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I've got to admit I get mum guilt a lot, I guess that's the thing about being a mum, we usually want everything perfect for our little people. During lockdown I feel especially guilty that I can't explain what's going on to my boy, he's too little to understand. So, I thought I would write to my boy and let it all out, who knows, maybe one day when he's all grown up he'll read it and learn more about our lockdown story. I thought I'd share it with you too and hopefully inspire some lockdown letters of your own.
To my little boy,
I'm sorry that to keep you safe I'm having to keep you away from your friends and family. That you're missing those you love and I don't know how to help you understand why you can't see them. I know that sometimes I couldn't be bothered to head out of the house, or that I'd complain about how long it could take us to leave with all the extra hugs, nappy changes and last minute snacks. But, I honestly wish that we could go visiting, head out on a play date, or play with your cousins by the sea. We will get back to that one day, but until then I'll do my best to be a good play mate, to give you those extra hugs you are missing and sneak you a few treats just like your grandparents would.
I'm sorry that we can't go to your classes and build your confidence in the water at swimming, or swing on the bars at gymnastics. I know how much you miss it, but I promise that despite how much I used to complain about the effort that is swimming, or how exhausting gymnastics is, I miss it too. I know virtual classes aren't the same, but we tried and we'll try again. We'll keep splashing in the paddling pool when the weather lets us, even if it makes my hair a tangled curly mess, and find different things for you to jump off of, jump on or balance on, even if I feel terrified inside.
I'm sorry that for weeks we only took you out of the house to get you to nap in your pushchair. We had no idea how much you would enjoy your walks, running through the trees and seeing the ducks. We'd forgotten how big you've become and how strong you are. I'm sure that when I used to take you out you'd demand to be picked up, run away from me, or just not be interested. I can't wait for you to grow out of being carried, but you've become so good. We'll keep going on walks, I promise, as long as that's what you want, taking the ducks some food and racing back home. The best thing is there's no reason that we'll need to stop.
I'm sorry that from Monday to Friday our days have felt the same for what feels like forever. I promise I've tried to find different and fun things to do, or interesting new things to watch. It really is your choice to watch Topsy and Tim or Peppa Pig on repeat and alternate between tipping sand in the garden and tipping water in the kitchen. I tried to get you to paint but you didn't like getting messy hands, I tried to get you gardening but you'd just soak me with the hose pipe. I did create one new game you enjoyed, how it turned into you stealing from my ice cream shop and me running after you shouting 'stop, theif' I'll never know. I'll try and create some more fun things you want to do, even if it's for my own sanity.
I'm sorry you've stopped sleeping and I've found nothing to help. I wish you could tell me what's going on, I hate to see you so tired and not just because you are so much more grouchy. I really have tried everything I can think of from night lights, to different pyjamas and cuddly toys, I'd even sleep in your bed with you if there was room. I don't know whether you've been too active, not active enough, learning too much or just struggling to cope with our new reality. Whatever it is, I promise I'll be by your side, that no matter how tired I get I'll always be there to hug you.
I know the reality we find ourselves in isn't my fault, that there was no way I could prepare us, but that doesn't stop me feeling sorry. Just know that however we get out of this, whatever the future looks like, everything I did, I did with love, and everything we didn't do was to protect you.
Love you always,