We’re looking forward to Christmas when things are back to some sort of normal

Co-operative Housing Ireland launched its ‘No Place like Home’ campaign last month. As part of the campaign we’ve been inviting Members to share what having a safe and secure home means to them in such uncertain times. One such member is Amanda who lives in Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare with her two sons.

“I think the first lockdown was very tough on us all, as we didn’t know what to expect, but we all accepted it as necessary. It’s different this time around, as we’ve done it before and know what’s expected of us.

“David, my eldest son has autism, so lockdown is harder on him. He hasn’t been able to attend therapy and his routine has been disrupted a lot which has a huge effect on him. Routine is everything for him, so when day-to-day activities change it can really impact him negatively as he doesn’t understand. For example, during the Halloween midterm break he was waiting, by the front door, to leave for school and became very upset that he couldn’t go.

“We’ve been living here since the end of 2017, and it’s great for the kids. We have a nice garden out the back, so they have a secure and safe place to play during restrictions. I recently put in some artificial grass, and we have a swing, slide and a small trampoline which can be moved inside too. David loves heading outside and playing on them all. He and his younger brother get on well which is lovely to see. It’s wonderful to see how encouraging they are of each other.

“My mother lives in Limerick. We haven’t been able to visit her unfortunately as her house is beyond the 5km. We lived with her before we moved in here, but we really needed our own space for the boys.

“Since the lockdown, I miss calling in to people for a cup of tea when I’ve a moment. When I have some time to myself, I usually catch up on my soaps or try to keep on top of the housework and cleaning. My grand aunt lives in the next avenue but she’s in a vulnerable category, so I haven’t been able to see much of her.

“In many ways, restrictions haven’t affected our day-to-day lives as this is what living is like for us anyway. Once David is back home from school, we don’t tend to leave the house as it’s distressing for him. He doesn’t like going to town, or shopping centres and in many ways the disruption isn’t worth it. I’m probably more used to lockdown than anyone.

“Right now, we’re looking forward to Christmas when things are back to some sort of normal. I’ve started planning, looking at toys online for the kids. Mam usually comes out for the day, but this year we’re hoping to visit her and celebrate Christmas in Limerick”.