19 Mar Explore Lockdown Diaries – Kathy and Steve
For the fourth in our Lockdown Diaries blog series, we chatted over Zoom with another of our volunteer couples, Kathy and Steve, about how the pandemic has affected them in their role as grandparents.
Kathy and Steve have been married for nearly 20 years. This is a treasured second marriage for both of them. Sadly, Steve’s first marriage ended in divorce and Kathy was widowed while her children were young. They have a large family with two grown-up children each from their previous marriages.
They reacted very differently to lockdown. Kathy says: “As an introvert, I have loved it. Steve is an extrovert and has found it tough”. She had retired from nursing but made a part-time return to help out with covid, initially with over the phone consultations and then in-person visits.
This allows her to retain some interaction with other people whilst still getting plenty of quiet time. In normal times, Steve sees friends frequently: “I have really missed seeing people, particularly in this latest lockdown”.
For over two years, the couple have been childminders for their grandchild three days every week. This was the most significant change in the first lockdown and, having initially thought they might quite enjoy a little rest from entertaining an energetic three-year-old, Steve in particular found it hard not seeing him.
They were also deeply concerned to learn that not seeing them was affecting their grandson’s wellbeing. As time went on, he started to refuse to wave through their window and, when restrictions were eased a little, would walk off if they tried a socially-distanced doorstep natter.
During this latest lockdown however, they feel fortunate to have been able to form a childcare bubble meaning they could reinstate two days a week caring for their grandson. “I have experienced many things for the first time with our grandson”, Steve says. “As a divorced parent, my children weren’t with me full time and I missed out on many ‘firsts’ which I am now enjoying instead as a grandparent”.
The good news is that they don’t sense that there will be a long-term impact from the pandemic. “For young children, I feel they will bounce back quickly” says Steve. “The bond with our grandson was back to normal within a week of our childcare bubble reforming; for adults… I guess we will find out”.
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