Miriam’s Musings

Lockdown is placing relationships in peril!

The country is currently in the grip of a divorce boom. Well, it is if you believe an article in the Irish Independent, which worryingly proclaimed that ‘divorce is off the Richter scale,’ quoting one of ‘Ireland’s leading divorce lawyers’ as saying ‘I took on 10 new clients in January alone’.

Ooops, it appears that not everyone’s feeling the luuurrve during the lockdown. Covid’s not just exposing us to a potentially deadly virus – it’s also exposing us to living life 24/7 in each other’s pockets with some couples fighting over issues they’d normally deem as being petty.

While I find this situation terribly sad, I can also understand how such circumstances can occur. Apart from the stress this pandemic has caused to our emotional, physical and financial situations, there’s also the upheaval of turning our homes – our sanctuaries – into an office and a classroom, leading some couples I know to leg it to a shed to find a bit of peace. Now while at first the whole locked-down-with-the-one-you-love venture may have seemed like a fairytale come true, the fact that it has been going on and on and on for so long has clearly, and sadly, lifted the veil on the truth about many relationships. In short, they’ve been revealed for the challenge they can be. Oh yes folks, lockdown has proved to be a real eye-opener, exposing us to each other’s irritating, infuriating, nasty little habits.

In addition, the second the schools/childcare facilities closed down, it became clear (in some households of my acquaintance) that the work of the women/mammies increased significantly with the men/daddies – well, they’re kinda sitting around like warm-blooded pot plants waiting to be fed and watered! Ouch! Not in our house, hubby’s actually hoovering as I write, so credit where it’s due.

Now I’m not here to man-bash! I always try to be fair, and I do know that plenty of you lads are happy to half-heartedly, and with no threat to your own sense of masculinity, run a damp cloth over the dining table, and fair play to you. But seriously, do you have to ruin your good domestic deed by punching the air with the thrilled sense of achievement of a bungee jumper when you’ve finished? Just joking…or have I hit a nerve?

You see lads, we women just cannot seem to get a break! I mean, now that we’re ‘imprisoned’ and working from home, we’re not just contending with the glass ceiling, we’re also dealing with the sticky floor, the dirty loo and the screaming kids! Let’s face it ladies, we can hardly stash those ankle-biters under the sink with the antibacterial spray and the other lethal household items while we go free-range and roam from home for half an hour’s peace… now can we?  Is it any wonder divorce is on the rise? Then again ladies, perhaps it’s us who are the ones causing the problem? Now before you go ballistic, let me give you an example.

Last week, when a friend cried to me, saying that her husband ‘doesn’t raise a finger to help out’, I asked her if it was because he was a self-entitled chauvinist, or if it was down to the fact that every time he does do something she rips his efforts apart? I thought this was a fair question.

This woman is, like me, harbouring a dirty little secret… she’s a control freak. Therefore, knowing both herself and himself as I do (and have done for 30 years), I believe their declining situation is not down to him being a sexist prat whose only role is to keep their sofa from rising off the floor by lying on it guzzling beer. No, it’s because she’s the type who views a ‘laboratory clean’ home as a sign of her own self-worth… hence he’s decided not to bother helping out anymore. Honestly, I’m wasted here folks… I should have been a relationship counsellor.

I’ve come to the conclusion that men are not really lazy, bless them; they just don’t care about having pristine kids and a clean and tidy home in the same way as we do. However lads, my final word goes to you, and it’s this: if you gorgeous Gods want to get back on your long-suffering Goddess’s spring menu, my suggestion for avoiding the divorce court is to start making plans for a gigantic Mother’s Day treat – even if you don’t have kids! Why? Firstly, this Princess has been mothering you all your married life, and secondly, you can’t afford a divorce!


Stop testing our endurance Micheál – and give us hope!

By the time you read this, our leaders will probably have launched their updated  ‘Living with Covid’ blueprint, or as I call it, their de facto system of keeping us in solitary confinement. However, in a week of miscommunications delivered by the Government, it’s my opinion they have absolutely no strategy whatsoever, and are simply making things up as they plod along.

This country has gone through a year soaked in a gloom of hopelessness; in short, we’re like a human fuse burning towards a bomb. It’s high time our over-paid egocentric government devised a clear and coherent approach to guiding us through this crisis and stopped testing our endurance by continuously bashing us against the bars of lockdown. If I were being paid a ridiculous sum to advise Micheál, I’d be telling him to stop pushing the people further into the abyss and instead, change the flippin’ record to one that both promotes and helps us to visualise a Covid-free Ireland!


Make self-care part of your Lenten routine

We’re well into Lent, however people are still asking me what I’ve given up, and they’re quite surprised when I say nothing, nada, not a single thing. In fact, I’ve decided to add to my life by being kinder to myself!

I’ve come to the realisation that as this year’s Lenten season is likely to be the lengthiest (or Lent-iest) one ever (given the lockdown), it’s my opinion that, like everyone else, I’ve already given up quite enough. We’ve had a year of isolation and socially distancing from loved ones. We’ve added matching masks to our wardrobes. In my case, I’ve also added a ‘mask-rash’ – a condition that makes me look like an extra from the cast of Lord of the Rings. Add to that my now out-of-control lockdown locks, and I could easily be mistaken for a Motown backing singer. My hands have become so dry and cracked from over-washing/sanitising, my once soft skin resembles fish scales.

However, when I compare my woes with those who’ve sadly experienced grief due to the loss of family members and friends, as well as livelihoods, I have to admit that my own problems certainly do seem to be extremely petty. I cannot imagine the trauma these people are going through and will likely continue to go through until we can get rid of Covid and they can get some sort of closure. My heart goes out to each and every single one of you. Please do try to take care of yourselves.