I feel like over this past month our neighbourhood has magically transformed from a closed off inner city suburb into a giant caravan park. People are sitting in their front yards, saying hello as they pass by. There are hardly any cars on the roads or planes flying by. Yesterday evening the park was a hive of appropriately socially distanced activity; dogs and children getting exercised all over the place. I fully expect to see someone walk down the street in their pyjamas before the months end.
But the thing about being in a caravan park is that they’re usually (for me) associated with holidays. Typically lazy holidays by the beach where the kids just play all day and you might get a chance to read a book or two. It is not the type of environment that is conducive to getting work done. The daily struggle with being productive while having a child to keep entertained is ever present. So is the guilt that goes along with it.
I feel guilty for not being productive enough. Not being disciplined enough to focus on my work when I get the opportunity. Conversely, I feel guilty that I’m not giving my daughter enough attention. She’s been totally cut off from all her friends and obviously craving other kids to play with. She practically chased another kid to the park the other day when she saw them walking by, just to be in their presence. She’s at an awkward age where she’s old enough to know she misses her friends, but not old enough to know how to connect with them over distance. She wants to play, not socialise.
I feel so conflicted about what to do next term. It’s been suggested that unless we can’t support remote learning that we keep our kids at home. But what does that mean? It’s pretty ambiguous. I mean, I can support remote learning, it just comes at the cost of everything else I was hoping to achieve. I think part of me wants a legitimate, regular paying job just to feel comfortable with sending my kid to school.
I’ll figure it out, I know. But at the moment I’m just going to take a moment to feel disgruntled about it within my newfound peaceful caravan park type environment; sitting on the front verandah with the birds chirping and enjoying a cup of tea. Coming up with a plan about what to do about it can wait until another day.