Feelings During Lockdown: Let Me Be Me

22 Apr 2020|

A follow on from my post yesterday.

I feel judged. All of a sudden, everyone has all the time in the world to be online and express their own opinions. I am the first person to value peoples opinions, especially those that are different to my own. But I am sad at how judgemental people are and have been online during this time. I haven’t found it constructive or respectful to question why someone is doing something different to you, and call them out on it, online.

If I want to make banana bread like everybody else in South Africa or bake a new recipe every day – let me do it. And maybe consider that I was given too many bananas as a gift or delivery and banana bread is the recipe for them, maybe I am trying a new recipe every day because this is the first time I haven’t burnt a recipe, or maybe this is the first time I have had the time and patience to bake with my children every day. Maybe I’m not very creative in choosing recipes so I got the idea online, and maybe one way to fight back my emotions and anxiety is to lose myself in the kitchen.

If I want to exercise, record it and post it online for everyone to see it – let me do it. Maybe I am sharing a friends small business or new way of recording their online workouts, maybe I have never been an exercise person but am now finding the time to move my body and start a regime. Maybe my dream of completing a running or cycling race has been shattered so I am keeping up my training by swimming against a rope in my pool or running laps around my small garden, maybe exercise is my way of lifting my mood and managing my anxiety or depression, or maybe I am using my online videos that I post to be my way of being held accountable because I can’t do it on my own.

If I want to pull back from group chats, , work forums, class chats, or family chats – let me do it. Maybe I don’t have the energy to engage in the non stop conversations and opinions because I am dealing with my own mood and feelings, maybe I don’t agree with what is being said and don’t find it necessary to add a conflicting view at this time, maybe I am overwhelmed with the constant string of messages that are packed with unreliable information, depressing statistics and endless conspiracy theories and I am protecting my heart and mind by not reading them all. Maybe I am finding hope and choosing joy in a very uncertain time and I cannot allow the continuous negativity to take over my heart and home for the dangerous effect it will have on my mind, my marriage and my family.

If I want to set up a homeschool schedule for my family – let me do it. Yes there were school holidays and yes our children are encouraged to play and imagine and have the freedom of not being in a school institution. But maybe my family thrive on routine and we need some sort of flow to keep us all sane, maybe I have deadlines and endless work so I need to allocate tasks to time frames so we can plan our day and childcare between spouses. Maybe I have an anxious child that needs structure and needs to set his/her expectations for the day. It is possible to have fun and be free with a daily routine.

If I want to stay in my pjs and in my bed all day – let me do it. Maybe I have worked overtime, late nights and weekends for months and this is finally my time to rest and recover, maybe I struggle with anxiety and depression and I need time to just do nothing. Maybe I was up all night with a sick child or working late after homeschooling all day or my very own anxiety-induced insomnia. Let me get under the covers and enjoy my space.

If I want to help the community and share it all on social media – let me do it. Maybe I was once one of those less fortunate or in need and this is my time to give back, maybe the organisation or project is not well known and they need all the free advertising and marketing on social media that they can get, maybe many people want to help and they don’t know how or where to start but my pictures or posts inspire them to join in, maybe the charity or group of people need something specific and a potential corporate company or small business owner sees it online and can step in to help and give generously, maybe my servant heart is a genuine love for giving and caring and I am raising awareness, not trying to show off my good doings and gain credit.

If I want to learn valuable lessons about my friendships through this all – let me do it. I understand that we are all juggling all the balls during this time, the days are flying by and we feel like we aren’t getting enough done. But just one text or one voice note to check in on a friend whilst you are on the loo or instead of scrolling social media, or whilst drinking your morning coffee or as you plug your phone into charge at night, that one text would mean the world to someone. Let’s consider the impact that one text would have on the friend who is feeling alone and anxious, or the friend who has only had children conversations for weeks and craves an adult chat, or the friend who has just learnt that their job is on the line or their salary has been cut, or the friend who just had a fight with their spouse or parents, or the friend just isn’t okay. It doesn’t take an hour long video call or an essay of a message to show your love, care and genuine consideration for the friends you haven’t seen in weeks.

If I want to not do any of the online homeschool work – let me do it. Each and every home looks very different during this lockdown period – there are homes that include one or more of the following: single parent or grandparent, two full time working parents, two parents on the frontline and a child carer at home, more than one or two children and all different ages, children with special needs or learning disabilities, no domestic help, no stationery or office supplies or no access to printers or wifi/data. All these factors make it increasingly difficult for parents to access school work, print worksheets, write in workbooks, submit completed work, find time to juggle different grades and different levels of school work, or find the hours to just be available for this school set up. Most families have an enormous amount of pressure, anxiety, panic and emotions filling their homes – the stress and frustration and screaming matches of trying to homeschool and get it all done is just impossible. Let them do the best that they can do or handle.

And in the same breath, if I do want to do it all and get it all done – let me do it. I am a teacher and I am a planner, homeschool is a notion that has never really scared me but we see more benefit in our girls being in their school environment. During any school holiday, I find joy in finding fun recipes, cute crafts and exploring new outings or classes around Durban for my girls to attend and enjoy. I am very blessed to not have a full time job, and this allows me the time to be with my girls in the afternoons, during the holidays and now giving them my uninterrupted time and attention during this lockdown. And as a teacher, I find educational activities and fun crafts exciting for myself and my girls. I am choosing to do any of the above for my girls and our family, not to make you feel any less of yourself.

We need to remember during this time – there are a lot of voices online creating and sharing a lot of content. You need to decide which voices you elevate because they are useful and beneficial, and which voices you silence because they aren’t for you.

Let’s be kind to one another, even especially when we differ in our opinions or lockdown activities.

It will go a long way.

What have felt judged for this lockdown?

x

*Thank you Social Squares for the beautiful stock image*

22 Comments

    1. Ah my Che, you are too kind and your words mean so much to me! So much encouragement – just honest words from my heart, for me, for my loved ones and for our Nation. Choose kindness x

  1. Agree with every single point! I just don’t see why people can’t be kind all round and not just during lock down. People seem to judge all the time and no one knows what any one else’s is going through or having to carry. We all have good days and bad days- if you don’t agree with someone or a post don’t comment or don’t even follow them. Everyone is doing the best they can.
    Thank you for always having such real and honest posts about life. X

    1. Thank you Cinds – all so true. It just hurts my heart how now is definitely not the time to be calling people out and judging them so publicly – when we are all just trying our very best. And that looks so different for everyone x

  2. Ah Cals, this is so true and well written. We all cope in our own way and we do what works best for us….Or we try do what we can to survive. These are strange unprecedented times and yes, kindness is the only way we’ll get through this.

    You’re doing an amazing job. I couldn’t do it the way you do, but my family is different. That doesn’t make either one of us wrong.

    1. So much truth my Claudz – I have been amazed at how different we all are through this. And I am so encouraged and inspired by the beauty of our differences. We should be embracing them and uplifting and applauding those around us. Kindness really goes a long way, and probably even further during a crisis x

  3. It’s quite unbelievable how key board warriors feel it necessary to judge and comment on the way people choose to use their platforms. It’s very simple-keep swiping if the content doesn’t resonate with you. So sorry you are dealing with this unnecessary and unpleasantness! You are amazing and inspiring to so many xx

    1. Thank you so much my Wends – as much as I have felt judged for many things and even by closed friends and loved ones, I felt this all on my heart to also be a voice for so many that would never speak up, so many voices that are already so vulnerable and for so many to maybe read it, and see the judgement in things they have said, and encourage them to be a little kinder moving forward x

  4. Cal don’t let negative comments get to you. Negativity is so unnecessary, especially during this time!!! Stay the “glass half full” person you are 🥰❤️ Big love

    1. Ah thank you gorgeous Kel – so appreciate your kind words and for reaching out.
      As much as I have felt this judgement over the past few weeks, it was more on my heart to share for so many others. Others that don’t have the strength or confidence to speak out or stand up for themselves, and for those that have judged and might now see their judgement for what it is, and now rather choose kindness. We can only hope. Sending you and your boys so much love x

  5. Hi Caley!
    Its Privashni from Eli & Eva. I love your instagram stories/feed and I have not at any point felt the expectations were too great watching you wear your many caps…if anything, i felt totally inspired and encouraged!

    As a planner myself, i too work well with schedules and routines especially with my hubby and I working remotely at our FULL time jobs! I have seen many posts on social media regarding how our kids day should not be structured as if they were in school and they really need us to be their “mama” during this time. ..and i think people forget that a child who is constructive is a happier one in some cases. I am having the best time at home and cover more meaningful time with my kids through constructive activities and all this is done with a whole lot of mama love! My Eva (5yrs) thrives on new activities and experiences and all this can’t be carried out in our busy schedules without some structure.

    I have learned that it all doesn’t go according to the schedule i have set with regards to the number of activities we complete or at the specific time in a day i would like to have them done and that’s ok!

    Honestly, your page is the best lifestyle page i have seen to date..,well done and thank you!

    1. Ah my friend, you are too kind and I am so grateful for your constant support and encouragement. Thank you for being this ray of light on my page. I can totally relate to your planning and schedule and some families really thrive with a solid routine, and some are best when given more freedom. And both are perfectly okay. Thank you again for your lovely words x

  6. Thank you for this Caley. So well said.
    Sending love and strength to you and your family during this scarey time
    BE KIND ALWAYS
    ❤️

  7. Your an incredible mama and have an incredible blog and Instagram, people only wish they could be like you that’s why they so mean! Enjoy what’s left with your precious girls!

    1. Thank you so much Tatum. As much as I have felt this judgement over the past few weeks, I know where my heart and intentions are at and I worry about myself and our family. But it’s been my heart to be a voice for so many others, so many others that are in their most vulnerable state but doing their very best and feeling this unnecessary judgement, and possibly to reach out to those that have judged and encourage them to make kinder decisions and comments moving forward x

    1. Aw gorgeous Nikki, I just adore you!! Thank you my friend – just a little bit of my heart on a Wednesday! x

  8. So good. Kindness and empathy is everything right now. Love your heart and love your ability to articulate what so many are feeling

    1. Love you my Tes – thank you for being my voice of reason, my gentle reminder to turn to Jesus, to look up, and to always choose kindness. Regardless of what we are going through. Missing you terribly x

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I'm Caley a thirty-something wife & mummy from Durban, South Africa. Ellie Love Blog is all about me, my family and our beautiful life.

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