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Coronavirus log: The home schooling parents are the unsung heroes of this crisis




There has been much admiration paid to Cpt Tom Moore for his 100th Birthday Walk For The NHS, and quite rightly so, for he has captured the imagination during these grim times (and also helped plug the deficit we had in funding for our NHS).

But my overwhelming admiration during this crisis has been focused much closer to home. Well, actually, in my home.

My wife Mariam, the one who works for one of our rivals two days a week, has been juggling two children under five stuck in a house together for five-and-a-half weeks now.

Coronavirus log (34085769)
Coronavirus log (34085769)

She runs the gauntlet of the supermarket for us, prepares every meal, keeps the house tidy, brings hot drinks and biscuits up to me and most importantly, keeps our daughters occupied with various activities.

And having been a long-term provider of daddy daycare on Fridays, I know a lot of the time you are acting like a referee!

It is massively draining, but there is no let up from it during this lockdown. And it is harder to burn off their seemingly boundless energy at home (thank goodness the weather has been largely so kind to us though).

Every time I do venture down the stairs I find something else going on; today was making salt dough and turning them into shapes, yesterday was hairdressing dollies and the day before was baking a cake together.

Like many other mums, she sees all the educational activities other parents are sharing on social media and thinks she is not doing enough to replace the learning they would have got at nursery school.

I suspect this is how a lot of people feel, but I've certainly made clear I think she is doing a wonderful job.

Her gruelling routine includes having to do half of one of her shifts after they've gone to bed to allow me to have a clear run on Thursday morning deadlines for Friday's papers.

And she is far from alone as there are an entire army of parents out there performing miracles at home right now, keeping their children going while also managing to do some work in-between.

And even if they are on furlough leave, it is still very much a full-time job at home with the kids.

When speaking about a story to Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club's Nigel Birrell, I relayed how my wife has said all parents will need to go to a spa for the day as soon as lockdown is lifted.

He has a daughter ploughing through with three children and straight away came back with: "More than a day, a fortnight!!"

I wonder how many grandparents desperate to see their grandchildren would readily agree to give that commitment? I think if we time our question now, fellow parents, we might get lucky...

High point: The strong sense of community that is developing in our road. Our neighbour now talks to us and the girls over the fence every day. We also do some shopping for him. And everyone is now conversing (shouting across the road) after the NHS and carers clap on Thursdays.

Low point: Hearing hairdressers and barbers could not be allowed to open for another six months. But the below tweet from Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club's head coach Nick Wakley did raise a smile on that issue:


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