (Hooray!). And for another, I’ve had to do that same job with my children here the whole time. Aside for three short days at drama camp, Eva has been home all day, every day since the middle of March. Roo had a couple of weeks in school before the end of Year 6 but, other than that, has largely been present too. Right at the start of lockdown I made a conscious choice not to replace my SIAOWMG with a homeschooling version of the same and we just rolled with the complete lack of learning that Eva was doing. I don’t think anyone believed that I wasn’t even attempting to homeschool but I really wasn’t. I was attempting to take on a new project at work, train a new starter and keep the family fed with no home deliveries and no food in the shops. That seemed to be plenty of challenges without taking on schooling as well.

So, with a lack of new guilt and the old standard guilt moving largely into the N/A column, I feel a lot freer. After all, how can I possibly ever feel guilty again about not spending enough time with my kids? We have been together constantly. Everything I used to do without them, I now do with them, or at least with them in the house. Not just work but leading worship for church, running a choir, facilitating a home group session, taking part in an exercise class or even listening to a preach….it has all been avec les enfants.

And some of it has been fun. Other bits less so. But there’s no denying that we parents of 2020 have been tasked with something that no other generation of parents has been asked to do – to provide the complete and all-encompassing care package for our children, with no option to hand them over to a teacher, babysitter, grandparent or even a fellow parent for a few minutes while we go to the loo. For weeks on end, we didn’t even have the option to leave the house for more than an hour or use a playground or sit on a bench or interact with other humans outside our household. Months down the line, we forget how strict those first weeks were and how well we did to not be in a constant state of wailing bansheehood. Or maybe you were in that state. It would be totally understandable.

That’s why I think we should throw off parental guilt for good. We have paid a parenting price this year which puts our accounts firmly into credit for years to come. We have played more games of Qwirkle and Carcasonne than you ever would in ten years’ worth of rainy caravan holidays. We have bent our own house rules and allowed the horrors of child-led painting into our workspaces while we’ve watched aghast, unable to move off our conference calls. In other words, we have done a shedload of parenting.

Of course, this might all be Big Talk. I say that I don’t feel guilty about the sheer number of screen hours that have facilitated these months of indoors time. And I largely don’t. But then I saw someone share an article on how screen time causes depression in kids and the familiar sinking feeling hit my stomach. Only for a moment, though, as I dismissed it by reminding myself that Eva’s screen hours have made her into some kind of whizzkid coder and she can now type faster than she can handwrite (as long as you’re not too fussy on spelling). Reuben swears his video gaming has helped his co-ordination and ability to sense danger in the real world, which comes in handy when he’s crossing the road. In 2020, screens have become a necessity in lieu of real life and that’s how it has to be for now. So there’s no point feeling guilty, is there?

 

 

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