No wonder alcohol sales are soaring - we’re homeschooling

Don't worry. Your home schooling efforts are no worse than anyone else's, says Rachel Moore

Don't worry. Your home schooling efforts are no worse than anyone else's, says Rachel Moore - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Rachel Moore says it’s time to stop beating ourselves up and thinking everyone else is doing it better than we are

Today, I’m sending out a massive virtual hug and heartfelt message to women.

Specifically, mothers in their 30s and 40s, in their fifth week of incarceration in four walls, home educating their children, holding down jobs at the kitchen table, keeping the house running and, in so many cases, caring remotely for, and worried sick about, elderly parents.

I stand today and clap for you all, for holding it all together for everyone. For doing a wonderful job making sure everyone you love comes out of this as they should.

Especially those women doing it all on their own, or whose partners are key workers, work offshore or living remotely so they can continue to work. The ‘sandwich generation’ with your own young and old to keep safe.

A standing ovation too, of course, for all those men doing the same, single fathers, men keeping the family going, working at home while their partners are providing vital services and being the critical link for so many people, keeping spirits up and spinning many plates.

Not a day goes by when I don’t feel thankful for dodging the bullet of school age children and a full-time job during these terrible times.

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When I listen to my younger friends talk about delivering full timetables to different age children alongside their day jobs, at home, I’m in awe. The combination of responsibilities on your plate is one that Wonder Woman or Super Man would be pushed to conquer.

I’m in awe.

So, today is about delivering a simple message to you, in recognition of your on-going devotion to a near-impossible task, and remind you that, although everyone is in the same boat, it doesn’t have to be steered the same way to get where you need to be.

You getting through this crisis in one piece is as - actually, more - important than your child’s spelling, topic on the Ancient Greeks, cooking every day from scratch with local organic produce, and dragging the kids out on nature rambles (photographed and posted on social media to prove you’re out of your PJs).

No one can do everything perfectly or should be expected to.

It’s so easy to put yourself down, feel like life is beating you, let self-doubt win with that sinking feeling of inadequacy because so-and-so is whipping up a different cake every day, creating masterpieces out of old junk with their smiley perfectly-behaved children who adore maths - and all accomplished in picture perfect homes, shared on social media.

But nobody’s life is perfect, however good the filter. What matters is making the situation work for you and your family, and that everyone comes out of it together and positive.

To anyone feeling shredded by the burden of getting it all done every day - guilty, overwhelmed, exhausted, failing, lost, broken, desperate please remember this one phrase.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

While you’re thinking how everyone else is doing better, making it look so easy, being super-productive, super-creative and super-efficient, you’re not noticing the brilliant achievements you’re making every day.

Comparing yourself to others gets nobody anywhere but miserable.

We forget that people show you what they want others to see or hear- photos are what they are a second snapshot in time - smoke and mirrors.

If anyone says being stuck at home is lovely, they are lying. There are lovely moments; slowing down and spending time on things that are normally rushed, cooking from scratch, reading with children, eating together, even watching TV together.

Comparing yourself to others crushes your happiness - cursing yourself for that one thing you don’t have or haven’t done deprives you from recognising of all the great things you have.

You don’t see the little things. A day doing little is not a failure. A day in pjs, watching films with snacks will be a happy memory for children.

A frazzled impatient mum forcing them to sit and work through lessons that none of you understand or want to do will be remembered too, but not in a good way,

These are the toughest times. Staying up until the early hours to seize supermarket delivery times for elderly parent then getting up at the crack of dawn to deal with work emails, clean the house and prepare lessons for children then spending the day darting between the ‘classroom’ dining table and the kitchen workstation, rustling up endless snacks and meals in between, then quietly crying behind the loo door seems to be standard.

However great a partnership is, nine times out of 10, women bear the brunt of the domestic responsibilities, the children and the elderly relatives. It’s just what we do - and we’re our own worst enemies, refusing to let go and let someone else do it, because we feel we should be doing it properly, right?

No wonder alcohol sales are soaring.

No one has such high expectations of us as ourselves, and no one is as hard on us as we are.

Be kind to yourself, as well as everyone else. You’re doing a brilliant job keeping your family safe - and that’s all that counts.