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Image / Self / Parenthood

‘I’m just so exhausted having to buoy myself and those around me all the time’

by Amanda Cassidy
12th Feb 2021

Lockdown fatigue has descended. Amanda Cassidy on why level five restrictions are taking such a toll

You feel bad complaining when the rest of the world feels like it’s on fire, but could we just have five minutes to have a rant?

Moaning about the oppression that comes with restrictions doesn’t take away from the life or death reasons behind it.

This month marks a year since we went about our lives as normal. What an awful sentence to write. But this time last year we took everything for granted – restaurants, hugging family members, travel, walking more than 3 miles outside of our house without the fear of Garda checkpoints. How did we get here?

Everyone has it tough and nobody tougher than those who’ve lost family members (myself included) the amazing frontline workers, the Gardaí themselves, those completely alone…

But when it comes to the daily hum-drum of trying to keep everyone in our household buoyed up, I’m completely exhausted. And there isn’t much time to keep any of that positive energy for myself.

As a mother and wife, I’m automatically the center of the household. I’ve been unofficially assigned as the chief-pep-talker, the game-suggestion guru, the picker of meals, the emotional support animal, the homeschool encourager. On top of that, I’m trying to guide those around me who are grieving, trying to continue my full-time work, continuing the housework and making sure the children eat well, drink enough water, chat with their friends, don’t watch screens to much.

Add projects on The Normans, dealing with an anxious child, having to check-in on a vulnerable elderly person and choose (and cook dinner) and I’ve little time for myself.

Help is there of course but ultimately it falls to me to delegate (also exhausting). There is little wonder that by the end of the day we are falling asleep in front of Netflix wondering why oh why we are so tired all the time when the world has effectively stopped turning.

The emotional fallout from continuous lockdown with no clear communication from the government is taking its toll – on marriages, on our children, on our mental health.

There is no outlet for sociability, hobbies, culture, escapism – all the things that make the normally mundane life-things more bearable.

But the most difficult part of all is that this rant is futile because there isn’t anything that can be done about the situation we find ourselves in. There is no clear end in sight. We are floating in a non-life, suspended in the mundane, with little choice but to continue to buoy up those around us.

But don’t underestimate the long-term problems that will come from this. The women who will be squeezed out of work, the marriages that will fail, the children who are missing out on some of the most important play years of their life.

There is no clear path out of this – not without sacrificing even more. But what if there isn’t much else left to give?

Being positive all the time is simply exhausting. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to be so, but can we all please agree that the current situation is untenable.

Rant over. Thank God for dogs and takeaways.


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