Life in lockdown from across the ditch 

Please do not ask us what we are doing on the weekend.  

Weekends are relative only to the differentiation of a weekday. Every day feels a bit like a Monday morning with a hangover right now.  

Speaking of hangovers, please don’t tell us about yours. The tales of your drunken antics at the latest BBQ, after-work drinks, sporting event, pub, or anything similar, simply remind us of what we are missing. Please do not say you’ll ‘have a drink for us’ the next time you’re out and ESPECIALLY refrain from saying this to someone who is pregnant.  

Please don’t tell us that being in lockdown is a bonding experience for our family.  

We are all able to bond with our families without being with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many mothers find they are able to give more to their own families when they are able to ‘fill their own cup’ by engaging in activities outside their own homes.  

Please don’t tell us to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  

We are in the toughest stage of restrictions in Melbourne, which means we are allowed out for one hour per day for exercise in our own postcode. We are at the tail end of a cold Melbourne winter. If by chance, we actually manage to have ourselves and our kids dressed and ready to walk out of the front door at the same time the sun is breaking through a grey cloud, then that is a massive win for us.

If it’s raining and easier to stay inside and watch movies all day, then we don’t need to feel guilty about that.  

Here are some suggestions on what you could say to us instead: 

I hear what you are saying.  

That must be really hard. 

I’m here for you whenever you need to talk. 

It’s ok to not love spending every second with your family. 

It’s ok to feel compassion fatigue about coronavirus. 

I would love to have a FaceTime wine / coffee catch up with you if you feel like you are up to it.  

Have you read/seen/listened to (insert binge-worthy novel, Netflix series or podcast)? 

To all of my fellow mums, whether in lockdown or enjoying some level of freedom, you are never alone. We are experiencing motherhood and life in unprecedented times, which brings its own challenges regardless of situation as an individual, city, state or country. Together, we can and will weather this storm. When the rainbow emerges, so will we, better, braver and stronger.  

Emily Brittingham is a mother of 3 beautiful children and a Volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellor (ABA). You can find her on Instagram or visit her website

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