Mum's the Word - Why lockdown can't be all down

Mental health matters too

Sometimes girls just wanna have fun - it's allowed Picture: courtesy of Leith graffiti wall
Sometimes girls just wanna have fun - it's allowed Picture: courtesy of Leith graffiti wall

"It’s so sad at the moment, and I feel so bad for all those families that are suffering and the people working with the sick people,” says Youngest. “And we do need to stay updated about the news, or we’d come up with crazy conspiracy theories for what is killing people,” she adds, “but…”


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“Go on,” I say, “the government website has told parents we have to be there to listen to our kids when they voice their worries…” (Normally I don’t bother)... “so on you go…”

“OK, well I don’t want to think about the sadness and death 24/7, because we also need to keep our mental health OK. And if you’re putting that in your column don’t make me sound selfish,” she says.

“OK.” I won’t, because she’s not. And she’s not the only one saying we can’t talk and think about coronavirus ALL the time. That sometimes we need to wonder about things that aren’t a matter of life and death, like “is this new skirt too short – even though no-one’s going to see it for probably six months?” She’s been shopping on the web again.

“Oooh no,” I say. “Can I borrow it? In six months?” And I stop myself adding ‘if we both survive this global pandemic that’s killing people in their thousands’, because that wouldn’t be helpful.

We’re social distancing, isolating, Lady Macbeth couldn’t equal our hand washing ritual and we’re sticking to the rules to support those risking their lives – those we clap every Thursday (although Middle Child insists this happens every night at 8pm, which is a bit of a worry but I’m sure he’ll be fine). But beyond that I think part of our job is to stay sane.

“Doing things that aren’t about coronavirus, like my make-up, even though no-one is going to see it, (and anyway I do it for me), all that stuff, it makes this time stuck in a house with you, without the rest of my family, without my friends, a little bit fun.”

“Yes. You’re so right. Can I borrow your new skirt right now?”

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