Sinead

How are you feeling?

I’m really all over the place, it’s hard. My life has changed so dramatically, everything has changed. At first, I was really worried about my business, I teach after-school languages, closing the schools meant I had no place to work. So I started training to do classes online once I saw it happening and I could hit the ground running. It means I’m now teaching a lot more myself, but I’m now not only teaching children in Greystones & Bray, I’m teaching children all over Ireland. And I’ve also had language teachers from all over Europe asking if they can work for me. It’s just exploded, it’s a lot!

What’s something that you miss as a result of the pandemic?

I’m delighted that the online classes have taken off so much but also, there’s my family. I have a seven year old and a four year old and this job was designed to give me time with my children and now suddenly that’s all flipped on it’s head. I’m no longer home, I’m actually out of the house to a remote office at 9 every morning and I don’t come back until 7 or 8 and I might still have an online meeting in the evening. So I get home, cook a quick dinner and then off to my bedroom to a meeting. I miss my kids so much, I’m an older mum and I’d wanted to be a mum all my life. I really see their connection with their dad growing – they’ve always had a great connection, he’s a fantastic dad, but I just see them in their daddy’s arms and mummy’s not getting a look in and I’m thinking, this is not really the life I wanted. I’m struggling with that, I miss the kids, I miss the cuddles, I miss the time I had to spend with them.

What’s something that you’ve gained?

I’d stopped teaching a lot and had started working on the business rather than in business but now because I’m doing a lot of these online classes for free, I’ve re-discovered that I really love teaching, I get such a kick out of it. I’m addicted to it, the kick I get out of the kids and the teaching, it sets me up.

Who are you most worried about right now?

My two kids, but in particular my little fella. He’s only just gone four, he was born at 32 weeks so I always kind of mind him and I’m always a bit worried about him. He has now started wetting the bed and having nightmares. He keeps asking ‘is the coronavirus gone Mummy?’. And then my daughter is very much a social butterfly, I’ve tried the play-dates on Zoom but it’s just not the same. I got home yesterday and she’d been hanging over the neighbour’s wall, waiting for over an hour for the little girl to come out to play and there was no sign. She had all her toys out on the wall and I don’t know the parents so I had no phone number to call and it was freezing so I had to take her in. She was just so upset, she said ‘I just want to play with somebody.’ I worry about our kids, I worry about them not having that contact. They’ll catch up on the schoolwork but I don’t know what the implications will be, psychologically, on their self-esteem…

What are you most hopeful for right now?

I’m hopeful for my business, I think it’s really going to take off. I think our government are handling this really well, I’m hopeful for our future. I think we’ve all got to try and support small businesses. And I hope that our children will come out of this, that with the right support, hopefully the psychological damage can be undone.