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  • Gareth Ellis

Isolation Frustration

Just recently Coronavirus has kept people (well most people) locked up in their homes to help slow, and hopefully stop, the spread of the virus.

This for many, including J and I, means that Rupert’s nursery has closed, leaving us with a 16 month at home while we try to work.

*I must at first add a caveat to this that I have currently been signed off work for a couple of weeks with stress, so I am free to look after Rupert while Jess works from home – however soon I’ll be back and we’ll be trying to work from home.

So, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been looking after Ru in the day while Jess works. Now, I knew that she worked extremely hard during her year of maternity leave but I don’t think I really grasped just how intense it can be and the questions you ask yourself on a daily basis.

For example, this morning after Jess ‘left for work’ (went upstairs) I gave Ru his breakfast, before getting him cleaned up, changing his nappy (twice) and dressing him.

From then Jess popped in and out but it was mainly down to me to make sure he ate at the right times, slept at the right times was clean and was stimulated enough.

But all through that all I could think was, ‘have I given him the right foods? Is he happy enough? Does he care that he’s going out in the garden for a wander around again? How long ago did he do that poo? Will he be sore now? Why isn’t the house clean enough? The answers to all of them were obvious, he was happy, he slept, he ate plenty of fruit and veg, his poos are easily and quickly identified/changed and the housework can wait.

Now that final point is one I pushed on Jess a lot. Most mornings as I left for work I would turn to her and say ‘I don’t care how clean the house is when I get back, as long as you and Rupert are fine and happy.’ Now Jess will tell you, as I will now, that it doesn’t matter how many times someone tells you that, you still want the house to be nice and you want to have done some housework.

The only problem is that you do your housework in the times where Rupert is napping, but that is the time you need to use to chill, so what gives?

I can tell you that it’s the housework. I would much rather have a happy, clean, and well-fed little boy than a clean house.

All I can tell people is that it’s hard. I want the house to be clean for my pregnant wife, so she can chill, but at the same time I want Rupert to be happy.

I take my hat off to those who are single parents (or who have a lazy other half) because if they want to clean everything and have happy little ones then they must work flat out.

Jess and I are lucky because we are both understanding on this subject so we will usually do chores together but it doesn’t stop me from having that nagging feeling of guilt that I haven’t done something, and that I’m ‘making’ Jess do chores after a day at work.

Maybe I’ll have to teach Rupert how to do housework.

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