Grief- There seems to be a collective grief among people I know and those that I witness on social media. Victoria has been back in stage 3 lockdown restrictions for about 3 weeks now. Many seem to be finding this second lockdown much harder. I know I sure am. My children are also showing signs that they too are struggling more this time round. I spent last week very teary. I was upset and worried with how remote learning was going. I was grieving that my son did not get to return to school, his foundation year. He was visibly upset with having to stay at home and learn. He only wanted to do his work if he was at school! My middle child has behaviourally been challenging with more outbursts of hurting others, reckless behaviour and mischief and more toilet accidents. I grieve for all that we can not do as a family, but also for myself. I can barely do any work on the business, which really lights me up. It’s a struggle to achieve self-care and alone time. Yes we are lucky to not have anyone we know get Covid-19, but it does not remove the grief that we are experiencing.

Silver Linings- I once again am enjoying my 3 children having this extra time together. While it may exhaust me, it also fills my heart with delight. They have so many little games they play together now. My eldest was sad and missing his little bro yesterday as he went to kinder. They really, truly miss each other if they are apart. There is no other year where we will have all 3 of them home all day together for such an extended period of time!

Our new normal- Masks have also been made mandatory in the past week here in Melbourne. While I understand the need, it gets me thinking about what our new normal is. Even at school and childcare, there is constant changes. As of next week, I can no longer drop Charlie in his room at childcare. We finally have a good little drop off system happening, with no tears. I stay for 5 minutes playing with him on an activity he chooses. Once that 5 minutes is up, most of the  time he happily says goodbye and I leave. Its just one more thing that we must adapt to and prepare our kids for. Its exhausting. How long do we have to be socially distant for? When can we hug our friends? Will our November anniversary trip happen and Xavier’s birthday party! Our new normal is uncertainty!

Kindness- July is my birthday month. It also coincided with ISO 2.0. The last few weeks I have experienced so much generous random door gift drop offs, kind messages, and offers of help among friends and strangers. I love helping others, but to have been given so much kindness from others, I feel so lucky to have amazing humans in my village.

Vulnerable people- This has been a big month for some of our most vulnerable. The 2 groups that are particularly close to my heart at the moment are birthing people and the elderly. For birthing people there has been massive amount of worry about the level of support they can have while in labour and after the birth. While some of this was clarified its still not an ideal situation to only have your support person/partner able to visit you for 2 hours a day during your stay. This upsets me, so I can only imagine how it feels to be in this situation. The elderly in Victoria are the ones getting very unwell and dying from this virus. It also means that they are suffering with increased loneliness and support as there are stricter measures in aged care facilities. We have experienced our own worry around this, as my husband’s nanna has had a serous fall, and on top of dementia is now having to enter an aged care facility next week. It could not be worse timing. Some of us from Melbourne can not even visit her, and those in the country that can, she can only have one visitor for one hour a day. I imagine she must be very lonely which makes us sad. She is our elder so she should be surrounded by family and love right now. The vulnerable in our community are having an extra hard time during this pandemic. I hope by the end of next month, with spring in the air, we are able to start making meaningful connections with not only our vulnerable community, but everybody.

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