My Life in Lock-down: single Penwortham mum juggling caring for four children with running Digital Food Bank

It’s been the most enormous change in the way we live, work and socialise in living memory.

Saturday, 23rd May 2020, 7:00 am
Penwortham womanBridie Lindsay is spending lock-down looking after her four children and supporting her mum, who requiresa team of 24 carers, while running the Digital Food Bank, which helps struggling families.

Two months after the first social distancing measures were brought in following the coronavirus outbreak, we asked three Post readers to tell us their experiences of daily life under lock-down - and how it has changed their routines and outlook on life.

She had just made it through a difficult relationship breakdown when lock-down hit.

Penwortham woman Bridie Lindsay lives with her four children and her mum, who requires a team of 24 carers.

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Bridie (44) says life right now is "mostly teen tribulations, five-year-old tantrums, home-schooling and lack of privacy."

But, she added: "Lock-down has been a blessing in disguise for me as it's given me head space after my 15-year marriage collapsed.

"That's the silver lining of having to isolate. Also, I am trying to reform my family and give the kids stability, which is challenging when you have teens right down to a five-year-old. Plus, my 14-year-old son has behavioural issues.

"It's a constant battle but it also gives us some much-needed time together. Getting them to tidy their room, do homework and exercise is an uphill battle - good days and bad days.

"As a single parent of four, it's like a full-time job.

"Also, I live with my mum who I love and respect but lock-down with her team of 24 carers leaves no privacy and not even a shop to escape to.

"However, it's like lock-down has made me realise that it's the simple things and being together that counts. When there is so much uncertainty and loss elsewhere, we are actually coping OK.

"Maybe it's because as a family we were already going through a challenging time and did not have much material possessions nor did I have a career or [full-time] business to lose."

Bridie has had to turn down freelancing work, and sales are down in her online part-time vitamin business. But Universal Credit is keeping the family afloat.

And despite her own money worries, she has set up the Digital Food Bank to help support struggling families.

"It's nice to help others and makes me feel like I'm doing my bit, even if most of my time is taken up with the kids," she said.

Bridie is also keeping herself entertained by teaching her five-year-old son to ride a bike and dreams of family holidays once the pandemic is over.

"Prior to proper lock-down, I also had a caravan delivered, which is an upcycling project," she added.

"After being stuck in a challenging marriage and then in isolation, that sense of freedom of taking the kids off on a jaunt fills me with real joy."