For many the prospect of a third lockdown was a potential nightmare, full of doom and gloom, but for me, a mother of three and a foster mum, it has been an opportunity to enjoy quality family time, share and celebrate the small successes and generally be a positive experience.
The first success came when both of the eldest children in the family received awards at school, the first being the head teachers award for commitment to her learning and my fostered child received a recognition award from the head for his attitude to learning. All three of my school age children have made positive progress in their learning as they have enjoyed the time away from the pressures of the classroom. No disruptions, no peer pressure and all of the children have thrived at home.
During lockdown we have enjoyed an online disco, a treasure hunt, fashion shows, hat making competition and enjoyed many happy birthday songs with extended family online.
The increase in screen time has placed a real value on ‘home time’ and at the end of the day we drop everything, regardless of what work is still outstanding and head to a local beauty spot. Here we climb trees, feed the ducks and enjoy the outside world. We return home an hour later, hungry and with flushed cheeks.
Thanks to Joe Wicks we have all learned that as their mum, I am uncoordinated, clumsy and perhaps a little over enthusiastic – all of which the children have found highly amusing, much to my dismay!
Finally, the lockdown has provided an insight into the secret world of the children’s education. Normally a mother’s/carer’s role is to play the part of homework guardian, and packed lunch maker. Throughout lockdown, I have been able to share and watch their successes, help them when they are struggling and provide nourishing lunches during the school day.
This additional knowledge of their education has helped to influence additional learning in the form of a home grown vegetable area and we have had great pleasure growing our own tomatoes and lettuce. Our magical fairy garden has doubled up as place to talk about Covid and how it makes the children feel as well as providing an outlet for honesty and self awareness.
My role as a mum has switched from being really aware of timings and goals to being super aware of making sure that every day we make time for noise, fun, laughter, running (probably a little too fast), and lots of tree climbing. We have been aware of staying safe physically, whilst respecting that pent up fear, uncertainty, anxiety and frustration needs to be released.
There is no doubt that lockdown has been a tough scenario for all of us, however, watching my birth children and my foster children thrive together in my own care has been overwhelmingly satisfying and feels an amazing achievement.
This article was written by a foster carer with Slough Children First
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