Self-isolation diary: Stepping back from social media has helped mum Lauren



We have now reached day 14 of isolation and the last week has been tough to say the least. I think we had taken for granted the ability to just jump in the car and go somewhere.

When we were fed up of our own four walls we would just get up and go. Anywhere and everywhere. We would go to the park, for a drive, for coffee with friends, to a play centre, to the beach.

Home is supposed to be our safe haven right now, but for us it feels like a prison. We are at our happiest when we are out exploring the world, having adventures, investigating new places.

We have been trying to make the most of it, doing all of those jobs that have needed doing for a while, pulling out and sorting through games and clothes, rearranging the bedroom and tidying the garden. It’s just not enough for us and I know the longer this goes on we are going to quickly run out of things to keep us busy.

Nate is finding home school difficult. Everything is a distraction, especially the dog. We have been trying to have a more relaxed attitude towards it, prioritising feeling safe in an unsafe world, but social media has made this really hard for me.

There is a never ending stream of activities, recommendations and daily posts of what other families are up to and while I’m sure for some people these provide inspiration and motivation, for me it has felt overwhelming.

Social media makes me feel inferior and incompetent. I’ve had to take a step back and realise that this is a once in a lifetime situation and the most important thing for Nate is to know that he is safe and loved.

I’m trying not to worry if he has more time than usual on technology, or has to find ways to entertain himself, or doesn’t do as much academically.

The mother guilt then kicks in and I have found we swing from being wildly over productive to doing absolutely nothing, which is exhausting.

We both find comfort in routine, so have tried to follow the same pattern each day.

If we stay in our pyjamas I can guarantee we do nothing other than eat and watch films.

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Getting up and dressed, followed by a workout, has meant Nate is more focused to get involved in activities or find something to do other than play on the iPad.

Getting out for our daily exercise have been our saviour. We are incredibly lucky to have a big forestry area on our doorstep where both the dog and child can burn off their energy by climbing trees and playing fetch. The fresh air helps enormously too.

Both of us have been keeping a list of the things we are missing, and things that we can’t wait to do once this is over. We decided to put them up on the wall as a reminder that this won’t last forever and soon enough we will be able to start ticking off the things that we took for granted.

Lauren Pakeman, aged 31, lives in Loggerheads with her son Nate, aged nine. An ex-teacher, the lone parent is now training to be an accountant. She and Nate are in self-isolation after he was sent home from school with a cough. Nate picked up the Bright Young Thing prize at The Sentinel Our Heroes Awards in September after raising thousands of pounds for charity following the death of his best friend. Lauren and Nate are sharing their blog, and Nate is hoping to use the opportunity to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.





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