We’re living in uncertain times and each day brings new challenges we haven’t faced before. The kids are missing their friends (and so are we), masks are now part of our daily wardrobe and who thought we’d ever argue with hubby over who got to go do the food shop! Some parents have taken home schooling in their stride while others are struggling to find a balance between school and their own careers. Thankfully, for the majority of us, our family are safe and together and we know we can weather out this storm.
But this is not the case for everyone and British mum Jen, living in the UAE, is part of the many families who each day wave off a loved work who works frontline in the medical profession. She’s kindly sharing her reality with us as the world bands together to try to put an end to Covid-19. Here is part 3.
“The idea behind these is to give a little insight into life for a family on the frontline. This week, for reasons you’ll see should you read on, is less about us and more about how attitudes have seen a slight shift since the onset of this pandemic and as it continues.
Also I normally write these on a Thursday night, and then it’s published a full week later, so everything I write is how it is in the here and now but this situation is ever changing. Just a note to consider.
My husband is for sure my favourite adult human, I don’t always like him and he for sure doesn’t always like me (although I can’t for the life of me think why) but I hear that fortunately this is generally accepted in marriage, as long as it’s temporary and normally over who has more sleep.
This week though, I hurt a dear friend by speaking out of turn and declaring my opinions on the situation in the UK. Thing is, I have absolutely no idea what the reality is in the UK, what I see are pictures of people picnicking in the park and the second highest death rates in the world.
I don’t really see much of my husband and I think I have become rather indulgent about my own misfortunes, not disinterested but somewhat disassociated with anyone who is not immediately affected by the frontline.
But there, thousands of miles away are my very best friends as equally confused and trying to make sense of the situation and how they themselves are managing it – wine aside. For a brief moment I have become so wrapped up in what is happening here and what is happening to my family and those in the immediate vicinity here in Dubai that I am forgetting this situation is everywhere.
I wonder that whilst we are all experiencing heightened sensitivity, are we at the same time becoming desensitised? When prior to this, did you find yourself scrolling social media and actually feeling a physical discomfort because of comments and opinions? And moreover, when did it become the case that your own opinion supersedes everyone else’s? I speak for myself, but imagine this resonates with some of you, in that I am wilfully giving an opinion but not necessarily being mindful that there are alternatives. And short of my opinion being scientific fact, like the earth is round, it is just that – an opinion.
So when my friend of many years, my bridesmaid, my confident and my toilet stop (when driving from England to Scotland) had an opinion on school closures in the UK (given that they directly affect her), without pause to think I gave my opinion that entirely conflicted with hers. I didn’t stop to ask, how are you managing childcare and work? How are your children coping in this situation?
If you get down to it, we are all doing what we believe is right for us and our families. We are all, as humans, acting on self preservation. We take any action not immediately in accordance with ours as either an act of rebellion and selfishness or a criticism of our own parenting skills. What if we pause to remember that we each have our own expectations of ourselves, but they are just that: expectations of ourselves.
I think this unprecedented situation has on the whole brought out such kindness in people, but it has also brought out this get out card where because it’s global, it’s a pandemic, it affects us all, there’s a thought that we can essentially have free reign to give comment, even when never prior to this would you have considered yourself judgemental. I still would say I’m not a judgemental person, but there have been flashes of judgement over recent weeks and I’m not wholly sure I recognise that person – so I need to recognise when that person is approaching!
As I have said before, in rather more emotional days, we all have our own battles, we all have our own objectives and we all have our own needs. Let us all try to remember not only to be kind, but also not to be a d*ck – I too need to remind myself of this. Being a family on the frontline does not make us unique, it may give us a different viewpoint, but we all are fighting the same battle.
Stay safe you lovely lot.
The doctor’s good lady”.
Written by Doctor’s Wife and British Mum, Jen.
Read More: My Reality – Part 2