“The children will be playing happily, oblivious to everything, and I feel like there’s this screaming in my head “this is not normal, what is happening now is not normal”…so I’ve had to work hard on my mental health.”
Emer McKenna lives near Dublin, Ireland, and is a stay at home mother to two young boys for whom she’s worked hard alongside her husband Colin to create a nurturing home. Her eldest son, George, has autism so the transition from school to lockdown needed to be managed carefully.
In this postcard, recorded on 19th April, she talks about maintaining structure for the children whilst mindfully appreciating the positives about life, despite the wider Coronavirus fears.
Emer talks frankly about how parenting techniques for autism she and Colin were taught, combined with therapeutic exercises to assist her recovery from postnatal depression, have been invaluable throughout this period.
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Ireland brought in social distancing measures on 12 March and swiftly closed pubs as it became clear that St Patrick’s Day risked being a major catalyst for COVID-19. Cases rose however, there has been a consistent effort across the political spectrum and wider society to bring down the infection rate. As part of this, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar recently announced he would be returning to practice medicine a day a week during the pandemic.