Marie Louise McConville: Home-schooling is a challenge for all parents - even celebrity ones
Well, what a couple of weeks it's been.
Anyone else feel like running away and hiding under a rock with just a bottle of happy juice until this home schooling malarkey is done?
Stupidly, I had thought because I had done it for a few months last year, this time around it would be fine but I was wrong.
Back then, I had one nursery school child - who had no work to do - and one primary school child and while it was difficult, it was doable.
This time around, both are primary school age and every day, I find myself buried under a mountain of homework.
I am also trying to keep them fed, keep the house tidy, clean up spills, break up minor disagreements and calm tears (mostly mine), and all while working of course, and trying not to lose my mind.
On the first day, I received a pile of work for James, who is in primary 1, and had assumed it was for the entire week but nope, just that day - epic fail for mummy.
Every day, Abbie has literacy, numeracy and phonics delivered on Google Classroom and online reading but as we only have one laptop, she can't start any of her work until I finish mine - bad mummy.
I find myself running around the house everyday with my earphones and phone attached, just in case I need to take a call from work and then suddenly, it's 5pm and I haven't eaten or drank a thing all day.
After dinner, we get stuck into what's left of the homework, when the kids are tired - so that goes really well.
I know I'm not the only one because I've seen videos and posts from other stressed parents, some of whom have taken to having Baileys on the cornflakes (Sutch courage) and others who send their children outside in the rain for `PE', just for a break and let me tell you, I do not judge them.
Even celebrity mums are struggling - and it's not like they have 9am-5pm jobs.
Model Caprice, head in hands, took to social media this week to described home-schooling as a "nightmare" while fellow model, Abbey Clancy, who is married to former professional footballer, Peter Crouch, also posted a photo on social media, branded `Help, SOS', seeking advice on how to get her daughter to do her work.
I honestly don't know how the powers that be think this is working because yes, while our children are at home and safe thankfully, parents are being pushed to their wits end and untold damage is being done to their mental health.
Let's keep our fingers crossed that by mid-February our children will be back at school because I for one am not sure how long I can keep up this Wonder Woman act - the whip gets in the way.
Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse, Covid-19 has caused further damage by delaying our favourite TV shows.
Along with millions of other Derry Girls fans, I have been eagerly awaiting the third series of the brilliant show and now, it has been put back until 2022.
When we last saw Erin and her friends, they were welcoming then US President Bill Clinton to Derry and who knows what happened next?
Filming had been due to take place last Spring however coronavirus brought production to a halt so now we have to wait another year.
If the stress of the lockdown has got you feeling a bit glum, how about winning some cinema tickets for a night out once all this pandemic stuff is over?
Movie House Cinemas has four locations around Northern Ireland – at City Side in Belfast, Glengormley, Maghera and Coleraine – so there will be plenty of opportunities for a trip to the flicks.
And while cinemas might be closed at the moment due to government restrictions, that doesn't mean the end of good films.
Among those due to be released soon is The Father, which stars Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins.
The movie tells the story of a man who refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages.
As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.
The Father is due for release on March 12.
I have two pairs of tickets for Movie House Cinemas to give away.
If you fancy winning a pair, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to email@example.com
Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, January 19, 2021
(Q) Name the male actor who stars as The Father?
Normal rules apply but there will be a delay in processing our competitions during restrictions.
The winners of the A Ration Book Childhood are Mary Boyle, from Dunmurry, Bernadette Jones, from Dungannon, Liz Ward, from Belfast, Helena Reilly, from Markethill and Joanne Trainor, from Downpatrick