Life in confinement

Every day is pyjama-day…

Now that we are in confinement here in France, the main question for me every morning is: will I bother to get properly dressed? The number of questions already limited to just one, as the first few days I added: ‘ Will I do my hair and put make-up on?’ But hey, that was stretching it a bit too much, right? I now compromised to switch my pyjamas for yoga pants and a sporty-type shirt, ‘in case I want to do a workout’. Well, I guess you get the picture. My 18-year-old son was born with a congenital heart defect. At six weeks old, he had a cardiac arrest causing brain damage. He has very limited vision and cannot properly use his left hand. During the week, he stays at a special school. At the institution, they work a lot on autonomy. It’s sometimes hard to see him struggle putting his clothes on with one hand. Just try to put your socks on holding one hand on your back. Of course, the parents, are trained by the therapists to assist our children and to motivate them to do it all themselves. During the weekends, I of course try to do this, but my very creative son always gives me the same answer: ‘today is pyjama day mama!’

The institute had to close as well for the Covid-19, giving parents a choice to leave their children there in total confinement or keep them home. I am in a very lucky position to be able to keep him home. So, every morning my son asks me the same question; ‘is it pyjama day mama?’ And there comes the issue… during this confinement we, as parents, suddenly became ‘home-schoolers’. In my case I have a daughter working on her dissertation of med school, talking about research and cures of things I never even heard of, a 2-year old toddler wanting to paint, read and play tea-time and my son that needs physical therapy, ergo therapy and a range of activities to keep him occupied. This obviously leads to hilarious situations here with our little girl trying to ‘help’ her brother getting dressed and doing his exercises.

Given the health risks of my son we are basically into isolation for almost four weeks now. I am starting to struggle a bit, with my partner working from home in our living room in constant conference calls, my daughter taking over my desk, the care of my son, comparable to the care that our 2-year old needs as well and nursery closed, I am finding myself confined in the kitchen. Everything I was doing to start building my business has now stopped. And yes, I do realise how lucky we are that the type of work my partner does will not put his job in danger for now. As we were in the process of buying a property in need of renovation I had only just dipped my toes into the bureaucratic French world of getting building permits, soil analysis and sceptic tank installation. At the moment, nobody knows when we can finalise the sale or even think of starting the works. It is just weird how our lives suddenly changed. Even groceries have become a military mission of at least three hours of standing in line, getting in and finding what you need, returning home and clean everything before it gets into the house. We now came to an agreement as a family to make a weekly schedule in order to give me some time off of child care during the day. Luckily, I am quite a ‘hoarder’ of paint, wood, wall paper and fabric so I know what I am going to do in the next weeks. I hope I will soon be able to share some of my projects with you.

In a few weeks confinement will end, but that doesn’t mean we can all go back to our ‘normal’ lives. I personally fear for the virus to return as no vaccination is available for now. We probably must all rethink our plans for the summer and start planning on how to make our houses and outdoor spaces as pleasant as possible. A lick of paint, moving some furniture around, some plants and some new decoration items, all things that can easily be done, even on a tight budget. Make sure you follow me’ on my social media accounts to help you get some ideas, because ;

your home should tell the story of who you are,

and be a collection of what you love.”

A la prochaine…..Jacqueline

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