News Your lockdown stories: The mum who manages four kids at home

Your lockdown stories: The mum who manages four kids at home

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Many Melburnians are feeling the pinch of lockdown 2.0.

This time around there’s less sourdough starter. The pizzazz has passed and the novelty has well and truly worn off.

But for six weeks of pain, the state should collectively gain – avoiding thousands of cases, more deaths and an isolated COVID Christmas.

Getting on top of the crisis means getting through the next six weeks together. For those with school children, and kids who would usually be at kinder or in care, the task is even harder.

Thousands of students will be learning from home – again – with only children of essential workers allowed to attend schools.

Tegan Worrell has her four kids at home and says it’s all about brain breaks and plenty of coffee.

“It’s hectic. It’s definitely been a challenge,” she said, of having Flynn, 5, Archer, 7, Willow, 8, and Hudson, 11, learning from home.

It hasn’t always been easy (just look at those faces in the morning!) but the family has adapted to remote learning. Photo: Tegan Worrell

“We’ve been in remote learning, in April, then it went back to school for a couple of weeks, then back to remote learning, and now we’re in lockdown. I had my youngest going to kinder but as of today he is home.”

The five of them have found ways to adapt.

At the start they were stressing on doing everything right, now she focuses on what she can control – their time together.

“Initially I was like, we’ve got to get your lessons all done. I got myself worked up, and the kids were too. Then we were like ‘Right, we are going to focus on going for a walk together’.

The kids have bonded, they’ve climbed trees, jumped off the rocks, we’ve had a bit more of a focus doing what we can do, like building forts and baking, more focusing on the life skills rather than stressing.’’
– Tegan Worrell

The kids have also embraced it.

Flynn said it was fun: “Because I have the luckiest mumma to get to stay home with me.”

Archer agreed, saying he liked remote learning because: “It is nice to stay home with your family. I’ve learned how to make my own pasta and I can find other ways of learning when learning is boring.”

Willow had some sage advice, for students and parents to get through the next six weeks.

It’s best to not get stressed and did you know when you go for a walk outdoors it lets all the sad feelings out and the happy ones in,’’
– Willow, aged 8

And Hudson said the key to getting through the school work is being quick.

“My tip is to get the work for school done early so you can enjoy the rest of your day,” he said.

Walks on the nearby beach have become essential in the mornings.

For Ms Worrell, the best tip for parents is for them to not put too much pressure on themselves, and have plenty of supplies.

“My tip is to make sure you’ve stocked up on coffee,” she said.

As hard as it is, try and have a positive outlook and be grateful for this time to be together. If it’s not working, stop, do not try and push through.

“Just like when teaching at school if a lesson isn’t working, I stop and take the children out for a brain break, I do the same at home,’’ Ms Worrell said.

“It’s amazing what some fresh air and movement can do.”

The New Daily wants your isolation stories. Did learn a language? Dated despite the disaster? Managed remote learning or sharehouse politics?Tell us how you’ve coped, held it together and got through this so far.