I wrote a little piece a couple of months ago for the ladies of Momspo and thought maybe my readers would like to read it too? My blog also serves as my memory and I want to one day be able to look back and remember this time of Elijah and I. So far we have now been in lockdown for coming up to 3 months and while the lockdown is not over and South Africa is yet to hit its peak schools are starting to slowly return with Elijah’s return next month. We also are now in level 3 and there is alot more freedom allowed, alcohol is for sale and we are now allowed out the house at anytime to exercise but it is now the middle of winter and it is very cold!
I WANT TO TELL you a bit about what our lockdown in South Africa is like as a single mom.
I lost my husband and soulmate Darrell five years ago in a horrific helicopter accident. He was the chief pilot at an aviation company and died on duty while putting out a fire. I was left with our gorgeous seven and a half month old baby boy. We lived in Tulbagh in the Western Cape in a big beautiful old Victorian manor house. I needed to be closer to family and therefore moved back to Cape Town to the suburbs shortly after the accident.
Fast track to now and LOCKDOWN.
Elijah and I started social distancing at the beginning of March and in effect started our lockdown on 17 March, in the week prior Elijah had had a MAG3 scan at Red Cross Hospital which showed he only has one kidney so I was extra cautious as no one is really sure what will happen to kidney patients if they get Covid-19.
We are alone in the house and have not seen anyone bar for the much needed chats with our lovely neighbors over the wall staying about 20 feet apart. I was really stressed in the beginning as I was not sure how I would get provisions for Elijah and I, but one by one the shops came on board and we can source most things now. And what we cannot get we have an amazing network of lovely people close by who will drop something off on their way back from the shops (you know who you are and we will never be able to thank you).
I am finding myself so much more emotional than usual, any kind gesture and I am reduced to tears. When it all started I felt so vulnerable. Darrell was our provider and our protector and I just felt like this was too much for me to do. I would fall asleep with Elijah in my arms and cry myself to sleep. But you know what? I can do this and it has been quite empowering knowing that in these crazy circumstances I can keep my child and myself safe. I do really really miss having Darrell to chat to and run things by though. There is no one to chat with after the president does a national address and discuss all the new rules and what I think of them. Also no one to tell me everything will be ok.
I also worry about Elijah’s social development as I am the only person he sees. When this is all over will he be a changed child? Will he still be as loving and hug his extended family and close friends all the time or will Covid-19 have made him too afraid to do this? Also he is definitely watching way to much television and he does not react well to too much TV. But I also need time to cook and clean and much needed breathing time. I can truly notice such an improvement in his behaviour on the days I spend more time with him doing crafts and playing games but then the housework suffers sooo much!
We have stuck to quite a rigid routine. We are up at 7 and Elijah’s bedtime is still 7pm despite the world being in a pandemic and everything going crazy. I know that if we have a routine still in place Elijah copes better and I defiantly need that little bit of time after he has gone to bed to myself. On four nights a week either Elijah’s granny or grandfather will read him his bedtime story via Zoom and he has come to love this time with them, they do not replace a hug but that will have to wait.
His school has been great and is sending homeschool packs and we have Zoom class rings everyday but somedays he does not really want to join in and I feel he might be more of a distraction. Also if school were to reopen soon I do not have anyone to discus with when we would feel safe sending him back. All these major decisions fall on me.
I am however so grateful to be able to stay home with my little boy and keep him safe. It is a privilege that not all of us have. And now I have to run as my little guy is calling me.