One Thing or a Mother: Lockdown fatigue has started to set in

When I was asked to write a weekly column, it was at the end of the summer last year.

At this point, we’d had a bit more freedom and I’d been able to roam around Sussex a bit.

I was able to tell you all about my fascinating family days out and hilarious* antics, having lockdown lunches and the like with friends. (* ‘Hilarity’ potentially open to debate.)

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And then winter hit, and now we’ve been in lockdown for 55,000 days and my ideas for columns are starting to run a bit thin.

Just a columnist, stuck at home, clutching a remote in a bid to best illustrate lockdown fatigue and the amount of TV she's been watching.

I just said to deputy editor Sam Woodman that I wasn’t sure what to write about this week, and he said maybe you could talk about lockdown fatigue as you mentioned you’re feeling it.

I told him I didn’t think I had the energy for 650 sprakling words about that, but that’s exactly the point...

Lockdown seems to have sapped all my energy for doing everything. And I’m sure I’m not alone.

Maybe I’m looking back at the first lockdown with rose-tinted glasses, but it wasn’t this bad, was it?

I’ve got a phone full of lovely pictures of us walking round the block and watching trees come into bloom, fond memories of kids playing in the garden, lingering love-handles as testament to my baking skills and about 50 boozy Zoom calls under my belt from that first foray into our world of isolation (anybody else want to break into Let it Go from Frozen every time isolation is mentioned?!).

But, this time, it’s different. If it’s not raining, it’s freezing cold, meaning most walks are spent either getting soaked or with your shoulders scrunched up higher than your ears.

And nobody seems to have the enthusiasm for Zoom nights in any more. Sure, it’s nice to see your friends’ faces, but constantly talking over each other and having the screen freeze just when you pull the most unfortunate face gets frustrating pretty quickly.

I still love baking and do it from time to time (as I type this, I’m eating a giant, New York-style Mini Egg cookie for unch from a batch I baked. Sssshhh, don’t tell my kids!). But I can’t allow myself to let it consume my free time or I’ll have to do about 3,000 burpees a day to offset my additional calorie intake.

Basically, the monotony of being in my house day, after day, after day, is beginning to take its toll.

My husband doesn’t get why I sometimes wander around the house like a bear with a sore head. As a teacher, he still goes out to work every day, and sees more than the inside of the four walls we call home.

But not me. Home is now my work place, as well as my living space, a 24/7 buffet (as far as my children are concerned), a gym, an indoor playground, a cinema, and more.

I am desperate to go somewhere. Anywhere. 
We’ve exhausted most of the house-based activities in the past almost year (can you imagine telling your past self this time a year ago that you were about to spend the best part of a year indoors?!), to the point that my children could probably now enter Mastermind with the specialist subject of CBeebies.

I’ve also watched more boxsets than I ever thought possible (although I’m possibly the only person in the country who has yet to see Bridgerton).

But then, I get texts like this one from my dad on Thursday: “Finally getting my jab on Saturday. Hooray!”

It reminded me there is light at the end of the tunnel. We just need to hold on a little bit longer.

In the meantime, you’ll find me on the sofa, remote and cookies in hand!

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