Peer Support Workers also need to find the ‘new normal’
This last fortnight has been a struggle for me. It’s all change – again. Since March, my children have been safe at home – needing home-schooling whilst I juggle working from home, being their teacher and being their mum. Needless to say, this has caused a certain level of chaos at one time or another! Fortunately, my two are old enough to work independently – assuming I can detach one from his Lego and the other from his Xbox!
The summer holidays continued in much the same fashion – without the schoolwork, but with the addition of masks. We became accustomed to the “new normal” and carried on. We even managed a few days by the sea (avoiding as many people as possible!)
But then September rolled around…. It is now, apparently, safe for our children to go back to school and, speaking as an ex teacher, fair play to all teachers who have had to create not one but two completely different ways of educating pupils whilst navigating constantly moving goalposts and their own personal & family lives too.
So, in the first week of September, I waved my two boys off on the school bus (from inside the house as I was told that it would be embarrassing for me to be outside!) and realised that the world had changed again. My youngest was starting not only a new way of learning, but a new school, as he headed off to high school for the first time. I had entered a new stage of motherhood. No more school gate, sports days, coffee mornings. They aren’t little boys anymore and they disappear into their own world of school and mates, leaving me watching from the side-lines.
I now had uninterrupted time to do my job. I could focus solely on my participants instead of bribing boys with snacks whilst I made my phone calls. I’d been looking forward to this. But now it’s here…. I miss the old “new normal”. I don’t like the new “new normal”. So, I’ve struggled.
But I’ve also realised that that’s okay. We’re all struggling. Nobody has a clue what “normal” is supposed to look like anymore! All we can do is our best (whilst we wash our hands and wear masks). Protect each other. Remember, we’re all struggling. So, just be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.