Daily challenge to do something new through lockdown – maybe I’m not so bad at homeschooling?

I am attempting to do something new every day in a challenge to motivate myself through lockdown 3.0. Here’s a quick update of progress over the last couple of days.

The last two days I have slightly cheated and my new thing has been to cook a recipe from my new Mary Berry cookbook. The good news is that I’ve realised that I have been baking salmon darns incorrectly for years. I’ve been following the fail-safe yet undelicious method of “cook fast and cook it right through”, baking my foiled-darns at 200C for 15 minutes. However, if anyone has the time, Mary recommends cooking at 120C for 50 minutes. I didn’t have 50 minutes because I was too hungry, so I chanced 140/50C-ish for 25ish minutes and they were beautiful. They were so tender and succulent that my husband looked at me in a new way: now that’s an achievement!

I also have reason to believe that all the early mornings’ five sun salutations may be paying off. I struggled through them womanfully in January. However, during the last week, I’ve completed the final one with a sense my body could push itself to more. So, this morning I added an extra two of the “b” ones. In addition, I’ve noticed that a lower back pain has dissolved. It may be linked to yoga. It may be due to the fact that I’m refusing to lift my 3.5stone daughter as much. Or both?

Lastly, there’s the brainwashing. A couple of weeks ago I attempted to brainwash myself to enjoy homeschooling. It was going swimmingly. This week I broke. I snapped. I shouted at my kids. I shouted at them so much that they are now shouting at each other as part of their normal suite of communication tools. When I noticed that, I was anguished, bereft and feeling quite shite about myself; and worse for the poor little ones.

My  friend is a primary school teacher in an exclusive private school. She’s renowned as being an effective and pretty fantastic teacher. I rang her up looking for advice. She has three kids under 7 years old. She laughed at me and told me she can’t handle homeschooling at all, and that she’d a breakdown on Monday. Her husband had to come home early from work and give her a couple of hours respite. She is also shouting at her kids, who are now also shouting at each other as a fairly commonplace occurrence. Apparently teaching your own kids is not at all like teaching wee strangers. As sorry as I feel for all the kids involved, I felt a bit better about my own ineptitude. And that, ironically, helped me be a more patient teacher today. It’s funny what drives us…

I will however need to figure out a more permanent and convincing self-indoctrination method.

My “new stuff” diary:

Day 1: went to a local park to which I’d never been.

Day 2: Cooked asparagus (yes I’ve eaten asparagus before but for some reason had always been scared of cooking it)

Day 3: Read a French poem – Demain, des l’aube by Victor Hugo. It is simple yet astonishingly beautiful.

Day 4: Cooked chicken tikka masala.

Day 5: Brainwashed myself into enjoying homeschooling

Day 6: Took a break – yippee!

Day 7: Cooked chilli con carne

Day 8: Wrote a proper love letter

Day 9: Learned how to play sodoku

Day 10: Learned how to say hello in Chinese – Nin hao!

Day 11: Cooked a chicken and Tallegio dish courtesy of Mary Berry

Day 12: Break day. Phew.

Day 13: Bought flowers for a man for first time in my life

Day 14: Stayed in bed all day – duvet day – first time as a mother I did this.

Day 15: Learned to say hello in Korean – “anyeonghaseyo baeuda”

Day 16: Cooked a new chicken dish with sundried tomatoes and other lovely stuff.

Day 17: Cooked salmon with asparagus and basil sauce

I am attempting to do 7 resolutions over 6 days for 5 weeks:

  1. Continued embargo on crisps, fancy cheese and booze (except those used in cooking)
  2. Meditate for ten minutes
  3. Go for a run or a walk
  4. Do something new – I’ve never done before.
  5. Clean the kitchen every evening
  6. Do at least 5 sun salutations every morning
  7. No eating after 7pm (cutting my reprieve down to only one day per week but have a feeling I won’t be able to do it and will revert to Friday & Saturday)

Published by gillsheeran

Former CFO/COO who quit my job to emotionally support my family at the start of the pandemic.

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