So as we settle into a new week, a new routine emerges. I have a full morning of freedom and solitude. I manage to do the washing, unload the dishwasher, plan dinner, catch up with my Mum, garden, get to town and back for shopping and collecting a fixed computer before they've even stirred. Living with teenagers without a structure is as expected.
Their bodies have reverted to the circadian rhythms that they innately hold. Waking and washing is midday. 'Lunfast' is at 1pm.
There is time to discuss lack of plans and share the latest click bait discovered. Then it seems there is some home working to be done next. This varies from child to child depending on levels of adolescent hormone development. The small one has little to do, as much of it is 'optional'. I see her point. Who wouldn't want to take a bit of a break when you've got the chance? She involves herself in media studies. She's currently working her way through M Night Shyamalan's back catalogue. I get involved, because you've got to support your kids right?
The middle girl child focusses for hours. Occasional whinges about the complexity of the physics concepts are spoken out. I am great at listening, but can provide no actual content advice, only contextual support. She's truculent and continues over and over again until the highlighted questions go 'green' on her online learning platform.
The big boy child and I look through his University applications. We investigate student finance and accommodation. Then we leave it, because who knows what's gonna happen just now?
I have a video call with my job share, as we work out how to upload and share learning materials and give connection and feedback to our lovely distant class. There is all the time in the world to be organising our classroom, consolidating resources, sorting displays, and the never ending mountains of paperwork are always there. But we shouldn't be together doing this at school. It's a tough dilemma that I'm sure is common to most of the world's workforces currently. I don't find a settled answer, so continue to try to suppress the anxious feeling of not being productive. Lauren Laverne discusses home schooling on the radio. She says '...go easy on yourself and enjoy the time you have together'. It's good to hear we are all in it together apart.
I suggest time outside. I can't get the teenagers to look out of the window, let alone step out there. Maybe tomorrow. I go out anyway and find a bit of pleasure in the emerging spring flowers.
Late afternoon seems to be our peak time for productivity. I try to cook and ride my wave of engagement, by collating info for my tax return. This coincides with the kids suddenly wanting to talk to me and ask all the questions they can. Why now? You've had all day?! But dialogue is good and we share 'Dunch' at six thirty.
The evening seems to be the time my adolescents awaken, rather like the 11am peak focus in the days of old. There's a flurry of activity from everyone. There's an indoor gym session going on. Tik Toks are shared. Evening viewing is debated.Sweets are divvied up. I exchange messages, debriefing days with my oldest and dearest friends. We all have numerous progeny and I take comfort in hearing the small wins and minor frustrations of our respective days.
I try to suggest a routine for tomorrow. I am laughed off. The small one agrees to cook with me, so thats a small win. The big boy has got a gig learning to drive a tractor tomorrow. There's some rolling of fields to be done. I feel grateful for him to have something new to learn. I'm also slightly envious, as being a farmers daughter, I'd like to try tractoring too! He's going to have to switch his rising time. He's got to be at the tractor shed for a 9am start.
I update my website, and fiddle with designs and images. I edit an agenda for our upcoming SAWPIT WOODS CIC directors meeting in April. We are going to start to draw up 'Vision and Common Ground'. I add an item Covid-19 to the agenda. I investigate potential grant applications. Some have postponed dates for applications and have 'anticipated' opening new rounds of funding in the Autumn. So that gives us plenty of time to scheme and dream of adventures and future projects.
I realise that it is past 11pm. And I recognise I've only read the news once today.