I wrote this post last year in the middle of the pandemic but didn’t hit the publish button. I should have, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in feeling like this then. The fears of an only child mother and although thankfully the world is looking a lot brighter, life still isn’t normal for so many, so I’m leaving the words as I wrote them last April.
I’ve spoken before about the guilt I’ve felt over the years that my son doesn’t have a sibling. Right now all those moments of guilt seem to have reappeared and magnified. The fears of an only child mother during this Coronavirus pandemic and our period of isolation feel so real and raw. I have to stop myself thinking about it or it would consume me.
We are all worried. We’ve never known anything like what’s happening in the world right now. This virus has swept across the globe without care, nowhere has been left untouched, nowhere is safe.
The thought that my socially reserved boy will have no direct contact with another child for weeks, probably months, terrifies me. Any confidence he’s built up at school will have disappeared by the time he gets back to school, whenever that may be.
Yes he can keep in touch on line, and I’ve already taken steps to make sure he can still talk to his best friend. But it’s not the same.
I’m worried that a rather insular child will become even more so and that as a ten year old he might struggle to express his feelings to me.
I know that the PM said we could exercise once a day, but is there a limit on time or distance. Is it really appropriate to go for anything other than the shortest of walks? I can’t leave the house until 30th and trust me, I am climbing the walls already. We’ve always enjoyed our walks together, but how relaxed can you be on a walk, when really you should be indoors.
I spent some time pushing the dates back on all the days out, hotels and restaurant reviews that were scheduled in on my Facebook and Twitter channels for the next three months. I was nearly in tears doing it, was I pushing them out far enough? Probably not. Posts about our happy places, when will we see them again? Such uncertainty and the realisation that we won’t get to see bluebells this year. Something I’ve taken for granted my entire life.
The fears of an only child mother and the guilt seem immense right now. Perhaps because we are cocooned in this house right now, and everything is magnified and it’s difficult to see the positives in the situation.
What will happen next? No one really knows. I think we’ve all resigned ourselves that we are looking at months before there will be any sign of normality returning. But I don’t think anything will ever feel normal again.
It’s quite hard to read some of this and remember how overwhelming it felt at the time. Probably just as well ‘April 2020 me’ had no idea that my son would never return to Year Five in school, that we wouldn’t get to see my parents that year and that mask-wearing and hand sanitising would become the norm. Imagine if I’d told my son he wouldn’t get to have a sleepover at my best friend’s house for another eighteen months. We’d have both laughed at that idea. That we would have two virtual funerals and one virtual wedding to attend, that I made a truly awful school at home teaching assistant.
The one thing that I hoped ‘2020 me’ learned by the end of that year, was how truly amazing her son was and is. How he coped with all the madness and isolation so much better than his mother did. That it didn’t stop him in Year Six and it hasn’t fazed him in Year Seven. He’s just an awesome young man and I hope he knows how proud I am of him every day.