On the 12th of May my son’s nursery emailed to say we could request a place for our son to go back to nursery (if we wished). Neither of us are key workers, and my freelance job ended in March, so we don’t need the two days per se, but I decided to request a space while making it clear that we don’t expect Rafe to be prioritised over a child with working parents/carers.

A few days later I was really excited to have his usual days confirmed, and we have started talking to him about going back. We will be crossing our fingers and toes, and hoping that all goes well, as he’s effectively starting again. 😬

Not all parents will be comfortable sending their children to school or nursery, but given the data on Coronavirus deaths in the young, and school reports from other EU countries like Denmark, the husband and I don’t feel worried about sending him back. And to be honest, at this point, I’m thinking more about his social interaction with children of his own age – or the lack of.

I’ve been trying to find clear government guidance (hahaha), or a scholarly article on the importance of social interaction for children, and frustratingly I’ve got a bit stuck. However, the Mental Health Foundation states the following:

As children grow up, their ability to form and sustain relationships – be that with peers, parents, teachers etc. is crucial.

… If we can make sure that babies, children and young people are able to form and maintain positive relationships in ways that make sense to them, then this will help get them off to a good start in life and support their mental development.

Paula Lavis, Co-ordinator of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition

And that is pretty much how I feel – the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

I’ve also been inspired by Professor Karol Sikora‘s calm demeanor and positive attitude regarding the pandemic, and more recently the debate about schools reopening.

I started following him on Twitter a month or so ago and he’s been a real breath of fresh air on my timeline – and I know that my mental health needs a good dose of positivity to counteract the whirling negativity I’ve be prone recently. There is always a fine balance between reading the news and drowning in the news…

From a selfish point of view, I’m also really looking forward to some me time. Not couple time or family time, or ‘steal an hour here or there on the weekend’ time, actual ME time. Doing the washing up while the husband plays with the child is not me time. Driving down to the post office and standing in a queue is not really me time. Even the excitement of fortnightly trip to the supermarket is wearing off a little…

But what do I do with the time? I must make plans! And I must leave the house! Watch this space… 😊