By Hayley

I wear my hair in a scarf most of the time to hide how long its been since I found time to shower so this feels pretty representative of how a mother’s wellbeing comes last.

I’m a single mother to a 4 year old in reception. I have two jobs (though the second is my own business and I’ve not had any work since the end of Feb 2020) and I’m also at uni.

I have no familial support or bubbles.

I feel like any empathy for parents ran out in lockdown 1 and furlough is much less of a thing, or carries heavy subtext that furloughed staff are putting themselves in the redundancy firing line. 

I wake at 6am, do home schooling and try to find time for household chores amongst school and work meetings. Most days they’re timed in such a way that we don’t have time to go outside or cook lunch or dinner – toast and bananas are fuelling us through 2021.

At 8pm once my daughter is asleep my proper work day begins. I work until 3am, and have had to let my studies slide entirely so I can sleep for 3 hours.

I’m not coping and have been suffering hallucinations and migraines from lack of sleep and even in those 3 hours I find myself often stuck with insomnia and lie awake going over doubts about everything: how come I have no one? Why is my child being deprived of all social interactions and a decent crack at education? What will be the long term impact on her? And me?

I’m not able to keep my cool at all with my daughter the next day, and if I’m not shouting I’m wracked with guilt. They seem to be the only states I exist in.

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