Victoria B on 26 November 2020

Early this morning, little lady came to me for cuddles in bed. She had her wee thinking frown on so I could tell she wanted to chat about something. We'd already been awake for about an hour each at this point, she was watch TV and I was trying to motivate myself to get out of bed (more cleaning to do today, hippie 😔) but my legs hurts from all the extra "get the house ready for Christmas decorations cleaning" I've been doing. A big part of me just wanted to roll over and cry myself back to sleep. But kiddies were awake and I'm devoted to them, so I knew I could let myself stop trying to get up. Anyway, so it was about 7am-ish. Little lady comes to me and is frowning. I cuddle her and stroke her hair, waiting while she formulates her sentence (I don't like to rush or presume, she'll tell me what's on her mind when she's ready). After a few minutes she says "mummy, you know how I stopped watching news cos it got scary? Well I watched some news this morning." "did it scare you princess?" "yes. It was talking about 100s of people dying in just one day from Covid-19. Mummy 100 is a lot but 100s is too much of a lot. Its not good news." "it's understandable to feel scared by the news, and by such big numbers. I understand your feelings." "I'm also sad. Are those 100s real peoples? With families and... And pets maybe, like our cat?" "I'm sorry to say, yes, they were real people with people who will feel sad without them." "mummy, I don't want you to be a number on the news." "oh sweet heart, *big hug pause* we are being so careful, mummy is working on her fitness and avoiding unnecessary risks. It's unlikely I'll catch anything." "I know. But I don't think we should go town when we get paid." (we had been planning to visit Poundland and see local Christmas decorations) "too many people will be doing their shopping and I don't want you getting the virus mummy. Can we stay home and shop everything online? Please." I've promised to think about it, and consult her brother (about staying home not the covid deaths). I also suggested that if she wants to watch the news in future, cos I'll not stop her having access to information if she wants it, then to do so when I'm watching with her, so I can help with any fears or sorrows she may get. She agreed. Children don't live in a bubble. They're not ignorant or unable to process what's happening around them, nor are they uninterested. But unlike us adults who have more ways to express and cope with such scary emotions, children have less of these outlets. So my plans for the day have changed. We did some painting this morning instead, great way to process and express emotions is art, which cheered the kiddies up no end. Now I'm taking a little break to rest my head (bad headache, probably from too many skipped meals lately, can't wait to get paid next week) and write this up. I can hear kiddies playing and laughing with our cat (sounds like their lunch is being shared with cat doing tricks lol). Then I guess it's back to cleaning this afternoon. It's important to take time to address kiddies needs. Especially their psychological needs these days. You see in the news all the time, concern over the trauma of covid for children and how that might effect them long term. All I can do really is hope that I'm teaching my children enough coping strategies to help them combat any future mental health struggles they have. My daughter already has PTSD from my ex, I don't want to add to her mental burdens at such a young age.

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