Marie Louise McConville: Staying at home during the lockdown has me busier than ever

Short morning PE sessions online with Body Coach, Joe Wicks are helping to keep the kids active in our house and are a great way of lifting the mood amid the ongoing lock-down. Picture: PA/Conor McDonnell
Marie Louise McConville

I don't know about you but I'm exhausted.

Whoever said working from home would be a dream obviously didn't have a four and a five-year-old for company.

Not to be mean about my new work colleagues but they are kind of loud, they spontaneously burst into lively dance routines, they insist on telling me every time they are in the toilet and what they are doing in there, and they are always hungry.

Stupidly, I had suspected that working from home and being in the house more would be a bit more laid back.

I had imagined lots of cups of tea, morning tv (the editor doesn't need to know) and even a wee nap, if the kids would co-operate.

Turns out, I have never been more busy.

In fact, I am more active now being at home than I have ever been.

Our mornings this week have started each day with a PE class courtesy of Body Coach Joe Wicks who is running short sessions online to ensure kids stay fit while they are off school.

The kids love it and it's great to see them so active.

In between doing interviews, filing stories and communicating with our virtual newsroom, I help Abbie with her tricky words, Jolly Phonics and maths.

The home school packs have now arrived and they're great but it's hard work.

Then, it's lunchtime and it's ham sandwiches and fruit all round.

After lunch, it's time for play-doh creations and with James, we go over colours and words and we all colour in or do sticker art.

Then James gets stuck into `Work Out Like The Avengers'.

After that there's some free time when they put on dvds or watch their tablets.

When Darren gets in, we try and fit in a quick walk.

In between, I am working and writing and trying to meet deadlines and it's tough.

That said, the people I have interviewed on the phone and via Facetime this week have been incredibly understanding as I also tend to my kids in the background and that's because we are all in the same boat.

At night, it's entertainment galore in our house - between live Princess storytelling online and special messages from Batman - and board games.

At the same time, I have been looking at mindfulness videos in a bid to keep my hysteria well buried.

By the end of each day, I am totally wrecked.

It's hard going being a nursery school teacher, a primary school teacher, a PE teacher, a mathematician, a Jolly Phonics expert, a cook, a caretaker, a referee, a reporter and a mum.

I supposed I've learned one thing this week - we are all stronger than we know.

Keep up the good work.



I always thought he was too good to be true.

That perfect smile and that golden skin, there had to be some kind of flaw with 007 star, Daniel Craig and now we know what it is - and it comes down to his wealth.

Speaking recently, the 52-year-old Bond star revealed he won't be giving a penny of his £125million fortune to his children because he believes inheritance is "distasteful".

Oh Mr Bond, I can't tell you how off-putting this news is.

Why is it that some people with money hate to pass it on to their kids?

Time to think about your children's futures Mr Bond.


We find ourselves living in unusual times this weekend guys but fear not, we're here for you.

If you're struggling to find ways to keep your children entertained during their time indoors, there's no need to panic as we are on hand with recommendations.

From online PE work-outs and virtual science experiments to storytelling sessions and superhero talks, the web has exploded this week with exciting ways to keep our youngsters and us upbeat during this worrying time.

Each week, I'm going to try and flag up a fun event or programme online to help us parents navigate our way through this and if you know of an online event or are running one, let me know.

This week, any parents who are missing Strictly Come Dancing will be delighted to know that professional dancer, Oti Mabuse has revealed that she is running daily kids dance classes online.

Each day at 11.30am, the popular dancer will choose a theme - ranging from Trolls to Jungle Book - and teach our kids a routine which will keep them fit and feeling positive.

She will then take those watching live through the simple steps with lots of fun thrown in.

If your kids like dancing and movement, this sounds perfect for them.

Log on to Oti Mabuse's official You Tube channel to watch the sessions.

:: If you know of an online event or programme or are running one, send me the details to

:: Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus crisis, I won't be able to run my usual competitions but will be back with some great prizes in better times.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access