A mum has revealed she skipped Tier to head to sunny Dubai, leaving three of her children behind – and says she’s “only a little ashamed”.
Shona Sibary, from West Sussex, booked her flight out of the UK the very moment she was faced the prospect of tougher Covid-19 restrictions.
Being in Tier 4, it wasn’t long before her bubble of six – made up of herself, her husband Keith, and their children Flo, 22, Annie, 20, Monty, 18 and Dolly, 11 – “were ready to kill each other.”
Writing for the Daily Mail, the mum admitted the only thing that kept her going was the thought of her two eldest kids going back to school and college.
But, her hopes were dashed as the government announced that schools and colleges would remain closed until further notice.
Memories of the first lockdown quickly came flooding back, filled with struggles to get Dolly to do her homework, followed by tears and a lot of Pinot Grigio.
“This time around, however, what were the prospects?” she said. “Eight hours of grey, insipid daylight followed by darkness descending at 4pm? No thank you very much.”
Instead, she and Dolly left for Dubai with her husband Keith, where he works as a managing director, after he had returned for Christmas – leaving their three eldest at home.
After seeing Keith pack his bags to return to Dubai last week, Shona decided that he “wasn’t getting off that lightly” as she filled the bigger case with schoolbooks.
Acknowledging how “lucky” she is that she can “homeschool in paradise”, she says it’s a perk of their “odd” marriage after Keith moved to Dubai four years ago.
At first, she only planned to stay for a few weeks – which her older kids were quite pleased about – but now the UK is in full lockdown she has no intention of returning home.
She continued: “Why would I go back? The time difference works perfectly for Dolly and me. Having never been a morning person and someone who has always been perpetually late for the start of school, I now relish this serendipitous head-start to my day.”
Shona and Dolly start the day with a smoothie and a 45-minute swim before heading back to their apartment for Dolly’s first online class of the day at midday, around 8am UK time.
“To be frank, I’m not that fussed if we don’t keep wholly on top of the academics. I hardly think, in the grand scheme of things, it will matter that much and I’d far rather she was outside enjoying the sunshine”, she said.
All the while Flo, who has a nine to five job, and Monty have been tasked with looking after the house and the dogs.
Shona also insisted that Annie go back to her student house in Wales.
Although she admits she feels guilty about leaving the others behind, she says she’s “constantly monitoring” them and they insist they’re OK.