Mel W is a single mum in Sydney, working from home and putting two kids through remote learning during Lockdown 2.0. Here’s how she’s coping – and how ’80s hair metal bands come into it.
DISCLAIMER: You may need to Google the songs in this article if you have never heard of straight men wearing makeup with tight leggings, high-heeled boots and long hair that contains so much hairspray it could rival Nana’s meringue.
Here we go again, to paraphrase that awesome ’80s glam rock song by Whitesnake. Lockdown 2.0. This time around, I’m happy to report, I am a little more prepared and aware.
Lockdown 1.0 and navigating remote learning as a single mum with primary school kids was a little like ‘Wind of Change’ by the Scorpions. You swayed back and forth with a glass of Pinot Gris holding a plastic candle in the air like you were front row at a fabulous concert. I could never work out why the hell kids in Years 3 and 4 were being given options on how to do math equations. This is not a salad bar – give them just one option and don’t spoil them! Stop making me feel ancient!
Now, we’re in Lockdown 2.0 and remote learning has started. This time around, I am ready. I know what to expect. My kids will complain that I am possibly the worst teacher and that their real teacher never yells at them or threatens to throw their iPads in the bin. So bring it on! I now know how to meditate and look present while I’m in my happy place. So guess what kiddos? Just like Twisted Sister, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ and you will be doing all of your scheduled curricula!
Going to the supermarket in lockdown 1.0 was like listening to Tommy Lee and the gang’s ‘Kickstart My Heart’. Between the mental push-ups I had to do, the lecturing I had to give my sons not to touch a thing was enough to make my usually well-groomed hair look like it had a battle with a hair crimper and lost.
Yes, people, I was that lady who, when someone coughed, put her masked face under her jumper and ran to the next aisle!
I am also that lady who always looked overdressed at the supermarket. You see, I think sloppy tracksuits are for the lounge room with a tub of ice cream and activewear is for exercising. Someone once gasped, ‘You wear makeup to the supermarket in lockdown?’ How odd, I thought. This is a lockdown – I am not dead and nor is my style!
Lockdown 2.0 and going to the supermarket with the highly contagious Delta variant makes me feel like I am G.I. Jane crossed with the TV show Supermarket Sweep. I get in, fill my trolley with military precision and get out.
The way people act in supermarkets makes me think there are a lot of people out there who have not dated since the last lockdown. Men seem quite brazen with their attempt to start a conversation or flirt. Frankly, if you are singing ‘I Was Made for Loving You’ by Kiss in your head, please stop!
Speaking of dating, during Lockdown 1.0, I did join a dating app out of boredom and perhaps for some banter. Incredibly, men were still willing to meet! When restrictions were still quite tight, one guy asked me out to dinner. I told him I wasn’t getting all dressed up and feeling awkward only to have to greet him with an elbow bump and my face mask on.
Plus, I don’t know where he has been and I have two children. OMG, imagine if I was the parent who put the entire school into quarantine? Like Billy Idol, I would be ‘Dancing with Myself’ for life! I’m sure the rejected suitors wanted to sing to me, ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ just like Bon Jovi. Imagine all the make-up and lip gloss wasted under my mask.
As for Lockdown 2.0 and dating … Oooh, is that a tumbleweed rolling across this article? I have so many things to juggle at the moment. Everything on my life plate is just so exciting. I prefer not to have the drama of someone begging for more time or attention. I already have nine and ten-year-old flatmates who playing that role.
A neurosurgeon wanting to date me once asked me to describe my ideal relationship? I replied: “Spacious and non-claustrophobic.” I never heard back. Ooops. But fear not, when I am ready to get back out there post-lockdown, I will be strutting in time with Def Leppard’s, ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’.
So a lockdown is a lockdown. Between 1.0 and now 2.0, I know the pros and the cons, and what to expect.
There’s flexibility in working from home.
My kids are now used to wearing masks and hand sanitising.
Navigating QR codes is as easy as navigating Instagram.
I have Zoom meetings with my friends where we eat our dinner with a glass of wine and chat away as though we were at a restaurant.
I talk on the phone to my family regularly.
I am here with my two beautiful sons and get cuddles every day and told I am loved.
I am in lockdown in Mosman, so I have nothing to complain about.
Plus, I just taught myself how to apply false eyelashes as I cannot go to the salon. I wore them to get petrol yesterday. They looked so glamorous.
And ss luck would have it, I’m doing the Matthew Mellor Movement 12-week online movement-based program. I am in week five and have lost five kilograms with just 20 minutes a day of sequences!
Now, peeps, all we have to do is abide by the rules and hopefully we will all be singing Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’. and will be out of lockdown 2.0 soon.
Mel W is a Sydney-based writer. She is the author of The Single Mother Trying Not to F*ck Up Life and host of the podcast The Single Mother’s Guide to the Galaxy.
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